Nature Trail around the Vajgar Pond, Trail through Jindřišské Valley
Jindra’s Nature Trail
After a walk around the town, we can set out to explore its surroundings. Jindra’s Nature Trail will guide us on a walk in the countryside; part is in the town along the banks of the Vajgar Pond and the next part is a 10km hiking trail called Greenways, which will lead us through the local natural gem called Jindřišské Valley. However, we do not have to walk along the entire Greenways trails in one day, it is possible to combine the walk with another attraction – the narrow-gauge railway (apart from motor-coach trains, steam engines run here in summer) with stops distributed at ideal intervals – in thirds of the trail: in Jindřiš (above the town), Blažejov and Malý Ratmírov.
We must mention that information boards along the trail also contain tales from Jindra the frog, which are suitable for pre-school children, so the trip may be attractive for families with small children as well (however, the trail is not passable everywhere for baby carriages).
We will start the trip on Masarykovo square, at the information board located on the edge of the park; we continue along Panská Street and across Náměstí míru square in the direction of the Vajgar pond; we walk along Rybniční Street and continue along Vídeňská and Jáchymova Street up to the small forest called Slavíkův lesík. We enter the forest near the bus stop and walk across the forest up to the path leading along the bank of the Vajgar pond. The Nature Trail continues along the bank where it starts, in the entire town part of Jindra’s Nature Trail. Information boards will provide us with historical, scientific and environmental facts regarding the Vajgar pond.
The trail will lead us below the local indoor swimming pool with a modern water park, which includes, apart from a recreational and children’s swimming pool, several water rides. We come to a children’s rope playground located directly below the water park, where children can have a good time. Near the mouth of the Hamerský stream to the pond, the trail leads upward to the bypass and then it is necessary to go back down the steps. The trail’s last information board is located in front of Denisova Street. If we decide to stop the walk here, we turn left into Denisova Street and keep walking along Vajgar. We pass the town swimming area, which offers refreshments and tennis and volleyball courts. When we get below the Church of St. John the Baptist, we walk up the steps to the church and along Svatojánská and Panská Street we get back to Masarykovo square.
If we want to go on a longer trip outside the town, we turn at the last information board and follow the red tourist signs until the end of Jindra’s Nature Trail. Information boards will also inform us about natural, historical and environmental facts regarding the places mentioned below. In this case we walk below the bypass; and across the footbridge we get to places with interesting wetland communities. First, we see wetland alder growth and then wetland meadows with a peat bog on the alluvial plain of Hamerský stream. The countryside seems to be inhospitable at first sight but hosts many protected plant species, which we can read about on the information boards along the trail. The short part between the garden allotments leads us to the Town Forest, where we come across another local historical attraction: the operating narrow-gauge railway to Nová Bystřice. We soon leave the Town Forest and from the trail have an interesting view of the naturally serpentine bed of Hamerský stream and its vast alluvial plain. The next road will take us over the Baroque bridge with a statue of St. John of Nepomuk to Jindřiš, one of the oldest villages in the surroundings. We will learn more about it from the board located opposite the local pub. After passing Jindřiš, we enter an approximately 6km long part leading through the picturesque Jindřišské Valley. It will capture our eye especially due to its preserved, natural talus forests between Jindřiš and Blažejov or the beech wood and fir forests in the part closer to Malý Ratmírov. Before Blažejov we continue along the red tourist trail up to the turning to Vítkův Castle; we climb up the wooded promontory, where we will find tiny remains of the walls and traces of the castle’s foundations, which were probably built by Vítek of Hradec sometime during the 13th century. The entire valley hosts many interesting plant and animal species; recent mycological research has also brought interesting results. The last information board is located in front of the recreational area in Malý Ratmírov, where we can swim in one of the oldest man-made reservoirs in the Jindřichův Hradec region – Ratmírovský pond. Particularly the sandy beaches on its west side are used for recreation. The pond is partially surrounded by privately-owned houses, so access is somewhat limited. After refreshments in one of the local pubs we can take the local narrow-gauge railway from Malý Ratmírov to Jindřichův Hradec.
The Nature Trail is around 12 km long; it may be walked in both directions and you can start from any place.
A grant totalling CZK 280,000.00 was provided for the project “Completing Jindra’s Nature Trail” and its promotion as part of the Grant Program of the Action Programme Plan for the Development of the South Bohemia Region for 2007.