Prielom Hornádu – 16 km long canyon in the Slovak Paradise National Park
Prielom Hornádu is approximately 16 km long canyon located in the Slovak Paradise National Park. It begins in Hrabušice-Podlesok and ends in Smižany village. The hiking trail takes you to the amazing nature, along the upper part of the river Hornád.
The hiking trail is not that difficult, suitable even for less experienced hikers and also for young children (I’ve seen there even less than 4 years old kid) however in some parts the trail is really dangerous and it requires more courage.
You will need to pass through the 7 bridges, 140 ladders and about 70 meters of wooden footbridges. There are approximately 320 meters of chains that will help you in this adventure. Be careful and hold the chains wherever they are installed to avoid falling down the steep cliffs.
You can visit Prielom Hornádu any time of the year, it is very nice in the hot summer when the temperatures are still pleasant here. And even in winter, when the river is frozen and you can see numerous frozen waterfalls all around so it is absolutely different from what you can see here in the summer.
Prielom Hornádu is interesting for its length, depth and steep (sometimes up to 300 meters high) cliffs that flank both sides of the river. Since 1974, it has been open to the public.
There are many other hiking trails in the Slovak Paradise National Park, many of them begin equally in Hrabušice-Podlesok and several more cross Prielom Hornádu. You can also start a tour in Čingov or in Smižany.
National park is full of gorges and canyons and my favorite one is Veľký Sokol gorge.
Prielom Hornadu – map – click here to open larger map
Prielom Hornádu in winter
Hiking the river Hornád through its surface is definitely one of the most adventurous and unforgettable experiences of hiking in the Slovak Paradise!
Around the riverbed, usually below cliffs, or in rock holes, and where the small streams fall in the river Hornád from the steep sides of the canyon, you’ll see beautiful ice stalactite decoration and other ice creations.
In addition to hikers, we can also meet skiers, skaters, or even winter bikers on the frozen cover.
Where to stay at Prielom Hornádu
There are several pensions, private cottages, apartments and one camping where you could stay during a longer visit to the area. As there are numerous hiking trails starting in Podlesok, this would be one of the best places to stay.
Disappointment in Prielom Hornádu
Even though the nature is really unique and beautiful here and all the bridges, ladders and other equipment are all first-class work, there is one thing that no tourist can overlook.
Prior entering the national park, Hornád river needs to pass through several gypsies settlements on its way. Gypsies have built their slums usually along the river without any permission and do not care about nature.
They are able to throw all their garbage into the river, including TV sets, fridges, plastics and everything they don’t need. Unfortunately no goverment was able to manage this 100 years old issue so far and they apparently do nothing to solve this either.
So once here, do not be surprised when you’ll see a rubbish dump on some places along the river. I saw this already in the Slovak Karst National Park when we were on a tour around Jasov cave.
Otherwise, the river looks to be clear and so it is the forest around!