From the Bohemian Forest all the way to the Alps – ČSOP restores Alpine Lookout Point
The Alpine Lookout Point beneath Bukovec is found near the road from Lipka to Borová Lada, not far from the abandoned settlement of Švajglova Lada. Visitors who turn their gaze towards the valley are rewarded with a panoramic view of the wooded peaks, meadows and pastures of the Bohemian Forest, the valley of the Teplá Vltava (Warm Vltava), and in nice weather, the mountaintops of the limestone Totes Gebirge, which in fact are 150 kilometres away, with the majestic peak of the Großer Priel.
The attractiveness of this spot does not derive from its view alone. Several protected plant species can be found in the vicinity – marsh orchids grow in the more humid parts of the meadow, and one can find broad-leaved helleborines on the forest edges. The yellow petals of wolf’s bane, a medicinal herb, catch the visitor's eye in the more arid parts of the landscape. Typical animal species in this forested landscape include red deer and the black woodpecker; the area also serves as the territory of the protected Eurasian lynx. The waterlogged parts of the meadow are the nesting grounds for common snipes. Where the soil is warmed by the sun, it draws out the only poisonous snake in our latitudes: the European adder.
The Vlčí kámen (Wolf's Stone), a memorial dedicated to the last wolf shot in Czechia in 1874, the spring of the Volyňka River, and two generously proportioned memorial trees – a European beech and a large-leaf lime – are all worth a visit.
“The Alpine Lookout Point was established by employees of the Bohemian Forest nature conservation area management in 1978. There was a bench and a table with a panoramic sign. The original sign had silhouettes of the hills and of the distant Alps burned into the wood. This sign was replaced by an iron sign in 1989, in which the outline of the mountain range was engraved,” says Jakub Hromas, chairman of the Bohemian Forest chapter of the ČSOP. “The ravages of time had left their mark on the wooden parts of the Alpine Lookout Point over the years, and so it seemed appropriate to replace the individual elements with new ones. Members of our chapter restored the table and the wooden benches, and added an info panel with interesting site-specific facts and a board with a panoramic photograph, so that it is again possible to get one’s bearings within the local terrain,” says Jakub Hromas.
The Alpine Lookout Point is located on a detour from the red hiking trail marked, roughly one kilometre from the Švajglova Lada junction on the road between the villages of Lipka and Borová Lada. This is the 93rd location made accessible by the ČSOP within the NET4GAS Closer to Nature programme, through which NET4GAS has been supporting projects in the area of nature protection throughout the Czech Republic for 12 years. Within the South Bohemian Region, the programme has allowed the ČSOP to introduce six interesting spots of nature to the public.