This page describes the third of the four parts of the long-distance trail which circumvents the range of the Tatras. It covers the Liptov region, which lies on the South of the Slovak Western Tatras, until the region of the Chočské Vrchy hills.
It runs from Podbanské to Huty.
Here is the most exciting and adventurous region !
At Podbanské arrives from the High Tatras the long-distance trail of the "Tatranska Magistrala", marked in red. This trail continues at the foot of the Western Tatras, but instead of being made of an altidude hiker trail, it is now a simple land-rover track going along the foot of the Tatras.
officially, its section from Podbanske to the entrance of the valley Rackova Dolina (near Pribylina) is not explicitely allowed for bikes, but this region of the Tatras is far to be the most controlled, and according to the polish guidebook "Wokół Tatr. Przewodnik rowerowy" (Pascal Editions) you can cycle it without any problems. If you really want to avoid the slightest trouble, you can use instead the road 537 until Pribylina.
In Pribylina is located the entrance and confluent of 2 valleys with many hiking tails, but unfortunately none of them for bikes (which we can regret, as both valleys Rackova and Jamnicka are very suitable for bikes in most of their length). There is also a very convenient campsite in this spot, offering also some bungalows.
Continuing on the Tatranska Magistrala, you reach the entrance of the cyclable valley Ziarska Dolina, a very fine one to cycle. At the entrance of this valley are also few accomodations.
Later on, you reach Jalovec, again with few accomodations, at the base of the not-cyclable valley Jalovecka Dolina. Here ends the red marks of the Tatranska Magistrala. But the cyclable trail continues further on. You can catch it from here via some unmarked trails going through meadows, or via the "center" of Jalovec (where is the bus stop).
The trickiest part of this day-ride is located just after. I have never been in this very area and no map shows very accurately how, from this cycling track, we can reach in the easiest way the road 584, towards the pass to Zuberec. From this road, some 200m further north, starts a track going down to Kvacany.
Actually, the problem is that this very area is located in a fringe between 2 maps of the VKY editions, Western Tatras and Chocske Vrchy.
The polish guidebook "Wokół Tatr. Przewodnik rowerowy" (Pascal Editions) shows some unmarked way taking some unmarked trails in the fields located in between. Another radical solution can consist in catching back the main road down south, and get back to Kvačany this way. But for sure there are shorter options, and the area for sure needs a concrete "reconnaissance" on the ground.
From Kvačany (lots of accomodations) starts a very beautiful gorge in which is located a cyclable trail, the Kvačianska Dolina.
This gorge crosses from South to North the region of the Chočské Vrchy. This is a much better option than using the main road 584, first because of traffic, second because this road climbs much higher than the gorge, and third of course because the gorge is more beautiful.
Near the end of the upper part of Kvačianska Dolina is located a clearing, where are 2 old wooden water mills. These mills are from the first half of the 19th century, and are kept into service by a group of passionate locals. No fee is required to see them, and this place makes a very good spot to make a stop, near the stream, and relax. More informations (in slovak) about these mills here.
More information about this region on SP, as well as these gorges.
At the end is located the picturesque village of Huty (restaurant and few accomodations), where is the beginning of the Orava region, the return on the roads and the end of this stage.
To be continued in the next part, Orava region...
Getting ThereThe best way is to reach the region of the city of Liptovsky Mikulas, both
If you plan to reach Podbanské, you can get there by bus or by car from Liptovsky Mikulas.
If you plan to reach Huty, better aim the city of Dolny Kubin (from Slovakia or from Poland), then Zuberec, and this area. No bus in my knowledge.
When to BikeSpring, Summer, Autumn.
Not Winter ! :)
In the Spring, you will enjoy the views to the snowy tops while the lower parts of the mountains are green. The ideal moment is end of May. it can be still quiet cold in the mornings and evenings.
In the summer, it will be warm, but there will be a lot of tourist cars on the roads.
The Autumn is perhaps the best season, with stable weather, colours turning red-yellow, perhaps some sign of snows on the tops, and again less people. The ideal moment is end of September to mid-october.
Cycle preferably at least 2 or 3 days after rainy weather, in order not to dirty you too much in the mud in parts located on cycling tracks.