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The Way to the Rocks—Changes of Networks of Hiking Trails in Chosen Sandstone Landscapes in Poland and the Czech Republic in the Period of Political Transformation

Authors
  • Kołodziejczyk, Krzysztof1
  • 1 Institute of Geography and Regional Development, University of Wroclaw, Uniwersytecki square 1, Wroclaw, 50–137, Poland , Wroclaw (Poland)
Type
Published Article
Journal
Geoheritage
Publisher
Springer Berlin Heidelberg
Publication Date
Feb 10, 2020
Volume
12
Issue
1
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1007/s12371-020-00428-9
Source
Springer Nature
Keywords
License
Green

Abstract

The political transformation taking place in Central European countries at the turn of 1980s and 1990s influenced, among other aspects, the methods of nature protection and making it available for tourism. The changes taking place at that time have been traced in the article on the example of three sandstone landscapes, which belong to the most popular geotouristic attractions of the Czech Republic and Poland: Prachov Rocks Nature Reserve with adjacent fragments of the Bohemian Paradise Protected Landscape Area, Adršpach-Teplice Rocks National Nature Reserve and the Table Mountains National Park. These changes were analysed on the basis of transformations of the networks of hiking trails and development of other tourism facilities within the boundaries of the protected areas. Analysis covers the entire period from the end of communism (1980s) up to present days. According to the study, in the case of all analysed protected areas, the systemic transformation in Central Europe played an important role as a factor affecting the network of hiking trails. In each case, however, local factors were also important. The biggest changes occurred in the Adršpach-Teplice Rocks and the Table Mountains. In the first case, the number and distribution of visitors needed to be controlled, leading to modification of route network. The main reason of its significant reduction was to separate paid routes from those not charged. In the Table Mountains, the network was substantially developed as a consequence of the establishment of a national park there and the political changes at the turn of twentieth and twenty-first centuries which opened the border zone and forced the marking of new tourist trails. In the Prachov Rocks, the existing layout of hiking trails has been largely kept unchanged because the continuous intensive tourist traffic did not allow any reductions, even if these would help to protect the environment. On the other hand, the network was really well developed, that it did not require further growth. Today’s networks of tourist trails in the Prachov Rocks and some parts of the Table Mountains seem too developed, taking into account the protective regime of both areas. In terms of interpretation of geoheritage, the most extensive and targeted offer can be found in the Table Mountains National Park. Referring to the methods used, the graph theory cannot be applied easily to tourist trails networks, especially when a dissected landscape is analysed. A simple but very helpful indicator illustrating the development of the network is the density of tourist trails per square kilometre.

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