The Risnjak National Park is situated in a rarely inhabited part of the Gorski Kotar district. It was founded in 1953 on an area of 3041 hectares and the surface of the park was expanded in 1997 to 6400 hectares, so today it unites the mountain massif of Risnjak and Snježnik and the source of the Kupa river.
Risnjak is the least visited national park in Croatia, but it is even an advantage because it remains preserved in its original beauty without the need for additional tourist facilities and infrastructure. The area is almost untouched wildlife that is divided into two protected areas and where visitors are mostly hikers and scientists.
The park is located as most of the Croatian mountains on the karst terrain where limestones and dolomites prevail, and therefore, despite the heavy rainfall throughout the year, it is relatively scarce with water. The Kupa river source in foothill of Razloge village is a very interesting and still unexplored hydrogeological phenomenon of this region.
Climatic characteristics are very interesting because of the proximity of the Adriatic Sea, the valley of the Kupa River and the continental air currents that water the park with frequent and abundant rainfall in spring, autumn and winter. The temperature in the summer is kept at a pleasant 20 ° C, while the winters are long, cold and temperature fall deeply into the minus degrees of celsius.
Risnjak is in fact an excellent example of altitude separation in relief, geological, hydrological and climatic terms, plant cover and animal world. Its specificity is that this small space is situated between the Adriatic and the continent, between the Alps and the Dinarides, the touching point of the plant and animal communities extending around it, resulting in immense biodiversity in such a peculiar and fortunately never exploited space. First of all there are untouched forest communities which are the main phenomenon and reason for the protection of this area, as well as a rich animal world with three largest European beasts: bears, wolves and lynx.
The valley of Kupa river abounds in rural settlements, mostly abandoned, representing local type of construction. Houses and also other buildings were built of stone and wood, which today mainly are used as cottages. A few of those traditional houses have been redesigned and prepared for visitors, where they can see the natural and cultural treasures of the region as well as traditional way of life people have had in that region.
The main reason for visiting the park is hiking/mountaineering, and the most attractive ascend is at the 1528m high summit of the Risnjak mountain. Underneath the rocky peak, 110m below, a mountain hut was named after Dr. Josip Schlosser, the first President of the HPD (Croatian mountaineering association) and the founder of Croatian botany. The hike to the summit starts, mostly, from three different points, from Platak, from Vilje or from Crni Lug where the park management is located and where is a smaller excursion center with educational paths and accompanying facilities. There is also an attractive but less demanding hiking path to the source of Kupa starting from the Razloge village or from Kupari village.
Far from the crush of tourist centers in a beautiful and preserved wilderness, this wonder of a playful nature lies in the hard to reach mountains heights… just so it does not get into massive tourist movements…
More about our trips to Risnjak National park: