Natural attractions

Protected landscape area (PLA) of the Jeseníky region

The administration of PLA Jeseníky mountains, Šumperská 93, 790 01 Jeseník; 584 402 228, tel./fax: 584 403 050
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Mountains with forests and rounded ridges, sources of viva aqua flowing down deep valleys, hundred years old virgin forests transferring into the mountain tundra, stone seas, glacial kettles with falling avalanches, wild mountain becks with silver white waterfalls and transparent mossy pools, mysterious moor lands full of legends about dwarfs, flowery mountain meadows and long mountain villages with old cottages fitted into valleys, harmonious nature, in which we try to seek and find inspiration, this is the Jeseníky mountains...

Protected territory of the Jeseníky mountains is situated on the Northern edge of Moravia and Czech part of Silesia on the border between the Moravian-Silesian and the Olomouc region on the territory of districts Bruntál, Jeseník and Šumperk.
The region includes the Hrubý Jeseník mountains and adjoining parts of Hanušovická and Zlatohorská highlands. The relief corresponds to the ragged mountainous area with deeply cut valleys and long rounded ridges. Geologically is this area formed by mainly acid minerals with low content of nutrients (gneiss, philites). The main representative of soils is the cambium podsoles, in the upper locations there is the majority of humus-iron podsoles, which are sometimes like swamps and moor lands.

Potential vegetation represent flowery and acidic mountain beech wood, in upper locations natural pine grove, alpine phytocoenose and upland moor. Scrub is here the derived evergreen tree species. The absence of scrubs in the original vegetation is one of the reasons for enormous variety of species in some localities of alpine zone. (For example there are listed 450 species of higher plants in Velká kotlina, it is the most abundant botanical locality in the Czech Republic.)
Climatically is the majority of the territory classed into the cold zone, crests belonging to the coldest areas in the Czech Republic. (Praděd has the annual precipitation of 1440 mm and average annual temperature of 0,9°C). An important phenomenon is the anemoorographic system, which took a significant part in the creation of glacial kettles and their flower abundance.

The protected landscape area of the Jeseníky mountains was declared in 1969 on the area of 740 km2. The highest mountain is the top of the Praděd with the altitude 1492 metres above the sea level. The area is covered from 80 % with forests, mainly secondary pine grove or beech wood with mosaic well-preserved rests of natural forests. The most precious area of the protected territory is protected in 4 national natural reservations (Praděd, Šerák – Keprník, Rejvíz, Moorland Skřítek), 18 natural reservations and 6 natural monuments. Their goal is to hand over the landscape and natural heritage in the most preserved condition to future generations.

Basic data:
Area: 740 km2
Geographical orientation: 49° 54´ -50° 18´N, 17° 00´- 17° 24´E
Altitude: 339 - 1492 m (Praděd)
Declared by: The decree of Ministry of Culture of Czechoslovakia no. 9886/1969
Small size areas particularly protected territory in the PLA:
- 4 national natural reservations
- 18 natural reservations
- 6 natural monuments

Further is the national natural reservation Kralický Sněžník and national natural monuments Na Špičáku, Ptačí hora, Rešovské waterfalls, Velký Roudný, Venušiny Misky, Na Pomezí caves and Borový in the scope of the PLA Jeseníky administration.


The mountain saddle of Skřítek divides in the south mountain range of Hrubý Jeseník from Hraběšická vysočina highlands and it is situated in the altitude of 877 metres above sea level. Due to its location it is a starting point for many touristic destinations. The most popular ones include mainly the route going along the mountain ridge towards Jelení studánka, Petrovy kameny and Ovčárna.
In the Saddle there is a peat bog with an area of 166 hectares – it is a national nature reserve which is not accessible to public. The central part of the reserve is of a tundra nature with the individual specimens of Carpathian birch, pools and wetland.

Rešov Falls

Rešov Falls is a national natural monument. One of the most beautiful waterfalls in the Czech Republic is situated on the river Huntava that runs through the Skalsky moors north of the upper part. In a rocky gorge 200m long are numerous cascades and waterfalls accessible by wooden ladders and platforms. The highest waterfall has a height of about 10 m. The whole area of 6 hectares is covered with natural pine forests. Under the Falls once worked a water mill. The area is crossed by three marked hiking trails. Near the waterfalls a cycling path leads from the rocks to Castle Sovinec.

