Useful Links - and not only for Visitors to the Pilsen Region
The canyon of Vydra, the most beautiful Šumava river, with its rapids, strewn with granite boulders, is one of the most attractive tourist destinations in the Šumava National Park. Along the stretch from Čeňkova Pila up to Antygl leads the trail and halfway along, at Turner's cottage, children especially will be delighted by Vydrýsek.
The starting point of this trip is what was originally a woodworkers’ settlement at Srní Wood, nowadays a dynamically developing holiday resort. The village centre with a number of guesthouses and hotels, is clustered around Holy Trinity Cathedral, whilst a number of houses represent local folk architecture in its full glory. Here is the widely-known sprawling cottage No. 46, which was a gamekeeper's lodge in the now traditional films of Gajer V. with Tomáš Holý starring: "Under Badger Rock," "The Poacher's Trail" and "The Sloe Bush".
The first part of our trip leads along the yellow trail and road to the village of Dolní Hrádky. A little bit above the picturesque renovated pension "Liška" we turn into the woods onto a path and begin to climb.
Through the meadows above the valley of the river Vydra are scattered mainly mountain holiday cottages and near the crossroads at Horní Hrádky can be found the hotel Kamenný dům , a rebuilt inn from Klostermann’s novel. Past the last of the isolated houses on the steeply sloping valley our trail turns off onto a rocky forest trail and we are descending steeply into the valley. We are accompanied by the magic nature and through the air is already carried the moisture and the noise of the wildly rushing mountain stream. The river Vydra flows here through a narrow canyon and creates numerous rapids and cascades. The yellow signs now leads us along the river over the boulders at the edge of the riverbed. Behind the bridge at the former Hálkova chata (cottage), which before 1938 was the only Czech cottage on the river Vydra (demolished in 2001), we will join the educational trail. We go down a gentle descent along a paved forest path and we can see on the opposite slopes rock formation "Hrádky", the most important of which were aptly named “Virgin”, “Monk” and the rocking stone “Old Woman”.
On the way to Turner's cottage we are fascinated by the stone bowl-shaped boulders, made by the raging river over the ages. To each trip deserves a proper seating and refreshments, which directly appertains to Turner's cottage. This stylish log house dating from 1934, preserved in its original form, with an open fireplace and patio, is an oasis of calm right in the middle of nature. In the area of the cottage we can watch a carefully constructed otter pen. It is living proof that this river did not received its name from a water predator by chance. Usually, there are also present pine martens, badgers, foxes and basking on the rocks we can also observe the lynx.
During our journey we pass through the romantic valley and pass numerous boulder seas originated in Quaternary ice period. The river will lead us to Čeňkova pila near the confluence of Vydra and Kremelna, where the second largest Šumava river, the Otava, comes into being. Lively economic activity, derived from a local sawmillmill, a wood depot, raft manufacture or the shipping canal, has now been substituted by tourism. Behind the bridge we are invited to visit a traditional restaurant; and a top water-power station, using water from the Vchynicko Tetovský canal, now a still-operational technical site, where a permanent museum exhibit, "Šumava Energy" is housed.
The last stage of our trip leads along the blue trail and we are awaited by a mostly steep climb above the valley along roads and forest paths.