Not far from Český Krumlov lies Lipno with its reservoir. We were drawn to the lake for a shortened day trip.
The Lipno Reservoir was created in 1959, after the construction of the dam in the Vltava River valley. The municipality of Lipno is located on the banks of the reservoir near the Vyšebrodsko Nature Park and the Čertova stěna (Devil’s Wall) and Luč (Kienberg, 933m) nature reserves. The reservoir was intended to protect the downstream towns, such as Budweis and Prague, from flooding.
The village of Lipno, or in German Lippen, was first mentioned in a document in 1530. At that time, the inhabitants lived mainly from rafting. Until the expulsion of the Germans in 1945/46, almost only German inhabitants lived in the village. When the dam was built a short time later, the village was almost completely demolished and flooded. The new Lipno was built right next to the reservoir. The town developed into an excursion and holiday resort to which many foreign tourists also like to go. Summer and winter holidays can be enjoyed here. From the golf course to the snowboard park, a wide variety of offers are available to meet the most diverse holiday wishes.
Arrival at Lipno
By car we drove along the reservoir until we reached a large free car park. This is located directly at the valley station of a chairlift and offers plenty of parking spaces.
We decide to take the chairlift to the treetop trail and walk back downhill. But first we had to buy our tickets.
In an information centre at the car park, you can get your tickets from a machine. The machine can also be operated in English, so it’s not really a problem. However, we stumbled over the trip with / without Lipno Card. I was about to press “without card” when a member of staff came to help. The Lipno Card is a discount card for various offers in the region and also the treetop path (you book the entrance fee at the same time) is cheaper. At first you have to pay a deposit for the card. But you get it back after the visit when you return the card. So we booked the ascent with a visit to the treetop path in connection with the Lipno Card and were happy about the tip from the staff.
Ride with the chairlift
Then we went to the chairlift, which would now take us up to about 900 metres.
It was a really nice and relaxing ride, during which we could not only see some sections of the hiking trail, but also a glimpse of the summer skiing area. Yes, and when we turned around a bit the reservoir was below us. A beautiful sight.
Arriving at the mountain station, we discovered that there is a lot more to experience up here than just a visit to the treetop trail.
A little below the mountain station is a huge adventure playground for children, for which a fee is charged. Right next to it, some mountain bikers rode through a course and then into a signposted track down to the valley.
There is a restaurant, a rental station for scooters with which you can ride a signposted route down into the valley and several hiking trails start up there.
But we were drawn to the treetop trail.
Treetop Trail Lipno
The treetop trail in Lipno is the first of its kind in the Czech Republic. It is located at an altitude of 901 metres on the Kramolín hill and was opened in 2012.
The entrance and at the same time an exit of the path leads through a small house. We had already bought the entrance ticket at the valley station and loaded it onto the Lipno Card, which we now only had to hold up to the reader. To be honest, I didn’t pay attention to whether you could also buy an entrance ticket directly on site. But there was a small souvenir shop where that might have been possible.
Still at ground level, we then entered the wooden walkway. The path is 372 metres long and rests on reinforced wooden pillars that gradually get higher and higher.
So the path slowly winds its way higher and higher until it reaches a height of about 24 metres. During this time, you still walk between the trees and only occasionally manage to catch a glimpse through. But it is definitely not boring. There is a small knowledge and exercise trail in addition. At the edge, for example, there are some beautifully crafted wooden animals that explain the local animal world (with short texts). At some points there are small branches in the path. Here, for example, you can walk over wobbly slabs and ropes – much to the delight of young and old alike, who enthusiastically tested their surefootedness here.
The path ends at a large round tower. It has a diameter of 24 metres and the path spirals up another 303 metres. The view gets better and better from one metre to the next.
You finally reach a height of 40 metres above the ground and arrive at a viewing platform. From up there, you now have a 360-degree view of the region. A fantastic view of the Lipno reservoir, the skiing and leisure area and the almost endless forests on the hills of the Šumava. It’s really worth it!
The way back is first a few metres in the tower. Then you have the choice: run or slide?!
In the tower there is a 52-metre slide, one of the longest slides in the Czech Republic. For 50 CZK (payable directly at the slide), you sit down on a carpet and whizz down into the depths.
If you prefer to walk, simply return the way you came before.
Way down into the valley
Of course, you can take the chairlift back down to the valley or walk. After looking around a bit more, we walked downhill. The somewhat easy path is along the ski slope. Here there is meadow and the path is relatively even, but also a bit more slippery. We followed the signposted hiking trail. The natural path is uneven, full of roots and stones. It is not easy to walk in some places and you should have good shoes and some surefootedness.
At the end of the hiking trail, you pass the summer toboggan run in the valley, which had some enthusiastic riders of all ages during our visit. But we were drawn further, we wanted to go to the reservoir.
Walk by the lake – an end to the day
After crossing under the main road (the tunnel is by the small shop at the car park), we arrived at the lake. On the shore of the lake is a large apartment complex and there is a marina. The shore promenade is well developed, there are some restaurants, ice cream shops and the possibility to rent boats. There is also a larger boat that sails across the lake during the season.
We walked to a small country train on which there is a large work of art. Somehow it reminded me of Janosch’s tiger duck.
I can understand the nickname of the lake Jihočeské moře (South Bohemian Sea) or Šumavské moře (Šumava Sea) as we stand on the shore. The water glistens in the sun and I can’t see the end of the lake. Simply beautiful! Simply recreation!
Lipno nad Vltavou 307
382 78 Lipno nad Vltavou
Opening hours treetop path Lipno
November-March: 10-16 h
April, May, October: 10am-6pm
June-September: 9:30am – 7pm
July, August: 9:30am – 11pm
with Lipno Card
Ascent and descent by chairlift
Adults: 50 CZK
Adults: 270 CZK
without Lipno Card
Ascent and descent by chairlift
Adults: 50 CZK
Adults: 300 CZK
Discounts are offered.