THE BÜKK NATIONAL PARK
This Bükk National Park is situated in the Bükk, Hungary’s highest mountain range – at least in terms of average height. It boasts rich plant and animal life, including a variety of rare butterflies and insects. Some 90 species of migratory birds visit the park every year, among them several endangered species that only nest in the forest and cliff walls of the Bükk. Some of the of the many hundreds of caves and hollows in the range’s karst system (at Szeleta and Istállós-kő and the Suba Hole and Balla Cave, for example) are of great scientific interest as primitive archaeological remains. The forest extends as far as the eye can see, 97 per cent of the central part of the range is wooded.
Why else should you visit? Well, the Bükk National Park provides excellent opportunities for walking and cycling, or simply relaxation. The narrow-gauge trains puffing their way through the forest are not to be missed, and the villages nestling in the interior of the hills will leave you spellbound.
Saint István and Anna Cave (Lillafüred)
If you are still hungry for new experiences after your narrow-gauge train ride and a spot of rowing on the Lillafüred lake, it is time to explore the nearby caves. The Saint István’s Cave network is currently measured at 864 metres and was discovered in the early 20th century by an unfortunate dog, who plummeted to its death through its natural shaft mouth.
The 400-metre Anna Cave is unique in Europe in that it was formed from freshwater limestone. The resulting extraordinary formations are truly amazing.
Village Museum (99-100 Kossuth út, Hollókő)
If a Hungarian were to walk the length of Hollókő with their eyes closed they would still know exactly where they were from the distinctive accents of the local Palóc people. But that’s not the only reason that Hollókő, a perfectly restored village nestling in the Cserhát Hills, is a World Heritage site. The village museum exhibition, housed in a protected building, presents the history of the village and the surrounding protected area, the folk culture of the Palóc and relics of small-scale farming from over 100 years ago.
You can also visit the museum as part of the Hollókő Village Walk.
Village Museum (Petőfi utca 28, Boldogkőváralja)
It’s as if the sparks were still flying in the Boldogkőváralja blacksmith’s shop, the tools in the museum are just waiting for someone to pick them up and put them to use. The same applies to the cart and loom in the cart house. The museum exhibition displays the historic and cultural heritage of the Zemplén protected area and the surrounding, plant and animal life, as well as traditional arts and crafts.
Teeming with rarities, the protected Arboretum of Erdőtelek is of particular interest to natural historians and forestry experts. With its paths and benches, shady glades and a small lake in the new garden, promises guaranteed relaxation. Guided tours are also available.
The arboretum’s nursery grows ornamental plants, which are also on sale.
Oszla Village Museum (Cserépfalu, Hór Valley)
The people of Cserépfalu and the neighbouring villages have joined forces to pass the functional objects of the traditional way of life on to posterity. They have arranged the objects collected into a porch, a Calvinist room, a Catholic room and a tool shed.
Szilvásvárad Kalapati Observation Tower (at the end of the Millennium Trail)
Ároktő Village Museum – Nature Conservation and Cultural History Exhibition (5 Táncsics út, 3467 Ároktő)
The Ároktő exhibition showcases the natural beauty of the area, its plant and animal life, protected species and the region’s cultural heritage.
Exhibition Centre of the Fossils of the Ipolytarnóc National Park
This world-famous reserve, the site of a tropical jungle destroyed by volcanic activity, is listed as a European Conservation Area and ranks as one of the gems of Hungary’s rich geological heritage. The network of tour routes emanates from the freely accessible fossil park and joins a variety of biological and geological trails. If you just want to catch your breath, the picnic areas around the reception building and the living world of the reconstructed water biotope provide the ideal setting.
The 800-metre geological trail rolls back millions of years of geological history – fossilised trunks of trees originally almost 100 metres high; traces of several thousand types of leaves; the 23-24 million year-old remains of shallow-water marine life forms, corals and shells; and dry-land sediment settled on a glauconite, sandstone strata containing shark’s teeth. The fossilised footprints of prehistoric animals (rhinoceroses, artiodactylous animals, carnivores and birds) are the main attraction in the covered exhibition hall.
You can take a guided tour of the geological trail every day except Monday; tours start every hour on the half-hour.
Szarvaskő Geological Study Trail (Szarvaskő)
The main attraction of this 6 kilometre long, circular hike are the attractive and varied basalt formations. Enjoy beautiful views looking up from the settlement and by climbing the impressive ruins of Szarvaskő Castle.
Rejtek Study Trails (Rejteki Kutatóház-Répáshuta)
As you walk along the short, barely 800 metre-long trail, five boards give information about the pine forest, life of people living the Bükk, large game and small carnivores, and the creatures living in and around the forest’s lakes and streams. Along the trail, you pass a wealth of natural, historical and cultural sites of interest, learn about the variety of karst formations and see how they are created by sinkholes (dolines). Find out about paleontological research once carried out here (at Rejteki stone niches I and II) and the discovery of the prehistoric man (Balla Cave). Further down the trail, you will see the remnants of a glassworks in the Gyertyán Valley and the vestiges of the fourth Bükk glassworks. The Répáshuta cemetery in the Hór valley is a memorial to the people that once lived here.
Szalajka Valley Conservation Area Nature Trail (Szilvásvárad)
The 4.2 kilometre path beginning at the popular resort town of Szilvásvárad follows the banks of the Szalajka stream through an area of outstanding natural beauty and cultural wealth, including the Szikla Spring, Fátyol Waterfall, Szalajka Spring and Istállóskő Cave.
