Stříbrná Skalice

When the autumn days are nice, Czechs refer to it as ‘babí léto’ which means grandmother’s summer. It is what we know as ‘indian summer’ and this first day of October was definitely a nice day. This trip is only a 45 minute drive south east from Prague and near the Sázava river. There were no castles or ruins to visit, which meant we had the forest basically to ourselves. In fact I was super excited that I went around a corner just in time to see a young deer with horns (only the 2nd one I saw in the wild this whole summer). In the meanwhile, back at the cabin in Montana we have several living nestled up against the cabin door. I also saw a wild boar running into the brush. 

We started in the town of Stříbrná Skalice. The old name ‘Rock of the Silver Mountains’ shows that silver had been mined in these places since ancient times.  We parked in the main square so we could indulge in some coffee and sweets before the ride. There is transportation to this point to hike into the forest, but if you hike more towards the Sázava river, you will be able to wander through the many ‘osada’s (summer cottage communities) and take in all the pretty gardens.

Our route was not particularly steep and we didn’t have to conserve the battery.  However, if you don’t like bushwhacking with an electric bike or lifting it over logs then you may want to make a few different choices.  As you can see the map is like two figure eights because it wasn’t a large forest, but it was worth it as you can see the rolling Czech hills at a few different points. Towards the end we passed a gorgeous little lake with what looked like a nicely landscaped island in the middle. Apparentely this can be reserved for weddings.

We also rode through the small village of Vlkančice and had a quick stop for a geocache. And what you won’t find on Wikipedia is the story about how the village got its name. They say it came from a sheep herder in the distance who saw a young girl named Anna and a wolf behind her. He wasn’t close enough to help her so he yelled ‘Vlk! Ančice!’  Which just means Wolf! Anna! And they put the two words together for their town.

So, a little more about the road choices. If you are into some adrenalin, you may try the shortcut 15 to 16 – it is barely visible path going through a lot of vegetation which will be catching your pedalling legs and at the very top will completely disappear, but you will already see the road which you cannot miss. We found this connection after trying many alternatives which were much worse than 15 to 16. However, you can get to the point 17 by following the regular road. Ride from point 17 back to the road is a nice path trhrough the forest. However, path from point 20 down to the pond Propast (Abyss) is very challenging and at this moment you will have to climb over two fallen trees. After that you will be faced with a very steep slope down. Some bikers may ride it, but we were not inclined to do that. Alternatively, you may ride on the road back toward point 17 and turn left on the road downhill and reach the pond at point 23, where you can find a restaurant Propast (during winter season opened only Fri-Sun). If you choose to ride along the pond, do not miss a half finished – half abandoned “castle” building. 32.5 km 474 m elevation gain

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