Walking is not only healthy but also a great way to discover more details you’d notice through a window of a car or speeding on your bike. For those who’re into breaking their steps-of-the-day records, we offer several routes – nature trails, or, as we call them in Lithuania, cognitive trails, – in and around Kaunas – which hide very different, but in all cases impressive landscapes.
This year, with the pandemic situation around the world, for many travellers. in nature became one of the safest ways to spend their holidays. Lithuania is perfect for that! Nature trails can be found in the most beautiful, gorgeous corners of our region and country, and can be used for both short and long walks. Travellers here have the opportunity to spend time in the fresh air, get closer to nature and relax completely before getting back to Kaunas or heading to their next destination.
Cognitive Trail of Pažaislis
Pažaislis Monastery is one of the most beautiful and amazing baroque buildings in North-Eastern Europe. Next to it, you can also find Kaunas Lagoon and the cognitive trail, which is located on the Petrašiūnai peninsula on the shore of Kaunas Lagoon. The trail, which stretches along the coast and slopes of the lagoon and connects the beach with the Pažaislis heath, leads nature-loving walkers through the forest, turns around the ensemble of the Pažaislis monastery, leads along the slopes of the lagoon through the woods to Kaunas Yacht Club. During this trip on cognitive trails, you have an opportunity to see probably the most beautiful panoramas of Kaunas Lagoon, and you will be able to try to visit other places here. We can suggest that this educational trail is an ideal place to watch the sunrise. The total length of the trails is about 2 km. By the way, a great place to visit is the hospitality complex “Monte Pacis”
Cognitive Trail of Jiesia
Jiesia State Landscape Reserve is a territory in Kaunas city and Kaunas district. In the reserve area, which covers 447.6 ha., you can find the protected landscape of the Jiesia Valley with spectacular outcrops and erosive slopes, rare species of plants and animals. The reserve is equipped with a place for nature walks and walks and the ongoing Jiesia Cognitive Trail, which is about 2 km long. Following this path, at least three outcrops open up, and when you stop there, you can admire not only the bends of the Jiesia River but also the slopes, vegetation and outcrops here. We recommend that you prepare the cameras for breathtaking shots and urge you to remain alert and careful - the slopes of the Jiesia stream are really steep.
Cognitive Trail of Kamša Reserve
This is a cognitive trail starting on the campus of the Academy and going through the Kamša Botanical and Zoological Reserve. The total length of the path is about 1.5 km long, so it is an excellent solution for those who are into short but pleasant walks. Information stands can be found on this trail - a walk will not only benefit your body but will also enrich your knowledge of the local flora and fauna. The cognitive trail can be completed by lending down the stairs towards the Kaunas - Kačerginė bicycle path. Cyclists should not be disappointed - these stairs are adapted for you too, you can take your bikes here by driving it to a specially adapted area on the side of the stairs to up or down.
Geological Trail of Žiegždriai
The trail, which starts near Žiegždriai, lasts about 1.6 km long, so, like Kamša Cognitive Trail, it is popular among travellers who give priority to short and comfortable walks in the fresh air. For those who are interested in geology, this trail is a great opportunity to learn to “read” the history of the country’s depths, written in the layers of its crust. The cognitive path is distinguished by the outcrops and ditches of clays and conglomerates. A conglomerate is a cement formed from lime, clay and gravel since the ice age. The length of the exposure is as high as 400 m long, and the height is 22 m long. Along this trail, you can find the thickest, century-old lime tree in the vicinity of Kaunas Lagoon, which is 4.3 m thick.
Cognitive Trail of Juniper Valley / Arlaviškė
In Arlaviškės village, almost above Kaunas lagoon, the edge of the incline here winds through the Arlaviškės cognitive footpath. On the continuing trail, which is nearly 1.3 km long, you will find not only information stands but also wooden benches and playgrounds. A few years ago - in 2016 - this juniper valley trail was chosen as the most beautiful cognitive trail in Lithuania. A panorama of the widening Nemunas and Dabinta Island, the Ronakalnis outcrop and even a 5-hectare unique juniper in Lithuania open here, recognized as a natural monument of national significance. Some junipers, which are almost a century old, reach a height of 12.5 meters long.
