The places written with bold characters in the text show the marked places in the Route-Altitude diagram.
We stamp in our completion booklets at the ticket office of the small railway station of Nógrád village, and begin the next hike through the hills of Cserhát county. We leave the railway station, turn onto the narrow asphalt road and cross the railway line at the barrier (Nógrád village, railway station). The walk continues straight at the junction and we reach again the houses of the settlement. The route of the Blue Trail runs on the long Kossuth Lajos Street until the border of the village.
The asphalt road crosses the small Fekete-víz Brook in a shallow valley and we turn off left at the first dirt road. After about a 700 step long walk we notice the wheel tracks branching off to the right. The tracks climb the ridge across the cultivated area, it is worth turning back at the tallest point. A beautiful panorama opens from that place towards the village and the castle of Nógrád. The peaks of the northern ridge of Börzsöny Mountains stand in the background. The tracks cross the wide ridge and continue in the forest.
Our route slopes down into the next valley and after a while leaves the woods. We are standing at the edge of a long and narrow grassy meadow, which is located on the bottom of the valley. We cross it, reach the alley at the other edge and the railway line appears behind the trees. The dirt road crosses the Fekete-víz Brook and the rails again (Crossing of the railway), they went around that long hill, what we climbed in the previous minutes, and we step into the forest again.
The strong uphill climb begins immediately after the railway line. The path is very steep in the first minutes, later the ascent becomes be a little bit softer. After a few minutes we cross a big patch of the new forest, unfortunately the two-three metres tall trees cover already the view opening back towards the valley. We reach a small plateau here, the dirt road crosses it meanderingly, this area is covered by a sparse forest. The dirt road, or rather wheel tracks branch in two different directions here, we must follow the right one.
Later the wheel tracks become a footpath and the climb begins again. This footpath runs on the narrow eastern ridge of the Nagy-Kő-hegy Hill, we reach the top of it on an exhausting upward slope. The path bifurcates in two different directions: the marks go left and the marks go straight. If we follow the path marked with , we reach a wooden shelter after a few dozen steps. We climbed the 383 metres tall peak of Nagy-Kő-hegy (Nagy-Kő-hegy Mountain, resting place)!
A beautiful panorama opens from the top towards the far Danube Bend and the mountains of the Pilis. We can keep a short rest on the wooden benches of the shelter before continue the hike. Don't forget, this place is a stamping place, we can find the box of the Blue Trail's stamp on the wooden pillar of the shelter! After a short pause we can go back to path of the Blue Trail on the other branch of the marks. A long and straight cut-line begins on the top of the Nagy-Kő-hegy and leads us on the wide and only softly sloping southern ridge. We hike about one and a half kilometre in the cut-line until a crossing valley. We turn right here, and our path connects into a dirt road. After a half an hour long walk we reach the border of Magyarkút on this meandering road. Just before the fences of the first houses the Blue Trail turns right, onto a path, cross the Keskeny-bükki-patak Brook after a few hundred steps and joins into the wide dirt road of the valley (Magyarkút village, road to the stamping place).
The marks turn left here, but we have to go right, and follow the rare marks leading on the road, if we want to stamp in our booklets. The stamp is located at the pub named “Kocsma a pipáshoz” on the left side of the road beside the wall of the Irma Spring among the outermost houses of Magyarkút village. The box of the Blue Trail's stamp is equipped on the gate post of the pub's garden. We can keep a short rest at the wooden desks and benches on the yard of the pub. After the rest we can go back to the marks and follow them on the wide dirt road leading in the wide valley of the Keskeny-bükki-patak Brook. There are no upward or downward slopes in the nice valley, the road leads first in the forest, later it reaches the long, grassy meadows. The comfortable hike takes about an hour on this dirt road, at the last section the road leaves the bottom of the valley and climbes a little bit higher in the left hillside.
Suddenly the marks leave this wide, well-trodden road and turn right, among the trees (Turning away from the dirt road). Our path slopes back onto the bottom of the valley, crosses the brook at a small ford and begins to climb on the other hillside. After a little while we get to the plateau, leave the forest, go on at the edge of the cultivated fields and the houses of Szendehely village appear at the other side of the fields. We hike on the dirt road leading on the edge of the fields for a while, and after a small chapel reach the first houses of the settlement.
We walk on the Vörösmarty Street, later turn left onto the Mező Street. There is a right turn at the other end of the Mező Street onto the Petőfi Sándor Street, and the long ridge of the Naszály Mountain appears in front of us. While the asphalt road slopes to the centre of the village, we can admire the panorama of the mountain. Later we will climb that long, forest covered ridge! Szendehely is a bigger settlement, we can buy foods and drinks in the grocery or find accommodation in the Guesthouse named “Szepi Fogadó” in the centre of the village.
