New Hiking Destination – Shooting Range Trail near Šluknov
Thanks to the NET4GAS Closer to Nature program, a beautiful spot for pleasant strolls has been brought into existence, which will be especially attractive to the inhabitants of Šluknov. "In an educational, and yet playful way, this program seeks to make people aware of the natural treasures that are literally found right in their backyard, but which may still be completely unknown to some," commented Zuzana Kučerová of NET4GAS.
The trail presents a small fish pond ("Wenisch Pond"), wetlands and alluvial meadows, but also a memorial oak on the former military shooting ground that is the namesake of the new trail. Local flora and fauna are composed of rather common species, but the discerning visitor may spot protected kingfishers, toads and salamanders. Even today, remnants of firing positions and backstops are scattered about the landscape, and visitors both big and small are invited, by means of interactive elements along the trail, to engage in a guessing game and estimate the distance to various targets.
"One of the main reasons behind our choice to include this particular site in our program was the memorial oak, which we wanted to show to the public, and which in a sense is a final destination and 'bonus' for visitors to the trail," said local ČSOP chapter member Pavel Bolík, adding that "thanks to the corduroy path and the footbridge, folks may now safely cross the waterlogged parts of the terrain without getting their feet wet, and the whole trail is perfectly negotiable for families with children in strollers, as well as for handicapped visitors with assistance. Once they arrive at the end point of the trail, people can take a rest under the canopy of the gazebo that we've installed."
The trail is about 450 m long and can be found two kilometers from the signpost on the town square of Šluknov, which represents the central hub from where the local hiking trails depart. Visitors get to the trail coming from the town center by following the blue hiking trail or cycling trail 3043. GPS: 51.0094981N, 14.4694756E.