At the start of the 2022 summer holiday season, the first Via Ferrata in Galicica National Park was opened. This new adventure provides a different way of experiencing the nature and panoramic values of the park. The Via Ferrata named “Dobroja” (the local name for the Juniperus foetidissima tree species), was built with the financial support of PONT, within the project “Adventure Zone in Galicica National Park”. The goal of the project was to attract new categories of visitors, that would increase the total number of visitors to the park while directing their activities to the parts of the park that have a higher carrying capacity for visitation, and away from the more vulnerable parts (“zone of strict protection”).
Dobroja can be reached from the Korita picnic area, along an easy 1.2km long hiking trail with an
average duration of 30 minutes. The starting point of the Via Ferrata is at an altitude of 1465 m, and the highest point is at 1685 m. The total length of the Via Ferrata is 535m, of which 145m is climbing vertical rocks, properly equipped with stairs. The rest is walking on exposed terrain, provided with a safety line (metal rope), in continuity along the entire length. The vertical sections are divided into three segments, with lengths of 40m, 52m, and 53m, with options between them for a safe exit of the Via Ferrata and going down on an easy hiking trail. The most complex and difficult segment is the last one, aer which the Via Ferrata continues along exposed mountain terrain for a length of 210m, from where it descends along an easy hiking trail to the starting point and the Korita picnic area.
The Alpine Club Patagonia Ohrid provides safety equipment and guides for the groups who want to explore this adventure and the Ohrid Red Cross Mountain Rescue Service will take care of the safety. Both organisations are currently in the process to formulate a follow-up grant with PONT to expand their activities in cooperation with the Public Institution Galicica National Park.