LENGTH: 36 km
SURFACE: 97% paved, 3% graved road
TYPE: circular route
This route will also bring you pure joy of cycling through the picturesque nature. The Srakovčić family farm ‘SrCe Prirode’ in Gorica Lipnička can serve as a nice starting point. The farm is situated on the sunny slopes of the Vodenica (538 m), near the deciduous groves and lush vineyards, bursting with attractive colors and smells during the summer and early fall. It is, therefore, no wonder that some of the cycling lovers get distracted and slow down considerably at this stretch of the trail.
From the ‘SrCe Prirode’ farm, the route takes you to the villages of Piščetke, Kolenovac and Mali Modruš Potok, with slightly ascending and descending stretches, and beautiful views, from all points, of the mountains, hills and valleys around Ribnik and Netretić. It is, indeed, hard to imagine a more beautiful cycling trail. After arriving to Netretić – according to many, the very heart of the area inhabited by the so-called Brajci – you’re in for a slight descent along the historic Lujzijana road connecting Karlovac and Rijeka. To your right, just below the road, you’ll see an elongated valley, once the Kupa’s stream bed, as legend would have it.
And we do reach the Kupa, actually, after turning west from the Lujzijana road at Ladešići, in the direction of Pravutina and Ribnik. Very soon, to your left, you’ll see a deep river valley, marking the border between Slovenia and Croatia in that area. But do not worry, you are not likely to wander into Slovenia, unless your bike can swim. The trail now leads you through the hamlets on the slopes of the wooded Lipnik Mountain, later on descending to the very bank of the playful Kupa near Mala Paka and Pravutina. After a brief break and some refreshment, we can choose between the two roads to Ribnik: the shorter one below the village of Sopčić Vrh, and the longer one through the Ravnica village, including a visit to the Rilac pond.
The experience becomes complete in encounters with the cultural and historic heritage of the area. Here we have the medieval Ribnik castle – the only preserved ‘Wasserburg’ in the Croatian plains, in the area where the medieval forts, castles and towns were mostly situated on the hills and elevated positions. This is a great chance for a little break and a group photo with this castle in the background. The estate was first mentioned in the thirteenth century, and its current look is mostly the Frankopan heritage from the sixteenth century. The final stretch is ascending to Gorica Lipnička, offering another set of unforgettable vistas.