Odorheiu-Secuiesc and the Harghita Madarasi

Harghita main ridge

For walking all around the main ridge we need 5 days (90 km). Mark: blue stripe.

First day

Ozunca Băi baths - Pilișca Mare - The Meadow of Poiana Mitaci - Muntele Cucului mountain - The Sântimbru-Băi bath.

Mark: blue stripe Track time: 12 hours (back: 11 hours) Lengthy of track: 31 km. Level difference 980 m

Starting point: the rail station of Bixad, or Baraolt town. We follow the main ridge starting from Ozunca bath. The marks lead from the hunters' lodge to the wastelands of Poiana Jahoroș. We go through beech forests and we reach the top of the Mitaci mountain (1280 m). Following the mark along a forest road we can reach soon the Mitaci mountain pass (1210 m) and we cross the old road that leads towards Ciucul de Jos. There is a small forester's lodge on the Western part of the Mitaci pasture where we can have a rest, even for the night. We turn to Northwest and go through dense deciduous forests and planted pines, through the wastelands of Aladár and reach the resting place under Vf. Cucului mountain. This track takes one and a half hour. From the resting place a curved hunting path leads up to the top of Vf. Cucului (1558 m) (1/4 hour). At the resting place the road bifurcates. Our track leads westwards: the hunters' lodge on the Vf. Cucului- the Fountain of Boda. The marks depart from the old pine forest of Angyalka, and lead us up to the pasture of Sântimbru. We can find the marks on the rocks scattered on the pasture. The path along the blue stripe mark that leads us on the ridge turns to Northeast towards the famous Sântimbru-Bai bath that is situated on the Eastern slope (1 hour). Continuing our way along the shepherd path we reach the small hunter's lodge on the wastelands of Trei Fântâni. We arrive soon to the wastelands of Castanelor. The slope we go down to the valley of "Köves" stream is steep. From here, on a forest road we can reach the Southern edge of Tinovul Luci moors in a half an hour. We can find here the hunters' lodge of Șoimului and the Șoimului fountain. The moors of Tinovul Luci (1079 m) are protected area. This peated crater lake is one of the most interesting natural rarities in the South Harghita. If we come to Luci from the direction of Sântimbru-Bai bath we should follow the blue stripe marks along the forest road which leads across the Northwestern part of the holiday resort and the Eastern part of the moors. After two kilometers we reach the main road connecting Sâncrăieni and Cormoș. The main road leads through the houses of Sântimbru-Bai bath, and going in front of the mini-shop gets to the road connecting Sâncrăieni and Cormoș. The main road leads to Sâncrăieni along the Sântimbru road.

Second day

Sântimbru Băi - Tinovul Luci - Poiana Petra - Poiana Stânii - Tolvaioș peak - Cabana Brădeț.

Mark: blue stripe Track time: 5 hours Length of track: 14 km

Along the above described path we reach the Luci moors, from where in the Northwestern direction, on the Western slope of Dealul Fagului we can reach the foresters' lodge of Poiana Petra clearing and the hunters' lodge in an hour. We may rest here a while, and we keep on going in the same direction and we reach the Poiana Stânii in 1/2 hour. Here we find the tour track 7A marked with blue point that leads to Miercurea-Ciuc. Our track marked with blue stripe leads to west. After one and a half km we reach the Poiana Lupu. From here we go further to northwest through a beech forest and after two km we reach the eastern end of the Poiana Coroș pasture. Down, on the left we can see a foresters' lodge. We go further in front of the sheepfold, on the left considering a hunters' lodge to East and ten to north and after a half an hour we reach the Tolvaioș peak. From here, after 800 m to West we reach the Brădeț hostel, which is about 100 m from the main road.

