Upper Zemplín is a great place
for cross-country skiers

The winter season is still in the spirit of individual tourism. Cross-country skiing can become a new hit, and weather conditions in the Upper Zemplín area are perfect for it. The terrain in the Slanské vrchy mountains, in the Poloniny, or the vicinity of the Medzilaborce town in the hills of the Eastern Carpathians provides unique opportunities, from easy walking routes to adrenaline ascents to the tops of border hills. Suitable snow conditions can usually be maintained here until the beginning of March.

Photo by Urban Sanden on Unsplash
Photo by Urban Sanden on Unsplash

Cross-country trails are marked, some lead on marked cycling and hiking trails. The routes are interconnected, so you can combine and customize your tour according to your taste or ability. Around the village of Habura there are at least five routes available every year: Do Beskyda, Nad Stavencom, Medzi Haburkami, Kalinovská, or Andyho stopa. They offer the visitor nice views and more challenging climbs. Athletes and tourists from the village of Čertižné have been organizing the Dukla - Čertižné Winter March for thanks for 27 years now. It usually begins at the end of January. In winter, a route to the Polish border is also accessible from the village of Čertižné. The Slanské vrchy mountains offer several cross-country hiking trails. Access to them is from the west side of the Prešov town or from the east side, which is located in the Vranov district. From this side, there are five routes with a total length of 22 kilometers. These routes are not maintained in winter but mostly lead along forest roads.

One of the most interesting is the route around Šimonka. It is circular and measures 12.9 km and the altitude difference is more than 300 meters from 658 to 982 m. n.m. You can come on this route from Zámutov or Hermanovce nad Topľou. Other routes lead, for example, from Pavlovce to Hanušovské sedlo with a length of 5.8 km and an elevation gain of 621 m. We will mention two more routes, "Vlčia stopa" and the circuit route "Okolo Bučieho Lazu". The first mentioned is an undemanding sidewalk with a slight climb, which begins near the village of Juskova Voľa. It leads through forest terrain and is 2.1 km long. In the end, it connects to the 3.8 km long circuit "Okolo Bučieho Lazu".