LENGTH: 18 km
SURFACE: 87% paved, 13% gravel road
TYPE: circular route
As a starting point for this route, we recommend Mrežnički Brig, near the ‘Slapić’ camping area, where you can escape the heat by swimming in the clear Mrežnica, under its foaming cascades, or play tennis during most of the year, or maybe play some beach volleyball… An old mill with wooden wheels, as well as a modern wood-plated bridge, take us back to the days of the traditional crafts and call for a leisurely journey, leaving behind all traces of hurry and tension. That is why we recommend you do your pre-cycling stretching by swimming in the Mrežnica.
This cycling trail first takes you south, along the Mrežnica, and gradually ascends through Mrežnički Novaki, to Leskovac Barilovićki. The views of lush and hilly surroundings are getting ever wider and more beautiful, eventually also opening to the east, taking in the valley of another beauty, the Korana river. One now just wishes to transfer to a paraglider and enjoy the view from an even higher point. But let’s continue on our beloved two wheels. In Leskovac Barilovićki you can visit the baroque parish church of St. Joseph, built back in the times of the Vojna krajina (the area of Croatian military frontier), in 1785, characterized by its simple and regular form. A number of old wooden houses have been preserved in the nearby Carevo Selo.
After Leskovac Barilovićki the trail descends to Banjsko Selo and Belajski Malinci, near the medieval castle of Belaj, where there was a prehistoric, Iron Age settlement, and also, most probably, a fort dating back to the Kolapian tribe days. This ancient tribe was named after the Kupa river (Colapis), in whose valley the Kolapians lived. The route takes you through Pećurkovo Brdo, and below Belajska Vinica, to Mrežnički Varoš, thus returning to the Mrežnica. You’ll be leaving behind the Vinica hill (321 m) with its hiking trail and the ‘Mladen Polović’ chalet, as well as a nice view of Karlovac.
After less than two kilometers to the north from Mrežnički Varoš, you’ll be back in Duga Resa, a small town with a very interesting building heritage from the ‘golden age’ of the textile industry dating back to the end of the nineteenth century, a nice park, and also a river beach on the banks of the Mrežnica. But the cycling trail takes us in the opposite direction from Varoš, towards our starting point in Mrežnički Brig. During the summer, there are a number of places where you can find your own ‘secluded spot’ and enjoy the magic of one of Croatia’s most beautiful rivers.