Active Brno: Autumn Is The Perfect Time To Go For A Hike
The hiking trails within the Chvalovka area are great for getting away from your busy life and getting a breath of fresh air. Oh, and the trees are beautiful this time of year. Photo credit: Bruno Zalubil.
I don’t know if it is because I have always been busy or because I am simply dense, but it took me until I was in my 30s to appreciate the changing of the colors in autumn. To be fair, I grew up in Washington — “The Evergreen State” — and the occasional deciduous tree was not enough to make an impression.
In any case, that has all changed. Now I analyze the trees in my backyard every day to appreciate the slow transition from late summer into winter and my kids and I observe the same tree on our way to their weekly toddler exercise classes so that they will know to appreciate the changing colors from an early age.
If you, too, want to experience the reds and oranges of the natural world, a great way to do it is by taking a hike. It is an easy way to mix leaf peeping, a decent workout and fresh air.
Brno is a great place for just such an autumn excursion. You can go in pretty much any direction and find a place to unwind on a quiet trail. Here are just two options that are on the local mass transit system:
Just west of Bystrc and above the Brno Lake is a hill named Chvalovka that rises to 365 meters above sea level. There is a well-maintained network of trails that make it easy to explore without getting lost. Signs are throughout the area. They are in English and have easy-to-read maps.
The trails have some up and down so you get a bit of a workout. A small lookout tower is in the middle of the forest area and a large field is on the western edge.
Mostly, though, the area is just a place to get away from the daily turmoil and turn off for an hour or two. It really feels like a hike in the forest.
The trailhead is on Vejrostova, the outermost street of the sídliště Kamechy, a large apartment complex. It has a small parking area.
Bus 51 from Mendlovo náměstí is the best option for mass transit. The trailhead is between the Žebětínský rybník and Ruda stops. Bus 52 (from Mendlovo náměstí) and Bus 54 (from Zoologická zahrada) stop at Ruda and require you to walk about 600 meters along Vejrostova to the main starting point.
On the other side of Brno, on the western edge of Líšeň, there is a long thin valley named Mariánské údolí.
It has a nice paved pathway that goes past several lakes. It is not secluded — and watch out for the bikers — but it is a nice walk, nevertheless.
There are several restaurants within the valley that have decent food and, of course, beer. There is also a toboggan ride that you can take.
The valley is filled with deciduous trees and there are great vistas where you can take in the scenery. Each side of the valley has a network of trails that will give you a more immersive experience in the forest.
Make sure to bring a bottle of wine. There is a place at the southern end of the second lake where you can sit on a concrete ledge and soak in the view while sipping your wine.
Take Bus 55 from Stará osada to the end stop in Mariánské údolí. If you go by car, there is a large parking area near the bus stop.
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North of the city there are many places that you can explore and that will provide a great visual experience. Pernštejn Castle, for example, is a short hike through a forest with a nice payoff at the end. The Moravian Karst will give you breath of fresh air and an eyeful of color.
Just remember: the weather can be tricky. Bring a rain jacket.
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