Nature reserve Slatinný Creek

The Nature Reserve Slatinný Creek was established in 2002 and covers an area of 5.38 hectares. Protected wet mud and peat meadows springs in the headwaters of the tributaries of Slatinný stream. Hosts a number of endangered and vanishing species of plants, which include a kropenáč hardy, buckbean and more. In May the orchids come out. Specially protected species include toads, great crested newts, common newts, adders, corncrakes and snipes. The meadow is mowed by hand in an effort to maintain biodiversity.

Water fall White Opava

Bílá Opava begins between Peter's stones and Praděd at an altitude of 1260m. It's about 13 km from the mouth at Vrbno Pradědem to Central Opava. The uppermost section consists of rapids, cascades and waterfalls, white water, deep troughs and huge boulders. In many places it changes annually, boulders are moved and there are hurtling rocks, there are slope landslides. The largest waterfall White Opava is 7.9 m. tall with gneiss plates beneath also called giant pots which are well known in the Giant Mountains and Bohemian Mumlava but in Jeseníky are quite rare.

Peter´s Stones

Peter's stones are a rock wall on the main ridge of Hrubý Jeseník. In the past it was the setting of witch covens. The rock formation is 7m high and its width is 25m. The local nature reserve is involved in the conservation of species and protecting the rich, flowery, subalpine meadow, the surrounding vegetation and the rocks which host more endemic vegetation and rare plant species. There is a circular view from Praděd of Mravenečníku, the Wild Desna Valley and Bílá Opava. The S and NE slopes of Peter's stones are some of the most popular ski areas in Moravia.

Praděd mountain

Praděd at an altitude of 1491 m is seen as the highest mountain in Hrubý Jeseník. At the top is a 162m high television tower with an observation point. In a Northerly direction you can see Poland. From the NW you can see the Krkonoše Mountains. The cottage is close to Švýcárna and the ridge trails on Keprník and Šerák. To the SE you can see Lysá hora and Radhošť in Beskydy. Under good conditions you can see as far as the High Tatras and Mala Fatra in the Slovak Republic and the Alps in Austria.

Water divide between the Oder - Danube frontier

The main ridge of Jeseník Hrubý is the main European water divide between the Oder - Danube frontier, and thus the two drainage areas of the Baltic and Black Sea. The interface between the basins of the Opava River, a tributary of the Odra and the Morava River, a tributary of the Danube, from the Skřítek at the southern ends of the main ridge continue in a south-easterly direction across the southern surroundings. Rýmařov, Ondřejov and Stranské Ryžoviště form a very flat saddle between Lomnice and Dětřichov and over the top of Bystřicí Slunečné.

Nature reserve Krahulčí

The wetlands Nature Preserve in Krahulčí is found northwest of the village of Krahulčí. In the wetland areas in the Trusovická floodplain of the river are interesting occurrences of numerous populations of threatened species of wetland plants. The main reason for the protection is the critically endangered great fen ragwort that has one of the richest populations in the country here. Other rare plants found here are the endangered Gladiolus imbricatus (sword lily), an endangered Dactylorhiza majalis and willow Salix rosmarinifolia. It is a spawning ground for e.g. brown frogs. The natural regeneration of plants is encouraged with the regular mowing of the meadows.

Nature park Údolí Bystřice

The natural Park is located at the southwest edge of the Domašovské Highlands in the River Valley Bystřice. The river here has created a deep valley with rocky canyons, rocky bluffs and stone debris. In areas where there are stem tributaries we can see the preserved remnants of peat meadows in the valleys of the wet meadows. The steep forested slopes were seen as high-quality forests in places like this. The natural park is a nature reserve which contains the Hrubovodské rubble stone monument and natural streams. The distinctive charm of the river valley Bystřice is completed by high bridges and tunnels from the railways between Olomouc and Krnov.

The “Velká kotlina” Educational Footpath

The “Velká Kotlina” (The Large Basin) educational footpath is undoubtedly the most attractive tourist path in the protected landscape area of the Jeseníky Mountains and in the “Praděd” national nature reserve. “Velká Kotlina” is one of the most valuable and interesting mountainous areas in the “Hrubé Jeseníky” (High Jeseníky Mountain) range, a well preserved area of great scientific significance in Central Europe. There are approximately 480 species of higher plants and about 40 species of plant communities. The educational path begins in the western part of Karlov pod Pradědem (a village belonging to Malá Morávka), at an altitude of 760 m above sea level, and continues up the river Moravice, crossing the territory of the Praděd national nature reserve towards the glacial cirque (bowl) at an altitude of 1180 metres above sea level; the path then leads to the spring of the Moravice river and to the vantage point over the Temná mountain top, at an altitude of 1370 metres above sea level. The overall length of the path is 5.5 km, climbing 610 metres. There are seven information boards along the trail, giving details about all the important and interesting facts and phenomena. For more information see, e.g.:,


