Hiking in Slovakia is very simple. Slovakia has one of the best marked hiking trails in the world. In my opinion, as an experienced hiker, I would say it has the best marked trails altogether. Slovakia has very rich history of marking hiking trails, which is dated back to 1847 and nowadays cover more than 14 000 hiking trails. The trails are marked by volunteers and it is still very popular volunteer work in Slovakia, also among the youngsters. The unified method of marking enables you to be confident and find the right path and not worry about the losing yourselves.
Trail marking is especially detailed on crossroads, where direction arrows provide you very detailed information. In Slovakia direction arrows display estimated time of the hike. But the time is adjusted to medium pace, so you can either do trail in shorter time, or either when enjoying the nice views you can come to final point also a bit later. During the hike what you need to do is simply to follow the hike mark, which are usually painted on the trees or on small post. Hike marks follow one another about every 300 – 500 m, depending on profile of trail. Hiking marks consist of three horizontal strips. The upper and lower strips are white. The middle one is either red, blue, green, or yellow.
- Red marks are used for the most important and long distance trails like Stefanik’s Magistral, Tatras’ Magistral, or Trail of Heroes of Slovak National Uprising.
- Blue marks are used for important regional trails, which lead only thru one mountain chain.
- Green marks are used for the trails from valleys to mountain chains.
- Yellow marks, marks easy trails, connected to main trails, above all close to the settlements.
Except hiking marks in Slovakia we have also cycling marks. The difference between hiking & cycling marks are that, cycling marks on crossroads does not show the estimated time, but the distance in km, and on the route marks they have form of C, painted either red, blue, green or yellow color. For the colors meaning is valid the same as for the hiking marks.
All what you have to do is hike carefully or ride bicycle carefully and follow the marks. But it is simple, above all you have enjoy the beautiful sceneries, what Slovakia offers.