Reserve District of Dubrava
The entire Dubrava subsoil reserve covers an area of almost 120 ha; here grow pines that can hardly fit in the embrace of one person, and the pines are reaching up to 38 m. height. A swamp occupies about a quarter of the territory of the Dubrava subsoil - the most picturesque part of the cognitive trail - an upland swamp overgrown with lichens and small pines and furrowed with moss stumps. The length of the educational path in reserve is 1.9 km long; it is built through the most amazing places of Dubrava reserve. On extremely windy days, we recommend postponing the trip to this educational trail until the next day. If the wind speed reaches 15 m / s, visiting the Dubrava reserve is dangerous and prohibited, as dry trees may fall. It is also forbidden to touch or move dead trees or climb on the trunks of fallen trees in the reserve, as this can not only severely damage the wildlife here, but you can also injure yourself.
Cognitive Trail of Pakalniškės
Pakalniškės mound is the first object of Pakalniškės cognitive trail, marking the beginning of this trail. The trail winds along the shore of Kaunas Lagoon and leads to Pakalniškės Bay, where Pakalniškės village used to be. Those who are interested in nature and looking not only for places to walk but also want to enrich their knowledge, on this trail, you can see the tuffs forming on the spring slope, learn more about the forest community, see sufos circuses and outcrops. Pakalniškės cognitive trail ends in Girionys, which is almost 3 km long. However, this trail - not a circular one - so you should estimate that those who want to go the whole path from start to finish, back and forth, will have to walk almost 6 kilometres.
Cognitive Trail of Laumėn
This is a wild forest trail for those who like long, active, intense walks, as in some sections of the trail you will have to overcome steep slopes and ditches. This route leads along the coast, on wise trails, the main landmark on this trail is Kaunas Lagoon. However, in order to really protect yourself and not get lost, it will not be enough to be near Kaunas Lagoon - we recommend following the markings on the trees and other signs here. The total length of the trail to one side is almost 5 km long, so those who choose to walk this trail will have to settle for a longer time in the fresh air. Travellers can enjoy the beautiful panoramas of nature, Kaunas Lagoon, the landscape of Pažaislis Monastery, the contours of Pakalniškės and Vieškūnai mounds in the distance. The Žaisa stream and spring water also flow in this path, which is a great place to refresh yourself with cold and, arguably, magical spring water.
Spring Trail in Kačerginė
In the town of Kačerginė, located a little further from Kaunas, a hike on naturally wise trails awaits you. Everyone here can choose the route for themselves - you can choose from 2.6 km., 3.3 km., 4 km., 4.5 km. or 5.5 km long paths where you will walk along the heaths and banks of the Nemunas. On the slopes you can relax and drink spring water - there are at least three such stops for refreshment. This spring water is exceptional, due to its healing properties; it is also used in the sanatorium operating in Kačerginė. The tracks meander through the hills, through the most beautiful sights, natural fields, and the difference in height here sometimes reaches as much as 56 m long. Benches and information signs can be found in all sections of this hiking route, so a hike in the wild nature will be not only fun and full of discoveries, but also convenient for you.
Hiking Trails of Kulautuva
Three epithets could best describe the resort of Kulautuva in the Nemunas Valley: pine forest, peace and interwar romance. Choose one of six different routes - from 2.6 km long to 6 km long. All trails are circular and can be bypassed in a circle. On the nature trail, you will find the Valley of the Gods and Goddesses, with four resorts located here. It is worth noticing that this whole route is hilly, winding through sandy pine forests, with excellent views of the Nemunas arches. About half a kilometre from the start of the trail, on the quarry bank, there is a beach, which has been awarded the Blue Flag, and there is also a wakeboarding park.
When you go on a hike or a walk, wear comfortable shoes and clothes for long walks and bring snacks and water in your backpack. Leaving no trace is also what makes a wise traveller.
P.S. Don’t forget to fully charge your mobile phone batteries so that you can not only enjoy the beautiful nature around you but also share these shots with others. Share these moments with us – tag your photos #kaunastic!
Title photo by A. Aleksandravičius