John Muir, Scottish mountaineer and author, who is also known as the Father of U.S. National parks, claimed : « In every walk with nature, one receives far more than he seeks ». Whenever I go on this hike at Štěchovice with my dogs, this quote springs to mind!Generally, when one sets out on an extended walk with a dog, our aims include returning with a satisfied, tired dog and feeling refreshed and uplifted oneself : Expectations are already high ! However, from this walk in Stěchovice, one invariably returns, intoxicated……
Such glorious scenery lingers in one’s mind and retains the walker in nature for several hours still. As for feeling satisfied, one has the impression of having indulged in a weekend break !Access : By car : If you intend to do the shorter version and end your hike in Třebenice, (you will take the bus back from Třebenice to Štěchovice), park in the “pay and display” carpark, located in the centre of Štěchovice, just next to the bus stop (20 kc/day). If you intend to walk the full circuit, park right at the end of the street Prof Lista. There is free parking just in front of the dam/hydro-electric power station and you will climb the metal stairs and find yourself right at the start of the firest path.
By bus : Take one of the following buses from Smichovské Nádraží to Štěchovice: 361, 360, 390, 338 (journey 35 mins).
Tips : The walk is pretty all year round, however, I recommend avoiding it in rainy weather as certain sections become slippery. Moreover, a mist tends to linger above the river, reducing considerably visibility and the opportunity to capture beautiful photographs. For the best experience, choose a bright, Autumn morning. 2) The entire walk can be done following trail markers. It is possible to complete a circuit which will bring you back to your starting point or you can end your walk in Třebenice and return to the start by bus (dogs accepted, muzzled, and you must pay 16 Kč for their transport. Caution: some drivers will only accept one dog on board). 3) A third option involves a boat trip (possible at weekends, between April – September) from the little port in Třebenice. You may disembark at Štěchovice or continue all the way to Smichov (the journey is very long). It is advisable to book in advance using this link : https://www.paroplavba.cz/plavba-na-slapy
Difficulty : moderate Distance : 14 Km (or 10,5 if you end your walk in Třebenice) Duration : approx 3h (or 3h40 for the full circuit)
Summarized itinerary : Štěchovice – Školní – V Piskovne – Prof Lista – (blue) Nad Přehradou – (green) Ztracenka-Osada – Přístavíště Slapy – Třebenice – Štěchovice
Detailed description : With your back to the carpark and river, go left. Turn left onto the street Školní and cross the river. Take the second street on your right then immediately left and walk to the end of V Piskovne. Turn right onto Prof Lista and at the end of this street, you will find a steel steps which will take you up to the start of the country walk. From there, you must follow the blue trail markers to Nad Přehradou, where you will go straight on, switching to the green trail markers. The entire walk then unfolds on a single track, a sort of ridge along, and often above, the Vltava river : it’s therefore impossible to get lost ; just keep walking, following the green trail.
Once you arrive at a road, you are at the little port Přístavíště Slapy-Třebenice, facing the imposing Slapy dam. If you have planned to return by boat, your walk ends here but the adventure continues… If you have opted for the return by bus to Štěchovice (or directly to Smichovské nádraží), you must follow the road slightly up to the right where you will find a very long flight of steps to your left. Climb the steps and continue to the road ahead and you will arrive at the bus stop, Třebenice. Should you have to wait a while, you will find very reasonably priced refreshments at Restaurace V Proudech. If you wish to end your walk here, you can take the bus from here, either back to Štěchovice car park or all the way back to Smichovské nádraží. Caution : some bus drivers will only accept one dog on board the bus.
Should you and your dog still be craving exercise, you may prefer to complete the full circuit and walk back to Štěchovice. Ascend the steps to the restaurant and facing the restaurant, go right and immediately on the left, you will spot blue trail markers which you must follow to Kolna. The trail is somewhat melancholy after the sublime scenery that has accompanied you over the last two hours, but at Kolna, you will go right onto a prettier forest path (red trail markers). When you arrive at a fork in the path, there are no markers : you must stay on the lower path, bordering the fence. This path joins another, with blue trail markers and it will lead you back to Nad Přehradou where you must go left, and either des end the metal stairs to the spot where you parked earlier, or follow the blue trail, straight back to the main carpark and bus stop.
I hope that you have thoroughly enjoyed this wonderful walk. Please leave a comment and let me know which option you chose.