Length: 17 km
Altitude metres: 500 altitude metres
Ascent: per bike, shuttle
Recommended bike: Trail bike, Enduro, eMTB
Biking technique: ●●●○○
Biking fun: ●●●●●
If you thought that trail centres only exist in the UK, then you haven’t met Dixi and Anej Strucl yet. Father and son have created a small trail paradise - the Jamnica Single Trail Park - in Slovenia near the Austrian border to Carinthia.
Heart of the trail park is Ecohotel Koros - an old farm like many others on the surrounding hills. Surrounded by a green landscape and in the middle of the mountain, the farm is located on a large clearing with view to the Karavankas and Petzen. The location is the calm anchor as well as the meeting point of the international biker scene. Among other things, the Enduro World Series stopped here in 2018. The Black Hole Enduro Festival, organised by Anej and Dixi, is staged here every year. It seems anyway as if Anej and Dixi both play central roles when it comes to mountain biking in Slovenia.
Immersing into another world
We take the map of the Jamnica Trail Park and are fascinated by the wide range of trails crossing this small mountain. The highest point of the park, around 150 altitude metres above Ecohotel, is the ideal starting point. Around 300 altitude metres must be conquered from here to the lowest point in the valley, and this on the finest natural single trails. The character of the trails is always natural – fine forest soil, many curves, roots and every now and then some rocks. The trails meander artfully between the trees; sometimes along a small stream, sometimes alongside a pasture but mostly through the forest, so that you can fully focus on you biking and the trail. Some of the trails have been upgraded with wood elements, banked curves and small jumps but the interventions are minimal. Nature is clearly the predominant factor here. However, the trails are rather challenging and in part quite steep and therefore not suitable for beginners.
Once arrived at the bottom, we encounter something new to us: an uphill trail. The narrow path winds its way uphill through sheer endless curves back to the top of the hill - and we love it. The ascent is almost as much fun as the downhill ride. And we ask ourselves again why the ascent is so terribly neglected in other regions. After all, it is an elementary part of biking especially time-wise. The uphill trail ends below Ecohotel - many other trails branch off from here. They are connected by the gently ascending forest road.
There are many trails around Ecohotel Koros - too many for one day. They are the perfect starting point to escape everyday life, just for getting away for a while here in this Slovenian natural and cultural landscape. A perfect symbiosis - this calm anchor at the mountain with the wild trails in the forest.
Alpine biking in Slovenia
For longer stays, you should look further. Slovenia is still an outdoor insider tip. Of course, canoeists know the Soca Valley - the Julian Alps however also offer mountain bikers a sheer endless playground, even if it is in part quite karstic. A highlight are definitely the subterranean mountain bike tours. The municipality of Prevalje is home of the accessible Mezica mine. The Black Hole Enduro Trail - a unique experience and a challenging trail which runs up to eight kilometres through old tunnels - was created in 2018. But there is still plenty to discover aboveground in Slovenia. With 2,864 metres in height, the Julian Alps also accommodate Slovenia’s highest mountain - the Triglav. This mountain accompanies you often especially when biking in the Soca Valley - it sits rugged and impressively high above the valley. The mix of rugged peaks and in part quite gentle hills characterise the landscape of Slovenia just as much as the many turquoise blue rivers. This contrasting region is perfect for exploring by mountain bike - wild trails in dizzy heights, challenging paths in forests and leisurely discovery tours along the rivers in which you can cool down after your adventure.
Apart from the diverse nature, you also constantly encounter history which has created a special ambience here. Remains of the mountain wars in the 1920s can still be found along old paths. A war of positions was fiercely battled here and, just like Roman history, created many paths but even more suffering for the local population.
The feeling you get here repeatedly is deep, honest amazement. An amazement about the quiet and solitude, the accessibility due to diverse trails, the historic witnesses, the rugged mountains as well as the lakes and rivers in a colour you hardly find any longer in the Alps.
Especially worth mentioning for families is the region around Lake Bled. Leisurely tours along the lake at the border of the Triglav National Park are available for bikers in designated areas. The national park is unique in Europe; left almost untouched, here you experience nature as you still can only in Canada or New Zealand. The Pokjuka and the Jelovica Mountains are only a stone’s throw away from Bled. An abundance of single trails is waiting for you there. These trails are still absolute insider tips in biker circles. Pioneer spirit dominates here; experience discovery.