The cycle route in the town of Vranov nad Topľou
There are several cycling routes in the Vranov nad Topľou district, which require a bit of training and fitness. We can find them mainly in the Slanské vrchy mountains. The Vranov cycle route with a length of over 32 km and an elevation gain of no more than 80 m is one of the longer but less demanding terrain routes. The route leads through the villages, mostly along roads II. and III. classes with minimal car traffic with a slightly undulating terrain profile. About a third of the length of the route leads along field or forest roads. It is clearly indicated with blue road sign and drawn in available tourist maps.
We start in Vranov nad Topľou in the parking lot at the town cemetery on the Mlynská street. Before the start, we looked at the part of the cemetery where the fallen soldiers from the First World War are buried. There are 246 graves and 250 victims are buried here. We get on our bikes and head down Mlynská Street out of the town following the blue cycle sign. After the last family houses and the bridge over the Čičava stream, we turn right onto the road towards the village of Čičava, which has a rich history. The oldest written document in which the village is mentioned is a document by which the Hungarian King Stephan V. lists the property donated to the Hungarian nobleman and palatine Rajnold. He was the founder of the Rozgoň family from the village of Rozhanovce. It appears in documents from the 13th to the 14th century under the name Čičva. The manor also included the Čičva castle.
From Čičava we continue along the asphalt road to the village of Merník. It was known in the 19th century for the mining of cinnabar, which contains mercury. To this day, the entrance portal to the Mária tunnel has been preserved there. The tunnel is bricked and inaccessible for security reasons. It is located halfway between Čičava and Merník on the left side of the road in the forest. The access to it is unmarked so be careful to not overlook it.
From Merník we continue on the road III. class to the village of Michalok, from which the asphalt road no longer leads. The village lies on the southwestern edge of the Ondavská vrchovina highlands. The oldest written document about the village and the church dates from 1332. In the village of Michalok, we decide which direction to choose next. The green cycle sign connects to the east and goes through Kvakovce to the recreational area Domaša - Dobrá, which is about 7.2 km away. However, we continue west, along the blue mark to the village of Petkovce. The route leads through the open countryside along a forest and field road. We come to the highest point of our trip, which is about 300 m above sea level. The descent through the forest to the village of Petkovce is after about 500 meters of the previous ascent a pleasant rest.