Liptov is a paradise for demanding tourists. Every year from spring to autumn, thousands of nature lovers wander about Liptov´s mountains, paths and plains. It is more and more difficult to find new and unexplored corners of this region. One of them is the Čutkovska valley near Ružomberok. Actually, curious visitors can explore it now on an attractive nature trail.
Until recently, the Čutkovská valley was an untouched and virgin corner of Liptov. The valley was visited mostly by people from nearby Černová and a few enthusiasts taking a shortcut to Vlkolínec. However, it got a whole new dimesion a few years ago. There is a new traditional restaurant, Koliba u dobrého pastiera, and playgrounds at the start of the valley, and sheep graze on its steep pastures. The desire to continue exploring the valley often ended with these attractions. But few people know that the greatest treasures are hidden in its heart.
The path to the heart used to be thorny and overgrown. It could have been so even today if not for a few enthusiasts. Their two-year effort, however, was worth it, and their passion resulted in a captivating walk through a magical forest. They dug and repaired paths, mounted information boards, cleaned the surroundings and added three side paths to interesting natural sights. They had to cope with difficult terrain, whims of the weather and gruelling fatigue. However, over a thousand hours of hard work provided access to places that used to be unknown to even the most active tourists.
Safety first: the walk to the popular yet unknown Čutkovská valley is also suitable for families with children. They will be captured by bridges from natural materials, the fairy-tale forest and the Dear Waterfall (Jelení vodopád), which can be crossed dry-shod. Interestingly, it is only a meter shorter than Slovakia´s highest waterfall in the Veľká Fatra mountains. To get to the waterfall, one must climb a “stairfall” of 84 reinforced stairs.
However, the nature trail nearly remained just an idea. A storm last May caused a meter-high torrential wave in the valley that destroyed everything in its way. The storm damaged two bridges, loosened rocks and old tree stumps and covered the area below the Tiesňava za dierou gorge with debris. As if nature defended its heart from curious tourists, but it did not discourage the volunteers from finishing what they had started. The path was opened in July with a delay.
If you haven´t seen virgin nature, it starts with the fist steps in the Čutkovská valley. Six kilometres of the walk offers a number of breath-taking sights. Even recreational tourists can cope with almost 350 meters of elevation to the highest point of the trail. Ten information boards reveal the mysteries of flora and fauna and six bridges and countless natural wonders will certainly satisfy hikers and cyclists who visit the Čutkovská valley more and more often. The nature trail has definitely brought the valley to life and its authors succeeded in sharing its beauty with the public. It has once again been shown that matters of the heart are much more valuable than those of money or personal gain.