We cross the busy main road number 2 on a crosswalk (Szendehely, crossing of the main road), and sink farther on the narrow Szabadság Street. The Blue Trail keeps right at the junction of streets and leaves the last houses of Szendehely on the Dankó Pista Street. The asphalt road finishes at the border of the village, a narrow path goes farther and leads us onto the bottom of the next valley following the small Kapáskúti-patak Brook. We turn right onto the well-trodden dirt road there and walk a few hundred steps until the buildings of the visitor's centre standing on a small clearing. The visitor's centre is located at the junction of different marked trails exactly at the foot of the Naszály Mountain, we can keep a longer rest at the wooden desks and benches. This place is a Blue Trail stamping place, we find the box of the stamp on a wooden column in front of the little building of the ticket office and nick-nack shop (Visitor Center, stamping place).
If we walk on, the and strip marks begin to climb together in the northern side of the Naszály. A lot of different paths start from the visitor's centre, didactic and hiking trails, we must pay attention to the hiker signs! The route of the and marks branches in two direction after two hundred steps, and a very comfortable walk begins in the forest. The climb finishes, the meandering, well-trodden, well-marked path keeps the elevation in the mountainside. We get to the rope suspension bridge after about a twenty minutes long hike. The circa fifteen meter long bridge stands on that place, where the path crosses a wide and deep erosion trench.
The Blue Trail crosses the trench on the bridge and turns right at the branching of hiking paths following the marks. We reach the resting place at the Bik-kút Spring Well after a few minutes. Generally the spring isn’t a permanent one, because it dries out in the hot summers, but we can keep a short rest on the benches of the wooden shelter. We continue the hike at the foot of the long ridge of the Naszály Mountain, but the dirt road, and later the path don’t climb a lot, they go and wave in the same level in the mountainside.
But the comfortable route finishes after about two kilometres, when the path turns suddenly right and a very hard upward slope begins towards the far ridge. We climb about 100 metres, the path turns right again, and continues on the same level again. But this section isn’t as comfortable as before the climb! We walk in the steep, stony, rocky mountainside on a narrow footpath. Fallen trees, rocks obstruct the easy hike there. Later the path begins to climb again, we reach the wide, flat plateau after a few minutes long ascent.
We cross the plateau on the meandering path in the forest, and the upward slope continues towards the highest peak of the Naszály. We get to the 652 metres tall summit after an exhausting climb (Naszály Mountain, geodetic tower)! A cylindrical concrete geodetic survey tower stands on the top, generally its iron door is open. Everybody can climb at his/her own responsibility on the steel ladders to the top level of the tower and admire the beautiful panorama. If the weather is clean enough, we can see even the far Budapest in southern direction, we can follow the long strip of the Danube on the western side and Vác town appears at the foot of the Naszály. The forest covered summits of Pilis Mountains stand in the background in this direction. The Börzsöny Mountains is visible in northern direction and we can see clearly the Castle Hill of Nógrád in the distance. The billowy Hilly Country of Cserhát lies in eastern direction, we will cross it in the next five-six days.
After a short rest we continue our hike. A long downward slope begins at the tower on the eastern ridge of the Naszály Mountain. While we descend on the path, we can admire the nice view towards the next hills and villages. Ősagárd and Felsőpetény villages, our next targets are visible in the valleys among the forest covered hills of Cserhát. Later we reach the forest and the panorama disappears. We get to the foot of the mountain after a half an hour long descent, our route turns left here and reaches the small, grassy meadow of Török-rét Meadow, road junction after a few minutes. The marks cross our way here (we met with them at the visitor's centre already), we pass the signpost standing in the centre of the clearing and step in the forest again on a footpath.
The route of the Blue Trail goes parallel with the well-trodden dirt road named “Agárdi út”, the distance between our path and the road many times only a few steps. At the border of a former clear-cut the path joins to the dirt road and in the junction of roads we have to choose the left one. Our grassy wheel tracks climb the low ridge of Nagy-máj Hill, and descend on the other side. We reach the edge of the forest after a comfortable walk. The dirt road crosses the cultivated field, and bends to the edge of the next forest patch. We turn towards northeast following the wheel tracks, the peaks of the Börzsöny appear again in the distance, later our route turns right, in the forest.
We cross this forest patch and reach the other edge at a lonely farm. The road passes the fenced yard and gets to the cultivated fields again. Two high voltage power lines cross our dirt road, and we reach the first houses of Ősagárd village after few hundred steps. The continuation of the dirt road is the asphalt covered Szabadság Street, we get to the centre of the village on it, while we pass a park with a small lake and resting benches. The Szabadság Street joins to the main street of Ősagárd, to the Rákóczi Street, we get to the common house of the pub and the grocery after a little while (Ősagárd village, stamping place). Attention! Weekdays the grocery is closed between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m., similar to the pub! We can find two stamps in this small village: the first is on a Blue Trail signpost at the junction of Szabadság Street and Rákóczi Street, the other one is located at the junction of Rákóczi Street and Dózsa György Street at the church of the settlement on another signpost.
After stamping we continue our hike. We turn left onto the Dózsa György Street in the junction at the church and leave the village. After the last houses the concrete cover of the road finishes, its continuation is a well-trodden dirt road. We have to use them in the Cserhát, largely we will walk on similar roads among the small villages. Generally these dusty roads are well viable among dry weather condition, but the become very muddy in a rainy period! We walk on the edge of the fields for a while, later we step into the forest and the road bends in north-eastern direction. The marks turn left in a junction, the marks go in other direction, and our hike continues on the long ridge of Galamb-hegy. There is no panorama from the road, because it runs permanently in the forest. We reach the grassy pasture after a half an hour long walk.
