The places written with bold characters in the text show the marked places in the Route-Altitude diagram.
Szarvaskő village lies in the narrow valley between Mátra and Bükk Mountains. The busy main road number 25 meanders together with the railway line on the bottom of the vale, we can take a short detour by public transport bus or train to the nearby Eger town. This town is situated at the southern end of the long valley, its old fort guarded the important route among the high mountains. The monumental fort played an important role in the war against the Turks, they tried to occupy it in 1552, but this siege was unsuccessful, we could keep this important fort.
Unfortunately after forty years the Turkey troops occupied it, and kept the castle in the next century. It is worth visiting this small town and getting to known its world famous red wine, the Egri bikavér (Bull’s Blood of Eger). There is a long row of accommodation in the town, from the cheapest one until the most expensive hotels.
Szarvaskő is surrounded by high mountains and rocks, there is a lookout tower on the top of the Majoros-tető, and a nice panorama opens from the tower towards the village situated among the forest covered hills. The Castle Rock towers above the village on the other side of the valley, we will continue our hike in that direction and the Castle Rock will be the first hill of the Bükk Mountains, which we will climb. After the stamping in the Vár presszó (Castle Pub) we cross the main road number 25 and the Eger-patak Stream, which flows on the bottom of the valley. The Blue Trail climbs to the railway crossing on the short Borsod utca, meanwhile the Castle Rock towers above us.
We cross the railway line and a very hard upward slope begins immediately in the forest! This is a short, but very exhausting mountaineering until the col of the Castle Hill. The path turns left here, the climb disappears, and we walk on a levelling section of the path. The Blue Trail turns right here, but it is worth following the signs until the remains of the former castle. The ruins of the old castle are so modest, that we have to look for them long, but the panorama is beautiful from the cliff towards Szarvaskő! We are standing exactly above the settlement, it lies as a nice railway modelling board below our feet. If we admired in the nice view, we can continue our hike.
The route of the Blue Trail climbs farther from the col of the Castle Rock first in the shady forest, later the path reaches the rocky side of Veres-oldal. We get to the next lookout point in ten minutes. If we glimpse back here, we can see the Castle Rock already deeply below us, but we have a nice view towards a narrow, meandering section of the valley. The road and the Eger-patak Stream follow the winding, narrow gorge, but the rails cut the bends with short tunnels and bridges. It is worth resting a few minutes on this cliff, because the climb will continue, but less steeply!
The well-trodden path reaches the forest in a few minutes, the nice panorama disappears behind us and the climb becomes more gently. After a few minutes we get to the long ridge of Tardos-hegy, the path joins to cart tracks, they follow meanderingly the top of the long, waving back of the hill. It is a comfortable section of our hike, but we have to watch attentively the right side of the road, because the Blue Trail leaves this road after a while! We reach the junction of dirt roads in the forest, the signs turn right and leave the long ridge. Our dirt road descends to the bottom of the valley and reaches the clearing of Gilitka kápolna (Gilitka Chapel) in five minutes. There are resting benches and tables beside the small chapel, if we are tired, we can spend a few minutes on this shady resting place.
The well-trodden dirt road crosses the grassy clearing of the chapel, it runs beside the babbling Gilitka-patak Brook a little while, later climbs to the small col of Kis-Szoros-tető Hill. Our route crosses the meadow of the col, joins to a wide dirt road and begins to descend on the other side of the hill. We don’t stay on this road for a long time, the Blue Trail leaves it after about 500 steps and descends on cart tracks into the valley of Füzes-lápa. The path of the sign joins to us from right and the road leaves the forest after a few minutes.
A bigger clearing opens in front of us, a worn, potholed asphalt road arrives here from the opposite direction and the Blue Trail turn right, back to the forest. The marks go farther on this asphalt road, if we want to stamp in our booklets, we have to walk about 200 steps on this road until the stairs leading to the Telekessy Vendégház (Telekessy Guesthouse). The first stamp is located in its box on an old beech at the right side of the stairs, we find the second one at the door of the guesthouse. After stamping we walk back to the clearing and turn left onto the path of the Blue Trail. We go about 200 steps towards southeast and turn in the forest.
A path starts among the trees, its heading is north, later we can see, that our trail runs on the right side of a beginning small gorge, the worn asphalt road goes on the other side. The path passes by the house of a spring, it is the Kolacskovszky-forrás, it feeds with water the Telekessy Vendégház. The well-trodden footpath leads us in the shady forest, without any bigger climbs and descents. We reach a narrow asphalt road after about twenty minutes long walk. The Blue Trail turns onto this road but we have to watch the left side of it, because the marks leave this asphalt strip after about hundred steps! An abandoned path begins on the left side of the road, we follow it in the high undergrowth and reach a small clearing after about three minutes long jungle fight. We turn right here, back among the trees, but after a few steps reach another clearing and notice wooden crosses and a pebble road in front of us. The Blue Trail goes right here, but it is worth turning left! After a few dozen steps we glimpse the ruins of the monastery and the 800 years old church.
