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Lokvarsko Lake: A Majestic Blend of Nature and Human Ingenuity

This summer, Lokvarsko Lake, the gem of Gorski Kotar, will not grace this region with its presence. After a span of 22 years, the dam facility is undergoing a comprehensive overhaul, necessitating the complete drainage of Lake Lokvarsko until September.

The current state of affairs has become evident to all, as a substantial portion of the lake has already been emptied, leaving behind a landscape adorned with fifty shades of brown mud instead of its once vibrant blue hues.

Lokvarsko Lake 1

The maintenance process has unveiled the hidden treasures that lay beneath the water since its construction in the mid-1950s, including the remnants of the former Srednji Jarak settlement, sawmill, Lujzijana road, and Tsarev bridge. The lake will gradually start to regain its water levels by the end of August, bringing back its scenic charm once again.

Lokvarsko Lake is an Artificial Lake

Lokvarsko Lake, an artificial reservoir formed in 1954 by constructing a dam on the Lokvarka River, transformed a once green valley with a settlement and three sawmills into a deep green-blue lake spanning 40 meters in depth. The construction resulted in the submergence of a section of the original Lujzina road from Mrzla Vodica to Lokava, leaving only the stone Tsar’s bridge visible during low water levels. Consequently, the families residing in the Srednji jarak settlement, who had settled there following the construction of Lujzijana in 1805, were permanently displaced.

Despite being an artificial lake, Lokvarsko Lake seamlessly integrates with the picturesque Goranian coniferous forests, becoming a remarkable tourist attraction and a popular destination for sports enthusiasts and recreational activities. Notably, it hosted the inaugural World Championship in underwater orienteering and several international rowing regattas.

Since 1978, Lake Lokvarsko has also been the site of an annual gathering called POJ and BOJ, where hikers, cyclists, and nature lovers convene to explore the area. A scenic forest path stretching approximately 17 kilometers around the lake offers an opportunity to explore Lokvarsko Lake on foot or by bike. For those seeking a shorter route, Čača’s rafts provide transportation between Lokve and Mrzla Vodica.

Fishing enthusiasts are drawn to Lake Lokvarsko due to its abundance of chub, carp, crucian carp, trout, and other fish species. In fact, in 1973, an astonishing 25.40-kilogram river trout, considered the largest ever caught worldwide, was documented in the lake.

It’s worth noting that Lokvarsko Lake, together with Lakes Bajer and Lepenica, forms part of the Vinodol hydropower system (HES). This system boasts one of the most significant drops in hydropower plants across Europe, with an impressive available drop of approximately 650 meters.

Circular Path Around the Lake

Lokvarsko Lake is an immensely popular destination, yet obtaining concrete information about its circular path proves to be a challenge.

 

One of the primary concerns pertains to the official starting point of the trail encircling Lake Lokvarsko. Surprisingly, there is no designated commencement spot, leading to frequent instances of hikers losing their way. Given its circular nature, you can join the trail from various points without making any critical errors. However, the question remains: Where should one precisely commence the journey?

Lokvarsko Lake 2

An excellent option is to initiate the trail at the dam, which offers convenient parking facilities. Another possibility is to park near the swimming pool and commence the trail from there. Alternatively, you can leave your vehicle at the viewpoint on the road above the lake and descend on foot to the left of the “skating rink” area, where you will spot the trail connection just before the bend.

Commencing the trip near the village of Mrzle Vodica proves to be a favorable choice. Here, you can park your car in close proximity to the closed restaurant Carov Most, adjacent to which the trail connection can be found. Additionally, there is a café and a rest area on the verdant grassy expanse by the coastline, providing an excellent location to rejuvenate after your excursion.

The trail spans approximately 17.5 kilometers and requires around five hours of active walking, excluding breaks. During our exploration, we covered a distance of 17.35 kilometers, taking us roughly 5 hours and 40 minutes, including a longer break where we brewed coffee and sought refreshments from the lake itself. 

Notably, the stretch of the path running alongside the coast from Mrzla Vodica towards Lokvi boasts several spots with wooden benches and tables, offering ideal resting locations. These areas can be found after crossing the bridge and passing the cemetery along the path. Three such locations provide picturesque views of the lake while providing comfortable seating arrangements.

Depending on your chosen starting point, opportune spots for a break include the official bathing area, where a catering facility operates during the season. Alternatively, you can find respite at the foot of the dam, where benches are available. 

Visiting Lokvarsko Lake and embarking on the Circular Path around its serene shores offers an unforgettable adventure for nature lovers and hiking enthusiasts alike. With its captivating beauty seamlessly blending with the surrounding landscape, the lake presents a picturesque setting that will leave you in awe. As you traverse the 17.5-kilometer trail, you’ll encounter breathtaking vistas, peaceful wooded areas, and inviting rest spots. Whether you start at the dam, the village of Mrzle Vodica, or another entry point, the trail promises a rewarding experience. From wooden benches overlooking the glistening waters to opportunities for a refreshing dip and rejuvenating breaks, the journey around Lokvarsko Lake ensures a memorable fusion of nature, tranquility, and exploration.

Begin your journey now and let the wonders of this pristine destination captivate your senses! 

Your CTC Team

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