Ecopath Beli Iskar

 

Ecopath Beli Iskar is situated right at the entrance of Rila National Park. It was named after the eponymous river, meandering around throughout its full length. In addition to the picturesque scenery, the river has a length of 7.5km and a small height difference of 300m. It is easily accessible and the places for relaxation are abundant. It is suitable for small children. The path starts just where Beli Iskar ends. The route is recluse and can be covered in no more than two and a half hours. There are seven bridges built along the trail that cross the river Beli Iskar. The fourth bridge is the longest one. The highest point on the path is 1380m. Here you can find the typical for the location: strawberries, nifty geranium, yarrow, thyme and bilberry. The information boards help to identify every plant available to see, such as: the Balkan broom, pansy, red avens, ball stitchwort, Icelandic moss, reclining sandwort, deer bell and many others. It is home to the golden eagle and wild cat.

 

The trail is located just outside the Rila National Park. It was named after the eponymous river, meandering around throughout its full length. No matter which of the two streams you take, there is no way you can miss something along the way. The destination of the ecopath was not chosen randomly- Beli Iskar’s valley has a weather and topography that is very common for the whole Rila Mountain region. A valley with narrow gorges a riverside landscape, interesting rock formations, pine forests and a lack of sudden temperature fluctuation.

 

There are seven bridges over the Beli Iskar River where you can cross. Stepping on the first bridge we can see right opposite us, the area of Eagle Rocks. Its highest point is Sokolets peak, with an altitude of 2021m. On the right side (to the east) of the Beli Iskar valley, we can see some of the river’s tributaries- all of which give names to small valleys in the region, such as: Pastrumski Dol, Eremski Dol, Lower Suhar and Higher Suhar. Passing by the sixth bridge we are faced with the rocky areas- Samokovshte and Vidnishte. There is the highest point of the trail- 1380m.

 

If we “mind our feet” along the way, we can see with a naked eye, some of the typical for the area, strawberry nifty geranium, yarrow, thyme and bilberry. With the help of the information boards you can easily find the Balkan broom, pansy, red avens, ball stitchwort, Icelandic moss, reclining sandwort, deer bell and many others.

 

If you’re in the right season, you can easily see mushrooms like the agaric, parasol, mountain Puffball and others. Be warned though, this is a protected area and picking, trimming, towing and other such actions that can harm the natural environment are strictly forbidden. In case you think you won’t be caught and fined, then at least think of your children- let’s not destroy and leave this place be, so that they too can see it one day.

 

One of the signs tells us we have come to the home of the Golden Eagle and the chamois. If you’re looking at the rocks you can’t miss seeing them. The eagle is impressive. It has a body length of 90cm and can spread its wings up to 225cm. The chamois, on the other hand, is the symbol of the Rila National Park. Don’t look for white moving dots along the rocks- the chamois has red fur during the summer and dark brown fur during the winter. Unfortunately both species are endangered and this is one of the places they can be seen with a naked eye.

Along the trail you will be able to see lots of birds: sokeritsa, Chaffinch, Coal Tit, missel, Grey Wagtail, raven, grouse - all protected species. With a little bit of luck you can encounter some of the mammals like: the marten, wolf, brown bear, deer and wild boar.

 

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