The well-trodden dirt road disappears here, only grassy, meandering wheel tracks run across the fields. Later the tracks bend to the edge of the forest, and at the corner of the fields they turn right. The tracks begin to descend in the hillside and the houses of Felsőpetény village appear in front of us in the distant valley. The road turns right at a hunter highstand, but we go on straight on a path and step into the forest again. We take about hundred steps in northern direction, and turn left onto rarely used wheel tracks. Summertime it is an overgrown section, we must struggle for every steps!
This section is not too long, perhaps 200-250 steps, finally we get to the corner of a pasture. We turn right here and continue our hike at the edge of the grassy field. Our route sinks continuously, crosses two forest strips and reaches the cultivated area of the valley. After a few minutes we notice the first houses of Felsőpetény. We get to the centre of the village on the Petőfi Street. The marks go along the asphalt road, but we have to turn left and cross the Lókos-patak Brook on a stone bridge, if we want to stamp in the pub into our booklets (Felsőpetény village, stamping place). The pub is located in a common house with the grocery, they are open daylong. The box of the Blue Trail's stamp is equipped onto the fence of the pub's terrace.
After the stamping and a short rest we go back to the route of the Blue Trail. We leave the settlement on the Petőfi Street, while we pass the fenced, little bit abandoned park of the Almásy mansion. It is worth taking a small detour to visit the mansion, because it was renovated in the past years.
After the last houses our route crosses the wide valley of Lókos-patak Brook and reaches a lonely farm on the other edge of the fields. We have to choose the middle road, a grassy wheel track in the junction in front of the houses, which leads us first across a forest patch. We follow this road until the next village, Alsópetény. Later the road leaves the forest, it meanders among meadows, cultivated areas and pastures, we reach the next village after an hour long walk. We pass a few yurt tents standing on a fenced meadow, sheepfolds and notice the first houses of Alsópetény after a few hundred steps.
Our route, the Fűzfa sor Street joins to the main street of the settlement in front of the nice park of the Prónay mansion. The mansion was renovated in the past years, it works as a hotel. We walk on the main street towards the centre of the village, the catholic church stands on the left, in the hillside. It is worth climbing the stairs until the alone standing bell tower and admire the panorama, which opens from its terrace to the village. The church is located behind the bell tower, its style partly gothic.
We reach the centre of the village after some hundred steps, the Hármaskönyv Restaurant stands here, the box of the Blue Trail’s stamp is located at the bus stop, on the side of the notice board (Alsópetény stamping place). There is a general store in the centre of the village, too.
We turn right in front of the restaurant, pass the asphalt circle of the bus turning place and walk on the Béke Street. The street begins to climb in the hillside, later we turn right, onto the Rákóczi Street, but the upward slope won’t be easier! After the last houses we reach a small plateau, and the multiple junction of dirt roads. We have to choose three times the left road in one hundred steps, walk at the edge of the fields, and finally step into the forest at the third junction. The upward slope continues in the hillside, but after a few dozen steps we leave the trees and a nice view opens towards the village from the bushy side of the hill. This panorama escorts us for a little while, later the road turns right, we step in the forest again, and the climb continues. We get to the stone forester’s lodge in ten minutes (Romhányi-hegy Mountain, forester's lodge). There are wooden desks and benches beside the house and we can find shelter against the rain under the terrace of the house.
A big clear-cut begins after the forester’s lodge, the trees of the young oak-forest are only 1-2 metres tall. We climb among forest patches and clear-cuts of different ages until the ridge of the Romhányi-hegy Hill. The Blue Trail crosses the dirt road leading on the ridge here and begins to sink on the northern side of the mountain. After about 600-800 steps we have to watch the right side of the comfortable dirt road, because the marks leave the road and turn on a small, meandering path in the oak forest.
We sink a little bit steeper into a small gorge, cross it and climb out on the other side. After a few minutes we get to a dirt road among the trees. The route of the Blue Trail crosses it following the marks and sink farther in the hillside. New wheel tracks and cut-lines were made in the past few years in the young forest, we hike along them. Finally we get to a wide, well-trodden dirt road, which leaves the forest and we can notice Romhány village in the wide valley.
We reach the Batthyány Street on this dirt road and continue the descent on the asphalt strip. The Blue Trail’s stamp is located in the Lilla pub at the left side of the street (Romhány village, stamping place). The box of the stamp is equipped on the wall in the pub. The pub is open daylong, we can keep a short rest here. After stamping we walk farther and reach the main street of the village at an old stone bridge. The Blue Trail turns right here, and leaves the settlement on it. We can find bigger general store only at the church in the centre of the village, it is about 1000 steps detour from the route of the trail.
