Nature Reserves on the Trnovo Forest Plateau

Nature Reserves on the Trnovo Forest Plateau
Nature Reserves on the Trnovo Forest Plateau

The Trnovo Forest Plateau makes up the extreme northwest part of the Dinaric Alps; it's a karst area with a diverse terrain dotted with hills and vales, caves, shafts and other typical karst features. Mt. Mali Golak (1495 metres) is the highest peak as it towers over the Vipava Valley. The lush forest and bare peaks make for an area of geological interest that attracts hikers and cyclists. The Trnovo Forest Plateau features two nature reserves. 

The first nature reserve is called “Golaki in Smrekova draga” and stretches over an area of bare peaks, which gives shelter to protected plants and various wild animals. The karst sinkhole of Smrekova draga is a typical example of a frost hollow, with an intriguing climate and vegetation inversion.

Meanwhile, the Paradana Nature Reserve features the Big Ice Cave which is a world famous phenomenon due to its textbook vegetation inversion. The cave has massive amounts of ice that used to be harvested and sold to towns and cities, sometimes exported even to faraway Egypt.
The natural monument of Smrečje is another fascinating frost hollow with a distinct vegetation and temperature inversion. This reserve is completely left up to nature and untouched by human intervention.

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