Trail running and exercising is a nice but lately somewhat forgotten form of recreation, which is done in the largest gym – nature. It actually sounds strange but the last decade, despite running gaining popularity and increasing number of people actively recreating, hasn't seen greater increase of the use of trim trails, from the renovation of the former trails to the construction of new ones. We often hear, mainly for the former trim trails, that the owners of the land or forests present a problem by preventing the renovation of that what used to exist and function. Perhaps even recreation is becoming more and more competitive and ambitious in accordance with these fast and wild times, which are fleeing past us.
Trim trails gained popularity in the nineteen-seventies, when exercising in nature became wide spread in Slovenia. A considerable part to raising awareness of the importance of exercising and recreation, and to the popularity of trim trails was contributed by everyday radio shows for morning exercise with Tomaž, the gymnast, hosted by Stane Urek, and mainly by the television shows of Mito Trefalt on the Slovenian RTV on running and exercising ('Television running and exercising test' and 'Yugoslav running and exercising television').
At a trim trail, you run, jump, climb, lift loads, do exercise for flexibility and agility, and improve balance. All the aforementioned exercises keep you physically fit, strengthen and preserve your psycho-physical and motoric skills. Trim trails are suitable for developing stamina and strength and you do some stretching exercises along the way, which is the ideal combination for healthy recreation in nature.
There's only one trim trail in Ljubljana which defied time and new (ownership) relations, and it's being nicely taken care of by the members of the Zadvor Sports Club with their own resources. The Zadvor Trim Trail runs from the Zadvor Log Cabin in Žabja vas along the slope of the Zadobrova Hill, which represents the furthermost eastern point of Golovec, above Podmolnik between Orle and Zadvor. It was set up in 1975. It's 3.3 kilometres long and has 20 exercise stations with exercise equipment and information boards. The beginning of our route will run directly along the trim trail, so in addition to walking, you can also do the exercises suggested at exercise stations.
The starting point of today's route is the Zadvor Log Cabin , which is situated in the forest immediately by the Zadvor–Podmolnik road in Žabja vas. The car park next to the log cabin is intended only for the customers of the cabin – but, at the end of the day, you'll also stop there and have a snack. However, all your parking problems will be solved if you get there by an ecologically irreproachable vehicle – by bicycle.
To the forest for a run and an exercise
The route begins at the information board for the trim trail , , where you turn right into the forest. When you cross a small stream , the path turns left up the hill, goes up to the ridge and then runs along the top ridge. All the time, you're accompanied by green and white signposts marking the trim trail and exercise stations . The route is pleasantly flat , not strenuous at all; in the autumn, the abundance of mushrooms and chestnuts lures you deeper into the forest. A bit further on from the exercise stations 13 and 14 , the trim trail turns left and back, while you turn onto a well-beaten path running along the ridge. On the left below the ridge, you'll find the place where the Molnik Company was established at the beginning of World War II, which was the first Partisan company in Slovenia composed of freethinking inhabitants of Zadvor and Sostro, who had been active members of the Svoboda Association even before the war.
The road even descends a bit and when you reach a noticeable crossroads , where two wide paths split to the left and right, while a narrow path runs up the hill, choose the right one (if you took the left one, you'd come to Orle).
Between Orle and Urh
The path you're walking on is a kind of a forest cart track and after heavy downpours, mud makes it difficult to walk along this path. It continues to run at approximately the same altitude above some smaller gorges below you. From the left, a path from Orle joins it and a bit further on, when you hear noise from the nearby motorway north of Malence, turn right towards the Dobrunje Hill on a distinctive plateau . The Dobrunje and Zadobrova hills are eastern points of the Golovec Hill, which wasn't covered with forest in the past and was completely bare even in the 19th century. Only grass grew on it – thus the name Golovec (gol is Slovenian for bare). At the end of the 19th century, the hill began to be systematically afforested and 100 years later, no one believes that the forest on Golovec was planted by people and that it hasn't been there forever.
The path gently descends in some cuts as well, so you'd better choose right bypasses, as the paths in the cuts are muddy, wet and slippery if it rains. As the path straightens out, there's only a short stroll to the end of the forest and you're on Sv. Urh.
Sv. Urh is a place of sad memories, as it was the scene of a fratricidal war during World War II. Even the most frightening memories fade away with time, but this memorial site warns – never again!
Right next to the memorial , turn right onto a sandy path at the edge of the memorial site, which runs along the edge of the forest below the church to the car park and asphalt access road. Once on the road, turn right and go down the hill, and at the first crossroads, go right again onto the macadam path into the Konjščica Valley.
The Konjščica Valley is a stunning and peaceful valley between the Zadvor and Dobrunje hills with spectacular views, which are a nice contrast to walking through a forest where there aren't many observation points. The valley is an undiscovered, peaceful and beautiful haven on the verge of the city. Each year, enthusiasts from the Zadvor Sports Club organise the Molnik Race through the Konjščica Valley, which attracts the young and old to this gem of the eastern section of Ljubljana.
The macadam road runs along the edge of the valley at the foot of the Dobrunje Hill. Just before the valley ends, turn left at the hedge and cross it on the meadow cart track. On the other side of the valley, namely at the foot of the Zadvor Hill, turn left into the forest and walk on the path running along the edge of the forest next to the valley. The path goes around the hill and soon becomes a cart track or road providing access to houses in Žabja vas. When you reach the main road, turn right – pay attention, there is no pavement by the road, and two houses on, you'll be back at the starting point at the Zadvor Log Cabin. Just before the log cabin on the right, there's a tall monument to the locals killed during World War II and to the fallen soldiers from the national Liberation War .