The Sokolia dolina gorge is the hidden gem of the Slovak Paradise National Park, a beautiful wilderness dotted with wonderful waterfalls, the tallest of which reaches nearly 250 feet (75 meters) high.
There are several other trails in the aptly named Slovak Paradise that are considered highlights of the park— such as Suchá Belá, via ferrata Kyse, or Prielom Hornádu—but on this maybe even more beautiful hike you will meet only a few tourists, even in the high summer season.
The trail leads through a spectacular, almost untouched forest environment. If you’re lucky you might encounter some wild animals such as deer, chamois, or even lynx. But the top attraction of the trail are surely the waterfalls. There are several, equipped with wooden and iron ladders and bridges you can use to climb around the falls. The highest of them, Závojový waterfall, is a real test of your courage, which is rewarded with a beautiful view from the top.
Know Before You Go
The best time to visit the gorge is in spring and autumn, after rainy days, when the waterfalls have a really large flow. If you need any other information before you start the hike, visit the tourist information centre in Čingov or write an e-mail on firstname.lastname@example.org.
The easiest access to the trail is from tourist centre Čingov, near the town of Spišská Nová Ves. The whole round hike with start and finish in Čingov may take you about 6 hours, so it is good to start in the morning. The trail through the gorge is passable just one way (from the bottom to the top), so you have to return by another trail. But don't worry, all the trails are well marked so that you will hardly get lost there. You don't need to take any special equipment with yourself, just your hiking boots and a waterproof jacket.