This trail crosses the Rejvíz national nature reserve in the Zlatohorská Highlands, east of the town of Jeseník; this nature reserve protects the largest peat bog area in Moravia and Silesia. It has two small lakes: “Velké mechové”, which is accessible to the public, and “Malé mechové”, access to the latter being prohibited. The peat bog was formed in the postglacial era and its exceptional natural environment has been preserved thanks to the climatic conditions in this region. Besides the typical peat vegetation, there is also the original “borovice blatka” (a subspecies of the mountain pine, “Pinus rotundata”), the Carpathian birch tree, and spruce stands. Among other rare plants there grows the carnivorous round-leaved sundew, “vstavač plamatý” – a Czech species of orchid, and others. The trail runs southwest from the cottage on the western edge of the village of Rejvíz, and is 2 kilometres long. There are five information boards that provide descriptions of the most significant aspects of the nature reserve.

The Educational Footpath in Horní Město

This path has 17 stops marking some of the most interesting facts in the history of the mining industry in the North Moravian and Silesian region and, especially, as related to the Horní Město settlement. Nowadays it is only the names of the towns or villages and their coats of arms that remind one of the fact that, in this region, metals were extracted for centuries. In the territory of Horní Město there used to be silver mines; in the year 1398 here used to be the hamlet called Hankštejn; mining activities lasted for eight centuries and they were ended in the year 1970. Source:

The Shepherd’s Educational Footpath

This path leads the visitors around the farm and is mainly devoted to the breeding of the endangered species of the “Wallachian sheep”. A special attraction of this path is the practical part where, according to simple instructions, the visitor himself can try processing the wool and, at the end, he leaves with his own hand-made local wool product. The youngest visitors will experience a fairy tale that they have certainly not read yet; it was written specially about the Wallachian sheep from the village of Stránské and it explains why the Wallachian sheep are raised here of all the places. The fairy tale is also presented in the form of a colouring book; thus visitors of all ages can enjoy this educational path. In the winter season, the practical part takes place inside the farm buildings; the visitors can thus warm up while manufacturing their products in a pleasant atmosphere by the brick stove that dominates the premises.


The Strálek Educational Footpath

The starting point of the trail is the archaeological site “Hrádek” (the Small Castle) across the road from the “Excelent” (sic) brewery in Rýmařov. The path leading to the ruins of “Strálek” Castle is about 4 kilometres long and is marked by six information boards; on four of these boards there are legends and historical facts related to the ruins of “Strálek” Castle and to the town of Rýmařov, the others focus on natural sites. The trail leads along a field road and is also suitable for families with children.

The Janovice – Rabštejn Educational Footpath

The starting point of this trail is the “Janovice” Chateau, that used to be the Harrachs' residence for centuries, the chateau brewery and the extensive chateau park. From here the trail continues partly along the tourist marked route to the ruins of the Castle of Rabštejn. Only the rocks of which the castle walls used to be built have been preserved, therefore the adjacent rocks nowadays mainly serve as climbing walls for sports people and as a vantage point for tourists. The path is approximately 12 kilometres long and has nine information boards with the following topics: the history of the “Janovice” Chateau, legends about the “Janovice” area, natural attractions of the “Hochwald” woods, the “Pstruží potok” (Trout Brook) nature reserve, information about the “Jeseníky” Mountains protected landscape area and its fauna, brief history, legends and description of the “Rabštejn” Castle location. This educational footpath is designed for all categories of tourists.

The Ryžoviště - Břidličná Footpath

The starting point in Rýžoviště is behind the elementary school in the village. The theme of the trail is information about the history of the village, about gold panning in the village, and about natural attractions in the surrounding area, with examples from the local fauna and flora. There are six stops marked by educational boards. The route leads to the top of the “Výšina” Hill (682 metres above sea level), where there is a vantage point. After a short ridge section, it climbs down towards the small slate lakes in Břidličná. Here there are information boards dealing with the history and legends related to the surrounding area, as well as with the fauna and flora of these lakes.

Partneři Turistického informačního centra Rýmařov