Konopiště is about an hour drive from Prague and is one of my favorite castles. The castle is a four-winged, three-story castle located in the village of Konopiště, which is now a part of the town of Benešov. It has become famous as the last residence of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria, heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne, whose assassination in Sarajevo triggered World War I. I know my brothers who hunt in Montana would be blown away by the amount of trophy animals Ferdinand killed and have hung all over the castle. They have 3 different tours for the different floors in English and it is very worthwhile to visit. The surrounding grounds are beautiful with plenty of walks and hikes nearby. You can even play frisbee golf in the gardens or paddle board in the lake near the castle.
This ride is only for the hard core bike enthusiasts. To do this with E-bike adds a lot of trouble to the trip as you will have to carry your bike for about 200 to 300 meters on very slippery rocks and roots along a creek. The trail is very pretty but I would consider it even challenging to some walkers. Even so we were passed by six other bikers during our struggles but they were NOT on e-bikes. In fact this really isn’t a ride we would recommend if you can’t carry your own bike for a while. There were other sections on the route in which we decided to avoid injury by walking it. If you decide to try this route and don’t get hurt and are still smiling at the end let us know.
The ride starts at the parking lot of a castle Konopiště. It does cost to park there but we liked having some restrooms and restaurant options for after the ride if we wanted. During the ride, struggled a bit finding the mapped path due to overgrowth. We strongly suggest long pants for this ride unless you love the feel of stinging nettles that don’t fade until evening. By the time we got hungry for lunch we had to ride another 2 km out of our way to a place called Hostinec Antonin Bartak (point 7) which we can recommend for good food and lemonade.
So, be ready to carry your bike between points 4 and 5 and ride very carefully up to “Měsíční údolí” (point 6). If you want to make your decision based on more evidence, check the pictures below. At point 10 you will have a choice to go through a quarry (point 10 to 11 – about 300 m, which should be fine on the weekend when there is no work going on, but during the weekdays we would recommend either to ask for permission to go through or ride around this place and join the route at the village Žíňánky). Another sketchy part of the ride is the connection between Červený Dvůr and road 110, where the map will be sending you through the old very overgrown path. Just turn to the left and follow the tracks at the edge of the field.
After riding through Benešov and crossing very busy road E55, you will be rewarded by riding through the park of the Castle Konopiště. Close to the end do not miss the turn 22 to 23 which will lead you to the path aroud the pond with nice views of the castle.