Bike ride will stop for trees

A project to help people find out about Prague's trees offers rides, walks and maps

Cyclists who have been hitting the trails for a long time often need something new to add a bit of adventure. A project called Stromojízda, or Tree Ride, has routes that highlight significant trees along the way. Their is also an organized ride on Aug. 25, with commentary in Czech. The ride starts at 4 pm near metro Chodov by the listed oak tree at the intersection of U Kunratického lesa and Na Ovčíně streets. The tree called Kunratický dub at the edge of the Kunratický Forest is hard to miss, since it is 18 meters tall and estimated to be 130 years old.

The ride will is approximately 30 kilometers and will end near the Praha-Modřany train station by the Vltava river. Along the way riders can learn about individual trees and the history of local forests as the group stops at selected trees and viewpoints. There are 20 stops as the route goes through Kunratice, Libuš, Pisnice, Točná and Komořany.

The route will even include some giant sequoia trees (Sequoiadendron giganteum) in Michelský les. They are not native to the woods, but came from seedlings from a castle nursery. They grow taller every year, but are still small compared to ancient ones in sequoia forests. Currently the pair of trees is 35 meters tall.

Other trees on the route are not as tall, but significant because of their age or the role they play in the local ecology and biotope. Some have stories associated with them, such as one tree that is the sole survivor of a small group of three trees that had been alone in a field. The survivor stands as inspiration for never giving up.

A flyer, in Czech, with a link to the route map can be found here: www.prazskestromy.cz

Organizing group Pražské stromy (Prague Trees) also has other events such as guided walks through different parts of the city.

For people who would rather go at their own pace, more routes for walking and biking can be found on www.prazskestromy.cz. You can also take self-guided audio tours using a smartphone that can read QR codes on signs next to trees.

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