The Cistercian Abbey was founded in the 13th century, the church was built a few years later. This church represents an outstanding value from the point of view of architecture and art history, because it was built in Romanesque style. Considering its size, and the beauty of its individual details and the building as a whole, the church ranks among the most valuable ones in the country. It is worth visiting this old church and monastery, if we walk the Blue Trail in the Bükk Mountains! During the walk among the ruins we can glimpse already the top of Bél-kő Mountain above the foliage of trees. The outstanding shape of this mountain was created by the limestone mining in the 20th century. The pure limestone of this mountain was needed to the cement production of a factory located at the border of Bélapátfalva village.
We leave the old church and abbey on the pebble road, it gets later asphalt surface and turns towards west. The panorama of the Bél-kő Mountain is the most beautiful from this road leading to Bélapátfalva. The cement factory worked between 1910 and 2002, it needed during this time more than 7 million cubic meter limestone, this amount of stone was carved out from the western side of the mountain. Now the old limestone quarry is an increasingly protected area.
We reach the small Bélapátfalva town on this narrow asphalt strip and on its continuation, on the Apátság út Street. We turn onto the pavement of the wide main street and walk to the centre of the settlement. We can fill up our food and drink resources in a well-stocked supermarket beside the busy road. We walk on the pavement until the railway crossing, but before the light barrier the marked path of the Blue Trail turns right onto the Táncsics utca Street together with the painted marks. We find a Blue Trail’s stamp here, at the platform of the railway stop, on a lamp post. The Blue Trail leaves the settlement on the asphalt strip, it leads us towards the mountains. The marked path turns left at the junction of narrow asphalt roads and we reach the small Gyári-tó Lake after a few minutes.
The road runs on the northern shore of the lake, in front of the Szomjas Csuka vendéglő (Thirsty Pike Restaurant). It is worth visiting this restaurant, because its kitchen is very good, and we find another Blue Trail stamp here, at the door of the terrace. If we walk to the waterside, we will see very clearly the cliffs of the Bél-kő Mountains above the trees.
If we continue the hike here, the next section will be similar to the eastern ridge of Mátra Mountains: we will leave the civilization behind us, and reach the next populated place, the small holiday resort of Bánkút only after 20 kilometer walk and a lot of climb! I can only repeat the warning, which was written to the Kékestető: don’t embark on this section unpreparedly, please! We must have enough water until Bánkút, because we won’t find any springs among the limestone mountains of Bükk!
The asphalt road doesn’t finish at the shore of the lake, we walk on this narrow asphalt strip after the small Gyári-tó among grassy meadows and forest patches. Resting benches and desks, stone fireplaces stand on the grass, this is a well-known open camping area, and the wild camping is allowed here, at the feet of the Bükk Mountains! If we continue the walk, we will reach soon the iron barrier, which close the route. This yellow-black painted barrier shows the border of the strongly protected nature reserve, only hikers and the vehicles of the forest cultivating company are allowed to cross this border. We get around this barrier and continue our hike. Attention! Generally the wild camping is an allowed thing in Hungary, but it is strongly prohibited here! Rangers and foresters walk the forest constantly and punish the wild camping! Generally I hike with my tent along the Blue Trail, and pitch my tent everywhere in the forest, but I don't even try the wild camping in the Bükk Mountains! I recommend for hikers to pitch tent the meadows before the barrier, and later the grassy ski slopes of Bánkút.
A babbling brook escorts our road, we reach its spring after a few hundred steps. The Lóczi-forrás Spring is the last opportunity to fill up our water resources, but don’t forget: it isn’t a permanent spring! The asphalt road turns right after about five minutes to a forester’s lodge, we go on straight on a dirt road. This road reaches slowly the upper end of the narrow Lak-völgy Valley, and begins to climb in the mountainside. This section is a hard mountaineering on the serpentine of the dirt road, we reach the soldiers' graves after a quarter hour long climb. The German soldiers fallen in a battle against the Red Army in the World War 2.
We stand here in a little col, at the junction of hiker paths, beside the tombs and a resting place. The and signs climbed together the col, we meet with the and signs here. The signs join to us and the , and signs continue the climb together, their heading is southeast, on a path at the right side of a dirt road. The climb continues in the mountainside, but after a quarter hour we get to the next junction and the route of the marks leaves our path. The and marks turn right, the ascent disappears, and we walk in level in the mountainside of Őr-kő Mountain.