You can also combine your trip with a visit to the Open-Air Woodland Museum at the gateway to the Horotna Valley and take a picturesque ride on the narrow-gauge railway.
Millennium Nature and Woodland Study Trail (Szilvásvárad)
Discover the range’s geology, the Bükk karst, the plants, insects, carnivorous mammals and bird life and learn about bird conservation in the national park, forestry and game management. There are a number of covered resting places along the route and magnificent views from the observation point at the end of the trail.
Olasz-kapu Study Trail (Bükk Plateau)
This trail will take you to the Bükk’s man-made meadows, known as Fekete-sár-rét and Zsidó-rét, with their rich variety of Karst forms (karrenfelds, karst troughs and sinkhole clusters). The karrenfeld surface, the crags at the grassy edge of the plateau and the 24 hectares of mountain beech in the Ancient Forest are home to a wealth of animal life. The western half of the Great Plateau has the longest valley of sinkholes (Káposztáskert-lápa) and the country’s highest cave, the Kőrös Cave, one of the range’s oldest generation of spring caves.
Nagy-mező – Kis-kőháti-zsomboly Study Trail (Bükk Plateau)
The trail takes in some fascinating formations on the surface of the plateau, including a cave shaft formed from a sinkhole, the protected plant life of the Nagy-mező and a rich variety of karst formations.
Jávorkút Study Trail (Jávorkút – Bükk Plateau)
The five information boards at resting places along the 3.2 kilometre Jávorkút Trail provide information about the fauna of Lake Jávorkút, the bird life of the ancient spruce woods, the eight hectares of mixed beech in the ancient pine forest and the formation of sinkholes. They also highlight the rock wall of Kis-Csipkés which forms a structural border between the Northern and Southern Bükk.
Szinva Study Trail: From the Ottó Herman Memorial Park to Felső-Hámor via Szeleta-tető (Miskolc) This trail introduces the most important natural and cultural aspects of the Szinva Valley, the Small Plateau and the Garadna Valley. The boards provide information about the animals living in the habitat alongside the sinkholes, the junction of woods typical of the range’s eastern side, the limestone mountain grasses, interesting karst and other geological formations, as well as natural, cultural and industrial history.
The Devil’s Tower Study Trail (Cserépfalu)
The trail leaflet provides comprehensive information on the formation of the Bükk foothills from rhyolite tuff, producing unique surface structures, beehive stones (known as the Devil’s Tower) and limestone relief formations. The rich wildlife of woodland pastures and mountain meadows, hornbeam and oak woods, forested ravines, temperate oak woods and karst scrubland is well worth exploring. The trial also introduces visitors to Hungary’s most significant example of prehistoric man, the cave known as the Suba Hole.
Felsőtárkány Triple Circuit Study Trail (Felsőtárkány Western Gateway Education and Tourist Center)
The trail begins at Felsőtárkány, or, to be precise, the lakeside at the north-eastern edge of the settlement, and showcases the natural and cultural history of the south-west Bükk.
The Rocky Road: This walk connects the Szikla spring and limestone cliffs rising above it, the Kő-köz rock canyon below it and the nearby lake.
The Barát-rét Meadow Circuit begins at the eastern end of Kő-köz and follows Oldal Valley Delta along the yellow trail, before crossing the surfaced road to the Bujdosó-kőt via a steep path from the Karthauz Abbey ruins along the rocky contours of Lök-bérc.
The Castle Hill Circuit takes you up the ridge of Vár-hegy. The route passes a variety of geological structures, including dolomite mines and radiolite formations, as well as the wildlife of the hornbeam and oak woods, sub-mountainous beech forest, acidophilus oak and Mercuriali-Tilietum woods. There is also a fortified late Bronze Age settlement built from earth by the Kyjatice culture.
Bél-kő Study Trail (Bélapátfalva)
A trail which introduces you to the cultural history of the Bél-kő neighbourhood, the hill’s geological structure, its plant community and the animal life of the grassy rock outcrops.
Study Trails in the conservation areas managed by the Bükk National Park:
Szomolya Kaptárkövek Trail (Szomolya)
Sár-hegy Nature Trail (Mátrafüred – Gyöngyös)
Ilona Valley Trail (Parádfürdő)
Salgó-Somoskő Castle Trail (Salgóbánya – Eresztvény – Somoskő)
Boszorkány-kő Geological Trail (Salgótarján)
Eresztvény Stone Quarry Path (Eresztvény)
Magyar-bánya Stone Park (Somoskő)
Szilvás-kő Geological Trail (Salgótarján – Rónabánya)
Buda-hegy Geological and Botanical Trail (Sámsonháza)
Szanda – Vár-hegy Geological Trail (Szandaváralja)
Hollókő Castle Tour Pathway and Biological Trail (Hollókő)
“Millstone” Trail (Sárospatak)
Regéc Trail (Mogyoróska – Regéc)
Bükki National Park Directorate
Cím: 3300 Eger, Sánc utca 6., 3301 Eger, Pf. 116.
Telefon: 06-36/411-581 I fax: 06-36/412-791 I E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
3643, Dédestapolcsány, Petőfi S. út 24.
+36 48 501 037
3300, Eger, Bajcsy-Zsilinszky utca 9. PF.: 263
+36 36 517-715