Cannot wait to go hiking in the Czech Republic? Or hiking in Czechia, as we should be saying now. Anyway, whatever the name, you do not to keep it in mind while hiking on this bit of our mother Earth. The first hikers showed up here in the Middle Paleolithic era, which means precisely between 250,000 – 40,000 B.C. 🙂 At least this is what archeology says, even though archeology does not call them hikers (but I think that they must have been pretty good ones). I imagine they followed the hiking trails marked by footprints of big mammals and that they had to watch out for big predators too.
Today, following footprints of big mammals brings you to discover the fence around a cow paddock, and not much more. That could be one of the reasons why the whole of Czechia is crisscrossed by a well marked hiking trail system – you can read more about it here. To plan a trip, or see the hiking trails, you can go to https://en.mapy.cz/. In the left upper corner, click on Change Map, select Outdoor and then on the screen keep scrolling down until the colored hiking trails show up. Apart from this online source, there are paper hiking maps available in the scale of 1: 50 000. Personally, I do prefer those ones. The paper map does not take up much space, weighs nothing and you can decipher the meaning of the symbols using the legend which is in English, Czech, German and Polish. More about maps and where to get them in this out of date, but helpful article.
In the modern era your cave is not usually the starting point of your hike. Fortunately, due to a dense network of affordably priced public transport, you can jump onto a bus or train and leave the city behind you conveniently. Timetables are on idos.cz (to change the language, click on the little British and German flags hiding in the bottom right corner).
What is left of the dangers of big predators? Is hiking in the Czech Republic safe? Yes, it is very safe these days! I am writing this post after twenty years of being a passionate hiker and I have not been eaten by anything yet. 🙂 But of course there are a few things to watch out for.
- Stepping onto a viper, which is the only poisonous snake in Czechia. It has never happened to me. I have bumped into them a few times – only in sunny spots of hiking trails.
- Tick attack! Always check for ticks.Ticks can be infectious, so the sooner you pull them out, the better. I pull dozens of ticks out of my skin every season.
- There are only a few big predators such as lynx and wolves in bits of this country and you are very lucky if you spot them. Personally I have never been so lucky. Springtime is the breeding season for wild boar in the Czech Republic. If you disturb a mother boar and her piglets there is a chance she could attack you if she feels that her babies are in danger. On a few occasions I have disturbed a mother boar and her piglets but she left me alone.
- I think that the most dangerous thing while hiking in the Czech Republic is not looking while crossing the road. Remember that like most of Europe cars drive on the right in the Czech Republic.
Wishing you plenty of memorable hiking moments in Czechia!