Our path joins to a well-trodden dirt road, it meanders about quarter hour in the mountainside and reach the next road junction. The marks arrive from the opposite direction, we turn with them towards left, and the signs go straight farther. We climb a few metres and reach a small meadow, its name is Zöld-rét (Green Meadow). The cart tracks disappear in the grass, we must go left beside the trees, pass a signpost, which shows the branching of the and signs, and step in the forest again at the eastern corner of the meadow. The climb continues, the path gets to another meadow after a few minutes. We cross it and first time on our hike the path sinks to the next col.
We turn right in the crossing of dirt roads, our route climbs again and we reach the branching of paths soon. The signs start towards the near top of Őr-kő, there is a nice panorama from the stony summit. This path offers an alternative route, because it will join back to us later. If we stay on the path of the Blue Trail, we will reach a lonely house among the trees in a few minutes. There are resting benches and tables beside the building, but we can use its covered terrace, as well. This building is the accommodation and resting place of the rangers of the nature reserve.
Our path ascends a little from the house to the next meadow, its name is Őr-kő-rét (Őr-kő Meadow). The path of the signs come back here from the top of Őr-kő and the route of signs cross the Blue Trail here. We walk straight across the meadow following the marks. We already reached here the wide plateau of Bükk Mountains, the route of the Blue trail will wave on the edge of it, and touch the summits standing on the southern rim of the plateau. The first one in the row is the Őr-kő, we can climb its rocky summit in ten minutes starting from this meadow.
We leave the Őr-kő Meadow on a path meandering among the trees, and after a few minutes glimpse the next meadow, but the path stays among the trees. Here begins a most interesting section of our hike across the ”ördögszántás“ – it means Devil’s Plowing. The soil is very thick here, the limestone bedrock is visible among the trees. The crests of the rocks are arranged in rows, it seems, the rocks are plowed. We walk across this area of forest and reach the rocks of Pes-kő-kapu in five minutes. There is a nice panorama opening towards south from the top of the cliff. We can reach this lookout point with a few step detour from the Blue Trail.
Our path sinks to the col of Pes-kő-kapu, the route of the signs joins to us and climb together the rocky side of Cserepes-kő. The Blue Trail avoids the top of the mountain, but we have to find the short path of signs, which leads to the cave shelter, which is situated below the rocky summit. The cave is a good shelter against the rain (there are very simple beds and a stove in the cave) and the Blue Trail stamp is equipped onto the door of the entrance.
The route of the Blue Trail gets around the south-eastern ridge of the Cserepes-kő Mountain and after a few minutes reaches a very steep, rocky meadow in the mountainside. Our path crosses it in level, goes back in the forest and after a left bend begins to climb in a narrow valley. We reach a chain-link fence in the forest after ten minutes, this fenced area is the „Őserdő” (in English: Virgin Forest). This forest patch is kept in its natural state, every forestry works and even the visiting of this part of the forest is strongly prohibited!
We follow the fence until the wide col of Kis-virágos-hegy Mountain, here begins the long climb to the top of Tar-kő Mountain. This is a long ascent, we will get to the wide plateau after an exhausting climb. The path of the Blue Trail stays in the forest, but it is worth taking a short detour on the path of signs to the rocky southern edge of the mountain. A beautiful panorama opens from the rim of the rocks onto the southern region of Bükk Mountains and towards the Great Hungarian Plain! Don’t miss this view!
We hike about one kilometre after the Tar-kő on the edge of the plateau of Bükk, but at the southern end of Keskeny-rét (Narrow Meadow) our route turns left and we walk on grassy cart tracks along the really long and narrow meadow. The northern end of Keskeny-rét joins into the wide Zsidó-rét Meadow, we follow the grassy cart tracks at the eastern edge, beside the trees. This road passes by big sinkholes, their diameter is many time bigger, than thirty metres! These big sinkholes (their Hungarian name is „töbör”) collect the rain and lead it into the caves of the mountains. Later our tracks join into a narrow, potholed asphalt road, we continue our hike on this worn asphalt strip.
We walk about thousand steps on this road and at the resting place of Kis-sár-völgy Valley turn off, onto a path. This well-trodden footpath meanders a few minutes among the trees and joins back into the asphalt road. We walk another thousand steps on the worn asphalt strip and turn off again onto a branching dirt road. Later we leave this road, turn onto a path, which passes big sinkholes, while crosses the meadows of Mély-Sár-völgy, later joins back to the dirt road. The Blue Trail follows this pebble road until the meadow of Faktor-rét and turns onto a path again.
