The Educational Trail Považský Inovec
The Educational Trail Považský Inovec, according to its name, runs across the area of the Považský Inovec mountain range. It starts in the southern part of the mountains, in the municipality of Šalgovce and leads to the north up to the water reservoir in Nemečky, Kulháň and to the municipality of Ducové on the Váh riverside. The trail runs through the municipalities of Šalgovce, Ardanovce, Radošina, Nitrianska Blatnica, Vozokany, Lipovník, Hubina, Ducové, Bojná, Tesáre, Závada, Podhradie, Velušovce, Prašice (Duchonka) and Nemečky.
Theme of the trail: historical, cultural, natural-scientific, and environmental • Type: self-service, textual, graphical, sommer and winter, linear • Degree of difficulty: medium to difficult • Length: approximately 60 km (including side trails) • Protected areas: NKP St. George Rotunda, CHPV Čertova pec Cave, ÚEV Hradná dolina, PR Holé brehy • Geomorphologic unit: Považský Inovec, Krahulčie vrchy
Location and Characteristics:Považský Inovec is situated in the western Slovakia and belongs to the Fatra-Tatra region. It is 48 km long and 15 to 25 km wide. The mountain range is most massive in its northern part, neighboring with the Strážovské vrchy mountains, dominated by the highest peak Inovec (1042m). The mountain range gradually descends to the south towards the Danube Lowland (Podunajská nížina), which surrounds the mountains. Geomorphologically the mountains are subdivided into: Vysoký Inovec (Inovec 1042m), Nízky Inovec (Bezovec 743m), Krahulčie vrchy (Marhát 748m) and Inovecké predhorie (without any outstanding peaks, to the east of Beckov 550 m above sea level).
Landmarks. Among the most important historical landmarks in the area there is the Great-Moravian castle Kostelec near Ducové, St. George Rotunda near Nitrianska Blatnica, Great-Moravian hill-fort in Valy nad Bojnou, as well as medieval forts in Beckov, Topoľčany, Tematín and Hlohovec, which was later rebuilt into a baroque residence. The Čertova pec (Devil’s Oven) Cave is worth mentioning for being the oldest cave dwelling found in Slovakia.
Tourism and Sports. There are more dozens of marked trails, from easy to medium difficulty. Most of the trails are suitable for mountain-bikes (despite several rock hurdles along the trails) offering beautiful downhill rides. In the wintertime the mountains are suitable for cross-country skiing.
There is a down-hill skiing area in Bezovec and other smaller ski-slopes with lifts in Banka, Kalnica, Selec, under Inovec and in Úhrad). Climbers will especially enjoy the castle cliff in Beckov, nevertheless there are more training locations the Tematín castle and in the Sokolie skaly mountains. Hippo-tourism is offered by Vítkovské stajne (Vítkovce stables) and Ranč pod Babicou (Ranch under Babica). There are more locations in the area renowned for agro-tourism, such as vineyards and wine cellars near Radošina, Nitrianska Blatnica and Tesáre. Water reservoirs are located near Duchonka, Tesáre, Nemečky, in Striebornica, and last but not least in the town of Piešťany, offering a great variety of entertainment and free-time activities.
Beautiful views. Marhát (748,2 m + 16,8 belvedere), Jelenie jamy (570 m), Topoľčany castle, Skalka nad Záhradou (482 m), Lomec (421 m), Úhrad (685 m)
The Educational Trail is connected with another educational trail running through Nitrianska Blatnica and Kostolec in Ducové, and with a loop trail near Banka. By hiking trails it will be connected to recreation resorts in Bezovec and Piešťany.