The system of marked hiking trails in Slovakia belongs to the best in the world. The tradition of trail marking started in the country around 1874, and it now covers more than 14 000 kilometres of trails. This means that Slovakia is among the countries with the best network of marked hiking trails in the world. The unified method of marking means hikers can be confident about finding the right paths. The signs include the length of a hike and information about the expected duration of a hike.
Trail marking is especially detailed at crossroads, where direction arrows provide the most crucial information. All that remains is to follow the three horizontal stripes, usually painted on trees or stones, and allow them to lead you to places worth exploring. You are absolutely free to choose exactly what you want, whether the most popular trails that are rated to be wonderful by lots of visitors, like the Tatra mountains or Slovak Paradise (Slovenský raj), or countless untouched places.
The system of marked hiking trails is so developed, that all you need is a map in your hands and you can cross Slovakia from west to east and from north to south without any other tool or device. If you would like to walk through Slovakia from west to east, just follow the hiking trail – E8 European long distance path, which is an international long distance hiking trail leading across Europe from Ireland to Turkey. The color of this trail is red.
The basic marker is a square sign (10 x 10 cm) consisting of three horizontal stripes. The upper and the lower stripes are white. The middle one is red, blue, green or yellow. Red is used for the most important and long distance routes, blue for routes connecting important places, green for additional routes and finally yellow for short connections between other routes.
All you have to do is to walk carefully and to look for the marks. 🙂
All photos were taken in the High Tatras.