We approach already to the holiday resort of Bánkút, and reach here a very thick net of different paths, dirt roads and marked trails. We must follow the signs of the Blue Trail very attentive here! Our path joins into a dirt road after a Mary-tree (A Mary’s picture is equipped onto a tree), and reaches another meadow. We must keep our north-eastern heading here, don’t turn onto the left branching roads! The junctions will be more frequent, follow the signs very attentive! After a few minutes the building of Fehér Sas panzió (White Eagle Guesthouse) appears in front of us, we pass by its long fence and reach the narrow asphalt strip again. We arrived to Bánkút!
We only cross the aphalt road here and continue our hike on a descending wide promenade. This well-trodden road reaches the grassy ski slopes and the lonely building of Síház (Ski House) in a few minutes. We find not only a Blue Trail stamp in the hall, but a cheap accommodation, too. A little bit more expensive accommodation is the Fehér Sas panzió. Generally this place is crowded only in the snowy months, almost sure, that we will get accommodation here summertime.
If we start from Bélapátfalva in the morning, we will get to Bánkút in the middle of the afternoon. We can spend the late afternoon in our accommodation, but I recommend a short detour to the lookout tower of Bálvány Mountain! The distance to the lookout tower is only 1.5 km on the path of the marks, it is worth taking this walk to the metal-framed tower. I have to tell you, I don’t recommend climbing the lookout tower, if somebody afraid of heights, but the panorama is beautiful onto the wide plateau of Bükk and towards the northern feet of the mountains from the top level. Here we are on the northern edge of the plateau, next day we will cross that hilly country, which is situated beyond the northern slope of the plateau.
The and the signs start together from the Ski House and reach the asphalt access road of Bánkút through the forest in five minutes. The route of blazes crosses the asphalt strip, but we follow the signs towards west. The Blue Trail turns off from this road after hundred steps onto a dirt road beginning here, and reaches the northern edge of the plateau soon. The downward slope begins suddenly, the road sinks continuously and consistently in the mountainside, we lose about 250 metres elevation in twenty minutes and reach a little col, where a branching side ridge begins towards north.
We turn to north in the junction of roads and follow this long ridge. The slope almost disappears here, our dirt road stays always in the vicinity of the long back of this side ridge. We walk on this waving, only slowly sinking road and reach the next big junction in a half an hour. The route of the Blue Trail turns right here, but I recommend a detour from this place! If we follow the here beginning signs, we will reach the modest ruins of Dédesvár in a quarter hour. Not the ruins are important there, we can see only a few stones of the former castle walls, but the nice view, which opens below the summit from the cliffs!
If we turn back to the Blue Trail, we will sink very steeply in the Vár-völgy Valley. It is a difficult section, pay attention to the meandering path! This path crosses the Baróc-patak Brook on the bottom of the deep valley and joins to the dirt road leading above the babbling brook. This is a very comfortable section on the hike, we have to follow only this hardly sinking road in the shady vale. Later the signs leave the road, sink to the brook on a path, escort it meanderingly, later the path joins again to the dirt road. This road climbs a small ridge and joins to an asphalt road. We walk about 200 steps on this narrow asphalt strip and turn off. After a little while we leave the forest, we are standing here on the upper edge of a pasture. There is a small wooden lookout tower here, we can reach it with a few step from the route of the Blue Trail.
Mályinka village lies below our feet and we can glimpse the lake of Lázbérci-víztároló in the distance. If we continue the hike, we will reach the first houses of the settlement soon, the path follows the fence of a trout hatchery. A small brook joins to us, which starts from the lakes of the hatchery, we walk beside this babbling brook among the houses, later we reach the first junction of the streets. The Blue Trail crosses meanderingly Mályinka and reaches the building of the pub and the grocery after the wooden belfry of the church. The Blue Trail stamp is situated in the pub, and we can fill up our food and water sources in the well-stocked grocery.
The Blue Trail leaves Mályinka on the narrow, worn asphalt access road of the settlement and sinks on this road until Dédestapolcsány village. The settlement lies in the valley and the Lázbérci-víztároló Lake appears above the roofs of the houses. If we turn back on this road, we will see the steep Dédesvár Mountain and the wide, forest covered side of the plateau of Bükk Mountains already in the distance.
We pass the Nagy-kő Rock in the border of Dédestapolcsány and turn onto its long main road at the bus turning place. This settlement is united from two former villages, Dédes and Bántapolcsány in 1950, the Blue Trail crosses both of them, while it goes on the long main road. We will reach the farther end of the settlement after a three quarter hour long walk, meanwhile we pass pubs and groceries.