We pass by the building of the Fáradt Vándor (Tired Wanderer) Restaurant and Guesthouse (we can find another Blue Trail's stamp on the column of the terrace) and get to the border of Romhány soon. A busy asphalt road connect the villages to each other, we follow it until the next village. Halfway on the road we get to the wooden sculpture of Prince Rákóczi, the leader of the freedom war against the Austrian Emperor in the 18th century. The last battle of the freedom war happened here in January 1710, on the flat plain between the villages, and the Hungarian troops were defeated here. The lost freedom war sealed the fate of Hungary for one and a half century, after the Turk age we lost our independency again.
We reach the next village, Kétbodony after a few hundred steps. The Blue Trail runs along the Rákóczi Street until the junction, and turns left there (Kétbodony village, road to the stamping place). Our route climbs a small hillock on that road, exactly on the top of it the marked trail turns right, but if we want to stamp, we must go farther about 200 steps until the pub. The small metal box of the stamp is located at the left side of the building, on the wooden post of the covered terrace. After the stamping we go back to the route of the Blue Trail.
Our route sinks into a valley from the top of the hillock on a narrow asphalt road, which leads to the fenced area of an agricultural centre, we pass the buildings on the road and get to a junction of dirt roads at the end of the fence. The left and the right side roads go farther on the two sides of a hill, but the middle one climbs that hill. We have to follow this dirt road leading onto the forest covered ridge of the hill. We reach the long hillback after a ten minutes long hard climb. A very comfortable walk begins here, we have to follow only the well-trodden road escorting the long, waving ridge of the hill. We walk about an hour on that road, finally we leave the forest and reach a bushy pasture. A high voltage power line crosses our route, we have to turn left in a junction after the power line.
The Blue Trail leaves the wide ridge and sinks into a valley. The wheel tracks meander for a while in the jungle of the valley, later they join into a gravel road leading towards Kisecset village. We turn right here, the gravel road ascends softly, later it turns beside the railway line. After a while we cross the rails (Crossing of the railway), and continue the hike on the other side of the railway, in parallel with the rails. We cross a forest patch and get to the corner of a long but narrow cultivated field. Our marked route turns left here, we walk along the short side of the field, step in the forest again, cross the small Galga Brook at its ford, and after a few steps turn right. Wheel tracks lead among cultivated fields, pastures and forest patches towards southeast, we follow it about a half an hour. Finally the wheel track reaches the meadows, a wider dirt road joins to us from right, the road bends left and climbs a low ridge.
Our road crosses the wide back of the hill and begins to sink on the other side. We notice the houses of Becske village in the valley, behind the houses stand the twin peaks of the Szanda-hegy Mountain. The dirt road descends until the asphalt road leading in the village, and gets to it at the outermost houses of the settlement beside a stone cross. We turn onto the road, and follow it until the centre of the village. There are stamps in the pub, in the ice cream shop and in the small grocery of the village (Becske village, stamping place). The eighteenth section of the Blue Trail finishes here, in this small village, exactly in the centre of the Cserhát Hills.
After stamping we can continue the hike. Only a quarter hour long detour is the Buddhistic Stupa from the centre of the village in northern direction. It is worth visiting it! If we climb the small hill at the border of Becske, we will have a nice panorama from the Stupa towards the environs of the settlement.
If we walk back in the village, turn on the Kossuth Lajos Street, pass the Catholic church standing on the hillside and reach the last houses of Becske on a mild upward slope in a few minutes. The western peak of the Szanda-hegy Mountain towers in front of us during our walk. If we turn back at the border of the village, we can see, that the peak of the tower of the church is already on lower level, than we.
The Blue Trail goes straight in the junction of dirt roads and steps into the forest. The ascent will be a little bit steeper among the shady acacia trees, and after a six-eight minutes long climb we reach the field. The wheel tracks cross the cultivated area, and get to a junction at the other edge of this area. A sign post shows, that the Blue Trail turns right here, onto the wheel tracks leading among the outermost bushes and trees. After some minutes we reach the next junction beside the fenced garden of a forester’s lodge (Lonely homestead). The Blue Trail leaves the wheel tracks here, we continue the hike about straight among the bushes on a narrow footpaths climbing towards the forest.
The path reaches the trees soon, and climbes meanderingly in the mountainside. The upward slope finishes suddenly, when we reach the worn asphalt access road of the former quarry. We turn onto it, descend a few metres until its hairpin bend and turn off exactly in the bend of the road. The climb continues on a gravel road here and after some hundred steps we choose the left road in the next junction. Slowly we get to the small meadow in the col between the two peaks of the Szanda-hegy Mountain (Path to the ruins of Szandavár Castle).
The Blue Trail crosses this small clearing and begins to descend in the northern mountainside, but it is worth taking a short detour to the ruins of Castle of Szanda, which are located on the eastern peak of the mountain. The climb is short, but very hard to the ruins, if we follow the marks, which are painted on the trees. The Blue Trail touched the ruins until 2014, but the route was a little bit dangerous from the ruined castle in the northern, rocky side of the mountain, so this section is closed recently.
Similar to other Hungarian castles and forts Castle of Szanda was built in the second half of the 13th century. It had many owners, the castle was the property of the Rozgonyi, Kompolthy and Báthory Family. The Turks attacked and occupied it in 1548, but the Hungarian troops reoccupied the castle and demolished its walls. So the small fort lost its importance, nowadays there is only one wall standing as an exclamation mark on the summit. But a fantastic round panorama opens from the ruins onto the hills of Cserhát County!
