Konšca Thematic Trail
How did people once live on mountain pastures?
Don't just read about it. In Tržič you can experience it firsthand. The Konšca Thematic Trail is a unique route that povides a taste of life on remote mountain pastures. Along it you can visit mountain farms, traverse high elevation pastures, and immerse yourself in the secluded woodlands below the mountain of Storžič. The local culture and nature can be read like an open book.
- 1 / 24 Konšca Thematic Trail
- 2 / 24 Konšca in the evening sun
- 3 / 24 You can learn a lot of inte...
- 4 / 24 Tič pasture
- 5 / 24 pr' Tič Farm
""Konšca" or Konjščica is a wooded plateau rising sharply above the precipitous walls of the Dovžan Gorge that slopes gently upwards to the foot of Javornik like a horse's back (the Slovene word for "horse" is konj, hence the name). At the top, just below the treeline, at the saddle between the valleys of the Tržič Bistrica and the Lomščica, the traveller stands for a moment above the watershed and sees himself in the reflection of the water in the midst of a chain of mountains. The tall pyramid of Storžič is to the south, the long ridge of Košuta to the north, and in between ..."Konšca".
To get there, drive through Tržič to Lom pod Storžičem and on towards Potarje. Park in the parking area at the turnoff for Pr'Tič Farm. A few minutes walk will take you to the farm.
How did people used to live and work?
On this high mountain farm called Pr´Tič the Perne family continues the tradition of cultivating land and raising livestock using natural methods. Nearby they have their own mountain pasture, where cika cows, a Slovenian indigenous breed, are grazed.
Above the farm follow the forest road through the stand of larch to the pasture mentioned, called Tič. There you'll see a signpost for a shortcut leading to Storžič Mountain Hostel but there are so many interesting places to explore on "Konšca" that it's better to save the shortcut for the return journey. So take the marked path towards the mountain pasture of Spodnja Konjščica. As the path nears the pasture, there will be an exceptional viewpoint called Na Borštu, from which you can see the ridge of Košuta and the upper valley of the Tržič Bistrica. On a clear day you can also see the western Karawanks and the Julian Alps.
From the viewpoint continue through the gate at the beginning of the pasture and after a few minutes you'll come to the herder's hut on Spodnja Konjščica. Along this part of the trail you may find traces of fossilized life in the nearby rocks.
Horses were once grazed here, but today cattle in addition to hikers wander the nearby pastures. We especially recommend a visit during the grazing season (from 15 June to 15 September), when you can sample herder's fare, mainly sour milk, cottage cheese, and masovnek. In the hut the dairyman will show you the old vessels that are even today indispensable in processing milk on the mountain pasture. Do you know what a latvica is? No? Ask the dairyman!
Nearby is a pond for watering the stock, and on the southern slope of the pasture you can even see flowering orchids. A special feature of this pasture is the tree-covered solitary boulder containing a small hollow in the rock, which in the past was used as a natural refrigerator.
From Spodnja Konjščica the trail continues across the pasture and after about 100 metres turns steeply uphill into woodland. In half an hour you'll come to a clearing in the forest where you can once again glimpse Storžič. Whereas the terrain of the Spodnja Konjščica pasture is uneven and surrounded by the edge of the forest, the pasture Zgornja Konjščica is different. At the highest point of the plateau, among solitary trees, a wide view opens up. From this saddle, in addition to the pyramid of Storžič you can also see the long ridge of Košuta. Numerous shallow ponds have formed here due to the impermeable surface of the quartz conglomerate and these can last throughout the year. If you come closer you may be able to show the children some alpine newts. Walk carefully so as not to tread on them.
Every panel along the trail tells its own story.
After leaving the newts, head toward Bela Peč ("White Crag"), where you will once again be afforded magnificent views. The trail ascends gently through the forest. After ten minutes of walking there is a viewpoint on the right. Care is required since the lookout point is not protected. On the rocky outcrop above the Lom Valley snow does not last long since the limestone heats up rapidly. From Bela Peč, where there are also several climbing routes, there is a fantastic view of the glacially sculpted Lomščica Valley, Storžič, and the Julian Alps with Triglav.
From Bela Peč descend through the forest to the forest road and the hut Pr'Zdravc, below which there is a steep slope that has been strongly eroded by torrential streams. From the hut there is also a trail to the pasture of Javornik, but after descending along a steep and rocky section you will come to "Gabrčov rot", where the grass has been cut by hand for centuries since the slopes are so steep that mechanized mowing is not possible. The mowing usually takes place at the end of July and the hay is stored in stacks around the clearing. If the owners are in the hut you can view the implements that the hayers use.
Towards Kotel you'll walk first along a gravel road to the signpost for "Kotu". Turn down along the woodland path to the left bank of the stream that takes you to Kotel. Charcoal-burning used to be one of the most profitable activities in the hinterland of Tržič, since the development of ironworking and blacksmithing was dependent in large part on acquiring charcoal. The charcoal was burned in piles in the forest. Even today you can come across distinctly black soil in small flat areas where the charcoal piles once stood. In Kotel, too, there was a charcoal pile or "kopiše". The remains of the charcoal maker's emergency shelter can be seen even today, and alongside it a slice of soil with pieces of charcoal in it.
From Kotel follow the marked hiking trail to the steep meadows known as "Srpiči". There are several hay meadows at Srpiči, each one known by the name of its owner ("Hvačmanova", "Anžičov", "Žitnkova") and here also only manual mowing is possible. Despite the demanding nature of the work, some owners still maintain the tradition and at the beginning of August, when there are longer periods of good weather, the village boys and girls gather here and help the owners in exchange for a meal. The hay is dried for several days before being put away. When the work is done, there is a "likof", or celebratory meal, and of course a true farmers celebration. Unfortunately some hay meadows have fallen into disuse and are already being reclaimed by forest.
After crossing the meadows enter the woods and after about 20 minutes you'll come to Storžič Mountain Hostel, well worth a stop to sample the home-cooked food. The hostel can be the starting or ending point of your route; it is also the starting point for ascending Storžič. If you're not in a hurry you can spend the night there.
You'll come back full of photos and new knowledge.
If you haven't got organized transportation back to where you started, return to Kotel by the same route you followed on the way up. From Kotel follow the signposted trail along the slope of "Konšca" to the Rekar Farm, where an old Karawanks house with a black kitchen, house, and bedroom has been preserved. On the farm, which has a certificate for ecological cultivation, fallow deer are raised. The farm wife will delight you with venison goulash, roast veal, and rabbit pâté, as well as a superb mushroom soup, porridge, dumplings, masovnek, and vegetable dishes prepared in original ways. The trail will take you past the farms Pr'Pavšl and Gabrc towards Tič pasture and your starting point. The route takes 7 hours, but the stories you will learn will be many, many more than that.
The route can be followed in all seasons, on foot or by mountain bike and in winter on touring skis or snowshoes.
- Karawanks - central part 1:50 000, PZS
- Storžič - Košuta 1:25 000, PZS