The asphalt road doesn’t finish at the last houses of the settlement, it leads us farther and after a metal barrier, which closes this road, we reach the southern end of Lázbérci-víztározó Reservoir. This artificial lake was made in 1968. Its role is to feed the potable water net of the neighbour settlements. The surface of the lake is 77 hectare, it contains generally 6 million cubic metre water. The lake and its environs is a strongly protected nature reserve area, even anglers can visit it at daylight! Although the grassy lakeside is a very tempting place to the wild camping, don’t do it, because the control is strict!
The Blue Trail follows the long western shore of the reservoir, passes by resting benches and tables, later in the branching of asphalt road follows that road, which runs farther from the lake, among the trees. I recommend following the right side road here, which stays at the shore of the lake, it goes parallel with the other one. The panorama of the lake situated among the surrounding hills is beautiful, and changed after every bend of the worn asphalt road! I think, this is most beautiful sight of this hike! After about a kilometer this narrow asphalt strip sinks into the water of the reservoir, if we turn right here, we will reach the other road after a few dozen steps in the forest. The disappearing asphalt strip was the old road, which connected the two neighbour settlements, Dédestapolcsány and Uppony together, but it was flooded, when the reservoir was born. The new road was built already in a little bit higher elevation. Unfortunately this road goes in the forest, but it escorts the shore of the lake.
We reach the meadow of Lipóc-völgy Valley in fifteen minutes on the new road, the wild camping is allowed only on this meadow in the vicinity of the lake! There is a wooden shelter beside the resting benches and desks, the Lipóc-forrás Spring is situated in 500 steps distance from the resting place. According to my information it is a permanent spring! After the mouth of Lipóc Valley we reach the rocky gorge of Upponyi-szoros in a half an hour. The asphalt road goes on the bottom of the narrow valley beside the Csernely-patak Creek, which fill with water the reservoir. We get to the outermost houses of Uppony village at the other end of the deep and meandering valley.
The route of the Blue Trail crosses the creek on a carved wooden pedestrian bridge, but if we would like to stamp, we have to go farther on the asphalt road until the BB söröző (BB Pub, it works in a family house, the stamp is at the gate of the yard). After the wooden bridge the Blue Trail goes along the road of the settlement, we reach the other end of the village soon. There is a guide post in the junction of streets, the metal box of the second Blue Trail stamp is equipped onto the wooden post of the yellow arrows. We can see the gates of the wine cellars in the hillside, in front of us, a resting place is situated on the grassy meadow at the foot of the hillock.
We turn right here, leave the last houses after a few dozen steps and begin to climb towards the hills on a well-trodden dirt road. After 6-700 steps the marked trail turns right, onto a narrower dirt road and we climb to the wide col between Kalica-tető Hill and Köves-mál-tető Hill. The marks turn left in the junction of dirt roads at the northern corner of a clear-cut, but the two branching route of the here starting signs visits two lookout points on the wide back of Kalica-tető Hill. If we have enough time, it is worth taking these, about kilometre long detours to the cliffs, because a beautiful panorama opens towards the valley of Uppony and the Lázbérci-víztározó Lake!
We stay in the forest on the route of the Blue Trail and climb to the cliffs of Három-kő-bérc (in old maps: Három-kő) Hill in twenty minutes. Short paths marked with blazes lead to the lookout points, they are only a few dozen steps long. Don’t miss the panorama opening from the top of the rocks! After the cliffs we follow the wide ridge, the ascent disappears here, our route only wave among the trees. We get to the junction of dirt roads on the top of Szilas-tető Hill after a half an hour long comfortable walk.
The Blue Trail turns right, onto a path here, cuts a hairpin bend of the dirt road and joins again to it after 500 steps. This road descends to the feet of the hills, we reach the asphalt strip of the highway leading to Putnok after an hour long walk. We turn onto this asphalt road, leave the forest and cross the railway line after about five hundred steps. After a few bends of the road we reach the wide floodplain of Sajó River and the houses of Putnok town appear at the feet of the first hills of Borsod Hilly Country.
The asphalt road runs across the cultivated fields and reaches the bridge over the river in a half an hour. We cross the river and reach a railway barrier. The road crosses the abandoned rails again (this uneconomic railway line was closed in 2009) and we glimpse the building of the railway station on the left side. The road turns right here, crosses the main railway line after a few steps at the next barrier and reaches meanderingly the junction at the station after five minutes. We find the metal box of the Blue Trail stamp on the wall of the building facing to the platforms. We finish our long hike through the Bükk Mountains here, on the platform of the railway station!
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