If the weather is clean enough, we can see the Börzsöny Mountains on the western horizon – we came from that direction –, and the Mátra Mountains towards east – we will continue the hike in that direction. Szandaváralja village is located exactly at the northern feet of the Szanda-hegy, this settlement will be our next target.
If we admired the beautiful panorama, we can descend back into the col between the peaks and continue the walk on the Blue Trail. The wheel tracks sink on the northern, forest covered side of the Szanda-hegy Mountain, we reach the lower edge of the forest soon, but among the outermost trees we leave the wheel tracks and turn right onto a path. After a few dozen steps we get to the Mária-forrás (Mary’s Spring). Benches stand beside the spring and a wooden cross, generally the spring give water in the whole year, even in summertime.
After the spring we reach the edge of the forest, grassy wheel tracks starts from the trees towards Szandaváralja village across the fields. We reach the first houses of the settlement in a few minutes, first walk about 300 steps on a dirt road beside the outermost houses of the village and turn right, onto the Szondi Street. We get to the bus turning place in the centre of the village on it (Szandaváralja village, stamping place).
The metal box of the Blue Trail’s stamp is equipped on a lamp post standing at the small square, and we can rest a few minutes on the wooden benches and tables beside it. We walk farther on the main road of the village, on the Madách Street, and after some hundred steps turn right, onto the Jókai Street. As we walk on this street, the upward slope becomes more and more steeper. The asphalt surface of the road finishes at the last houses of Szandaváralja, we continue the climb on a well-trodden dirt road. If we turn back on the road in the side of the Hucskó-hegy Hill, we can see Szandaváralja village in the valley, and the twin peaks of the Szanda-hegy Mountain tower behind the settlement. We reach the long ridge of the Hucskó-hegy after an exhausting climb.
The marked trail turns right here, onto the dirt road leading on the ridge at the outermost trees of the forest. The road still climbs a little bit to a mobile phone relay tower, but after the tower it runs in level among the meadows and forest patches. After a while we reach the wide cultivated fields, and notice Szanda village right in the valley. We turn left in a junction on the fields, get around a forest patch, reach the fields again and Terény village appears in the wide valley exactly in front of us.
Our dirt road leads exactly towards the tower of the church, we get to the main road of the settlement beside it (Terény village). We turn right here following the painted blue marks and after about 300 steps reach another junction. We take a left turn here, cross the fields of the broad valley of Szanda-patak Brook and reach the other part of Terény. A long climb begins on the asphalt surface of the Mikszáth Kálmán Street, which finishes at the cemetery of the village.
We turn right at the end of the asphalt road, at the corner of the cemetery and the upward slope continues on a dirt road. This road climbs until the ridge of the Hrabina Hill, passes a small cultivated area on the top, and our dirt road sinks into the next valley. We loose our elevation in a few minutes, but notice the next hill, and the continuation of our road leads in the side of it. We cross a dirt road at the bottom of the valley and the hard climb begins again.
This second hill is a little bit taller, than the previous one, but we reach the ridge of it after a few minutes. We turn right here, our heading is eastern now, and reach the grassy fields after 200 steps. Our dirt road bends left and we begin the long descent from the hill into the next valley. We sink slowly on the meandering wheel tracks across the meadow, and see continuously the next hill, the long ridge of the Hegyes Hill in front of us.
Our dirt road turns left at the bottom of the hill, crosses a forest patch and joins into the concrete access road of an agricultural centre. We turn right here, onto this road and reach the asphalt road leading to Cserhátsurány village in five minutes. We turn onto this road, the houses of the settlement are visible already in front of us. We get to the first houses of Cserhátsurány after a while, turn left here on the Alkotmány Street, but a few minutes later we reach the main road again. We find a Blue Trail’s stamp in the Vadász Pub (Cserhátsurány village, stamping place) (address: 51 Rákóczi Street), but a second one is located in the Flamingo espresso (address: 26 Rákóczi Street). Both places are open daylong and they stand on the two sides of the road in the centre of the village. We can get a very simple and cheap accommodation in the building of the Flamingo espresso.
After stamping we go farther on the Rákóczi Street, but turn right at the next junction, onto the Petőfi Street. The next climb begins here, and we have a very nice view towards the mansion of the village from a little park. We turn right at a “T” junction and leave Cserhátsurány on the Bocskai Street. A stone cross stands at the border of the village, we choose the dirt road leading towards north in the junction beside it.
Our road bends to the edge of the forest, and we continue the ascent. The road runs on the border of the fields beside the outermost trees, if we turn back after a while, we will see the village in the wide valley and the peaks of the Szanda-hegy Mountain appear behind the houses. Later the dirt road gets to the corner of the cultivated area and we step into the forest. The not too strong climb keeps until the broad ridge of Hegyes Hill. The marks, which joined to us during the climb, turn left here, in the junction of dirt road, the Blue Trail goes on straight (Hegyes Hill, blue-red paths junction).
We follow the wide ridge of Hegyes Hill, later reach the upper edge of big clear-cuts. A nice panorama opens from the road towards south, onto the hills and ridges of the Cserhát, the twin peaks of the Szanda-hegy appear in the far background. It is a very comfortable section of the hike, the well-trodden dirt road leads on the billowy back of Hegyes Hill, we reach the eastern end of the ridge after an hour long walk. The dirt road sinks meanderingly into the valley, we get to its bottom at the corner of a meadow. The dirt road only touches it, turns back in the forest, but after some minutes we get to the border of wide plough fields.
The road begins to climb towards the low ridge at the border of the fields and the forest, after a few hundred steps we reach the top and the road descends to the next valley, to Nógrádsipek village. We reach the settlement at an agricultural centre, here begins the asphalt covered Széchenyi Street, which leads us to the centre of the village. We can stamp either in the well-stocked food shop (Nógrádsipek village, stamping place) (address: 4 József Attila Street, 100 step detour from the trail) or in the pub (address: 67 József Attila Street, about 1000 step detour from the Blue Trail).
We turn onto the Dózsa György Street in the centre, climb a little bit and leave the settlement on the asphalt surface of this long and straight road. The asphalt finishes after the last houses, a well-trodden, wide dirt road leads us into the Malom-völgy Valley. The grassy side of a dam appears in front of us after a right bend of the road, it closes the whole width of the valley. The dam protects the village against the floods of the brook of the Malom-völgy. We cross the valley on the road at the foot of the dam, and a long climb begins in the left hillside. We step into the forest, the well-trodden road following the bottom of the vale ascends continuously. During an hour long walk we ascend more than 250 metres and reach the junction of dirt roads in the broad col of Dobogó-tető (Dobogó-tető Hill, blue-yellow paths junction).
The climb finishes here, we continue the hike through the forest of the plateau. Later a downward slope begins and we get to the big clear-cuts in the side of the Gyertyános Hill. A beautiful panorama opened from here through the clear-cuts towards the ruined castle of Hollókő a few years ago, unfortunately the young, growing trees increasingly obstruct the view. We sink continuously into the next valley, and the climb begins immediately onto the next hill! It is a short, but steep upward slope, we turn right on the top onto wheel track leading on the narrow ridge, but after a few dozen steps we turn off, and sink into the next vale on a footpath through the forest.
We cross the brook of the valley on a small wooden bridge and the climb begins again. Resting benches and information charts appear beside the footpath, later we reach the meadows and notice the ruins of Castle of Hollókő high above us, on the top of the hill. The upward slope finishes here, we get around the western side of the Castle Hill and get to the border of the old village of Hollókő. The houses of the settlement cherish the memory of the more hundred years old Hungarian – especially “palóc” type – vernacular architecture.
The village is a World Heritage Site since 1987. We walk on the continuously climbing stony main road of the village, pass the small Catholic church and after a few minutes get to the main square, the border between the protected old, and the new part of the settlement (Hollókő village, stamping place). We can stamp here in the pub, it is open all day. It is worth taking here a longer rest, get to know the old village and visit the castle above the houses! There are many accommodations in Hollókő in different price categories.
After stamping we get around the triangle-shaped park of the main square, turn onto the József Attila Street (there is a well-stocked general store there), and after a few steps turn left onto the asphalt road leading towards the big car park. We cross the asphalt covered square and climb farther on a well-trodden promenade starting from the car park towards the ruins of the castle. The ruins will appear in front of us after a little while. The Blue Trail turns left here with a big hairpin bend, but it is worth taking the about 400 steps long detour until the ruined, but partly renovated medieval castle! While we crossed the village, we climbed to level of the fort!
We cross the ridge of the Castle Hill in the hairpin bend of the dirt road, and sink back on the western side of the hill. After a few minutes the road reaches the upper edge of the grassy fields, we can catch a last glimpse to the ruins from here. We continue our hike through the fields, on the hardly visible wheel tracks. This is a long and wide pasture, a grassy area, located on the bottom of the wide valley, the tracks run about the middle of it. There are mountains in the distance exactly in front of us, we can explore the lookout tower on the top of the Tepke Mountain. We will climb that mountain on the hike!
Our route sinks gently, as we walk on the field, the tracks pass small forest patches, later we reach the end of this long meadow. The wheel tracks bend left, cross a small brook in a forest belt, and reach the next meadow. It is much smaller, than the previous one, we get to its other edge in a few minutes. Oue route reaches the closed gate of a fenced area here, the wheel track run through the gate, but we have to turn left, and climb to the ridge of the hill standing on the left. We follow the long fence on the back of the hill and slowly descend on the wide ridge into the next wide valley, to the border of cultivated fields. We notice the houses of Felsőtold village in front of us, but the dirt road holds on at the edge of the plough fields. Later we cross a forest belt and reach the junction of dirt roads. The better trodden road runs towards the houses of the village, but we stay on the fields and follow the cart tracks on the edge of the forest and the cultivated area (Dirt road to Felsőtold village).
We follow these meandering tracks until the border of the next village, Alsótold. The dirt road reach the settlement at the cemetery, it gets asphalt surface there. We sink to the bottom of the vale and cross the brook on a bridge (Alsótold village). Our route turns right there, onto the Toldi utca at a junction, pass the Szekeres Vendégház (Szekeres Guesthouse, www.szekeres-vendeghaz.hu) and slowly leave the settlement. We walk on a small and worn asphalt road about ten minutes, finally get to the branching dirt road. Information arrows show to the hikers, that the Blue Trail turn left here, onto the dirt road, we follow the instruction and begin the climb in the hillside. The meandering cart tracks ascend beside a forest strip on the grassy fields, later the forest strip finishes and we can see well, we will climb into the narrow col between the Bézma Mountain (right, 513 m tall) and the Nagy-Mező-hegy Mountain (445 m, left).
Later we reach the forest and our dirt road joins to a bigger, stony road after a few minutes. The climb becomes much easier, as we get to the narrow valley. Our road goes in the right side of the vale, in the side of the Bézma, a small brook runs at the bottom of the narrow gorge, rarely we glimpse the cars on the main road on the other side of the valley. The bottom of the gorge lifts slowly to our level, and after a metal barrier our stony road joins into the asphalt road.
We turn left here, onto that road, notice the Bableves csárda Restaurant Restaurant in front of us and reach the building with about hundred steps. We can keep a longer rest here, it is worth tasting the food, especially the different types of bean soup (Bableves Csárda means Bean Soup Tavern). Otherwise the restaurant is a Blue Trail’s stamping place, the metal box of the stamp is equipped beside the stairs leading to the terrace on the wooden post of the roof. Don't forget to fill up our water resources, because we won't find any springs or wells on the next 15 kilometres!
We reach the wide plateau among the mountains at the Bableves Csárda, we continue our hike on it. The dirt road beginning beside the restaurant crosses a broad forest belt and get to the edge of the cultivated fields. We walk about 200 steps at the border of the fields, and at the junction turn right. The cart tracks cross another forest strip, and reach a long and narrow, grassy meadow. We follow the tracks and cross it, reach the trees again. The Blue Trail gets to the plough fields again after the next forest belt. The dirt road follows the edge of the cultivated area and leads towards the mountains. If we look towards left, we can notice the lookout tower on the peak of the Tepke Mountain. It will be our next target!
Later the forest belt finishes on the right side of the dirt road and a wide panorama opens in that direction. After a few minutes long walk we reach the forest at the feet of the mountains. Attention! The plough fields are fenced often with electric wires against the animals, we can unhook them with the black isolated handles, where the road crosses the fence. Don’t forget put them back after the crossing!
The dirt road continues among the trees and a hard climb begins towards the peak of the mountain. The marked route of the Blue Trail reach the ridge after a ten minutes long exhausting climb. We turn left here onto the dirt road leading on the ridge and the ascent continues until the top of the Tepke. Before the summit we leave the dirt road and follow the painted marks on a footpath. The Blue Trail reaches the clearing of the lookout tower on this meandering path. We climbed the 567 m tall summit of the Tepke! There are resting benches and tables on the small clearing, but we have enough time to rest after visiting the lookout tower! The tower is a more than twenty metres tall steel structure, but it is worth climbing the stairs until the top level (Tepke Mountain, lookout tower)!
When we turn towards west on the top level of the tower, we can admire the huge Hilly County of Cserhát. All the peaks are visible, which we climbed in the pervious days: the Naszály, the twin peaks of the Szanda-hegy Mountain, the peaks before Hollókő. We can see the castle of Hollókő, as well! If we turn east, we notice, that the tower stands on the easternmost ridge of the Cserhát, the wide valley of the Zagyva River lies in front of us and the peak of the Mátra Mountains towers on the other side. The top of the Tepke is among the most beautiful lookout points of the National Blue Trail! Generally the top level of the lookout tower is a windy place, it is better to take a longer or shorter rest at the wooden tables and benches of the grassy meadow at the foot of the steel tower.
We continue the hike on the path, whereat we reach the summit, it meanders on the broad ridge in the forest. The trail descends slowly in a col, later climbes the next summit, the Pugga Mountain (575 m). We walk continuously among the trees, and don’t have any panorama! The next peak on the route of the Blue Trail is the Macska-hegy Mountain, we avoid the top, the path leads in the rocky western side of the mountain.
Suddenly we reach a lookout point, a gap opens among the trees there and we notice Garáb village at the feet of the mountains, in front of us. The hills of the Cserhát stand behind the small settlement. After the lookout point we sink to the Garáb-nyereg Col Col. A dirt road crosses our path: the marks start from that place to Garáb village, we can reach the settlement in twenty minutes. There are many guest houses in Garáb. The marks lead in the other direction to Mátraszőlős village.
We continue the hike on the ridge, we take a shorter section on a dirt road leading to the next summit, to the Nagy-Kő-tető Mountain (551 m). This road finishes at the fence of the mobile relay tower, the marks lead us farther on a path from the tower. The last peak, which is climbed by the trail is the Köves-bérc (511 m), later our route bends to east, and reaches a wide plateau. The path joins to a dirt road, we don’t leave it until the next village. We walk continuously in the oak forest, but here we cross a bigger patch of pine trees.
This is very comfortable section on the hike, the bigger ascents and descents disappear, we walk in level in the shady forest. Later the dirt road begins to sink, we reach the edge of a meadow after a longer downward slope. The dirt road turns left here and stays among the outermost trees, but it is worth to walk a few steps until the meadow and keep a short rest sitting in the grass.
The next climb comes after the meadow, the road ascends into the col of the Sátoros-hegy Mountain, and a long slope begins there to the next village, Nagybárkány. We sink in the forest for a while, later we get to the fields above the settlement and notice the tower of the catholic church in front of us, in the valley. The cart tracks descend continuously, we reach first the church standing in the hillside. An asphalt road starts from the church, we get to the centre of Nagybárkány on this road.
The marks turn right at a small square onto the Rákóczi Street (Nagybárkány village, road to the stamping place), and after a few steps left, on the Szabadság Street. We reach the Petőfi Street, the main road of Nagybárkány with a short walk. The route of the Blue Trail turns right onto this asphalt road, but leaves it towards left after a few dozen dsteps. If we want to stamp, we must visit a small grocery on the Petőfi Street located in 300-400 step distance from the marked trail. It's a very small shop, we can by only water and some tins to upload our food and drink supplies.
After stamping and shopping we go back to the marked trail and leave Nagybárkány. We climb a grassy hill after the last houses and have a beautiful panorama to the village, if we turn back in the hillside. The cart tracks cross the ridge of the hill and descend on the other hillside to the asphalt road leading among the villages. We turn right onto it, and get to the cliff of the protected quarry after a five minutes long walk. It stands beside the asphalt road and shows the different thicker and thinner volcanic layers of the rocks. There are information charts in many languages at the foot of the cliff. If we walk farther, we reach the first houses of Sámsonháza village after a short walk. We go along the main road almost until the other end of the settlement, and turn left onto the narrow Szabadság Street (Sámsonháza village).
The Blue Trail leaves Sámsonháza on this street, after the last houses the narrow asphalt strip finishes, a well trodden dirt road starts towards the wide Szálláska-völgy Valley. The dirt road follows the long, grassy meadow on the bottom of the meandering valley, we walk about a half an hour until the next change of direction. A high voltage power line crosses the valley, we reach a junction of dirt road at that place. We turn left here, onto the wide cut-line of a high pressure underground gas pipeline. Cart tracks run in the cut-line, we climb the long ridge of Csapás-tető Hill following them. The cut-line reaches the ridge after a long and exhausting climb, we leave the track of the pipeline for a little while there, but some minutes later the dirt road joins again to the wide cut-line and descend together on the other side of the ridge.
We get to the junction of dirt roads in the bottom of the next valley, we turn right here, and continue the hike on a wide, well trodden dirt road. The signs leave this road after a few minutes, turn onto a path, and reach the Szent László-forrás Spring after a five minutes long walk. A well trodden promenade starts at the spring, we follow it and get to the Szentkút (Sankt Well) after a short, comfortable walk. The Szentkút of Mátraverebély perhaps the most well-known pilgrimage place of Hungary, many pilgrimage ways finish here. First we reach the benches of the outdoor church, the big stone altar is located at the foot of the Meszes-tető Hill, the ornated Szentkút stands behind the long rows of benches. As we walk farther, we reach the church and the building of the old monastery, which is a hotel nowadays. Generally it is an often visited place, it is sure, that we will meet with a lot of pilgrims and other people here. A short, but very steep path marked with marks leads to the hermint's caves in the side of Meszes-tető Hill. A beautiful panorama opens to the valley of the Szentkút from the terrace of the caves.
We don’t find painted marks on the area of the Szentkút, we must follow the wide, paved promenade beside the buildings. The first marks are located at that place, where the Blue Trail leaves this promenade. We turn right here, step into the forest and climb again the long ridge of Csapás-tető Hill! But this is already the last upward slope among the Cserhát Hills! When we reach the long ridge again, walk some minutes on it, later our trail begins to descend on the hillside. After a long slope we leave the forest, cross a grassy pasture, and reach the gothic catholic church of Mátraverebély village at the foot of the hill. We pass the church and turn onto the asphalt strip of the Dózsa György Street. We walk on this street until the junction at the centre of the village, and turn right there. Mátraverebély is the first village along our route, which is populated mainly by gypsies, generally they spend their time on the streets.
We reach the main road number 21 on the wide Vasút Street, cross it, and continue the hike through the other part of Mátraverebély. This part of the village is perhaps cleaner, more orderly, than the other side of the main road, here live mainly Hungarian people. The street crosses the Zagyva River at the bottom of the wide valley, and reaches the pub after the building of a grocery at the right side of the road. We stamp into our booklets in the pub and keep a longer rest here. The official end of this section is at the railway stop, we can reach it in five minutes from the pub (Mátraverebély village, railway crossing). We finished our long hike among the hills of Cserhát, and the Mátra Mountains stand in front of us, with the tallest peaks of Hungary! We can stamp into our booklets either in the pub, or at the railway stop. The box of the Blue Trail's stamp is equipped on a tree beside the railway light barrier.
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