Third day

Pasul Tolvaioș - Cabana Brădeț - Vf. Vinului - Harghita Băi

Mark: blue stripe Track time: 2 1/2 hours Length of track: 6 km Level difference: 350 m

We can reach Harghita-Băi in two ways from the Tolvaioș peak. The first way is going along the main road (road for cars), which leads up to Harghita-Băi and begins 400 m westwards from the Brădeț Hostel along the Negru stream (water with china clay). The second path that is marked with blue stripe begins from the Northern side of the hostel and for 15-20 minutes leads through a wide pasture. There is a sheepfold on the pasture. The slope begins after the clearing. We go through scarce pine forests on a good path and after 35-40 minutes we reach a wagon road which leads up on the Western side of Vf. Vinului. After 1 h walk in the woods at the edge of the wood we can see the deposit of the china clay mine. After 20 minutes we arrive to a road indicator that shows the way towards the ski tracks. We continue our way westwards and we reach Harghita bath. In the baths there is a foresters' lodge on the left, a market and after 200 m we reach the Uz Bence hostel (1350 m). On the fence in front of the entrance we can see the tourist map of the region.

Fourth day

Harghita-Băi Uz Bence hostel - The foot of the Harghita Ciceului - Colțul Teșit - Poiana Racoș - Poiana Mare - Cabana Harghita Mădăraș

Mark: blue stripe Track time: 4 hours Length of track: 11 km. Level difference 510 m

This is quite a difficult track; in winter recommended only for groups of good skiers. Starting from the hostel we go along the road that leads up to the TV-radio amplifying station of Harghita Ciceului. After about 560 m we turn to the right to a narrow path that leads through the pine forest. After 1 hour difficult walk we reach the abandoned hunters' lodge that is on the Valea Urșilor clearing. We continue our way through the pins. Soon we reach a stream and we continue our way to Northwest on the Eastern side of the Harghita Ciceului. After a while we go down on a rocky chute. On the right we can see the valley of a little stream that leads to Siculeni. We go up again on the marked path and leaving a wet and swampy place with trees we reach a spring and after that a abandoned hunters' lodge; going around the lodge we go up on a wide road and reach a rocky place named Colțul Teșit, after that place we go Westwards and reach a bigger clearing. Here we can see sheepfolds, we go down a little and once again we are among pine trees on a wet and swampy path. We go along streams that go westwards and we reach a narrow clearing that has a path indicator on the northern end. Once again we go through a pine forest and after 3 km from the Poiana Mare (Mădărași) we arrive to a big meadow. We can see a path indicator on the right side. This indicator 5 marked with blue cross marks the beginning of the road that leads to Racu. The marks are painted on pine trees that are on the edge of the forest. This indicates that if we go westwards we will reach the Harghita Mădărași hostel in 20 minutes. The arrow pointing the northwest direction leads us up to the Harghita Mădărași peak. The blue stripe marks lead westwards. We go on a wide road and we reach the hostel in 20 minutes. In the Vargyas crater there is a ski track with elevator that functions from November to May. On the Southwestern slope there is a ski track for beginners, which is situated on the spring region of the Sugó stream. On the Southern side there is the ski track with elevator of the Mihai Mountain (quite abrupt). There is one more quite small ski track on the northern side of the hostel. The 1801 m high peak of the Harghita Mădărași is situated northwards considering the hostel. We can reach the peak after 1 h walk. Going along the above described marked track on the left from the indicator after 1 hour walk northwards through junipers and cranberries and beautiful rocks we reach the peak that is a convex peak with grass and snow in the winter; in the middle there is a pyramid made of rocks which indicates the highest point of Harghita Mountain. When the weather is clean the wiew really beautiful.

Fifth dah

Harghita Mădărași hostel - Filio hunters' lodge- Fertău saddle - Muntele Mic peack - Muntele Observator - down on the left the Lacul Dracului lake - Fagul Roșu look out - Pasul Șicas

Mark: blue stripe Track time: 9 hours Length of track: 25 km. Level difference: 420 m

Starting from the Harghita Mădărași hostel in the Northwestern direction on the Filio forest road after 800 m, after the hunters' lodge we turn to the right. At the Western foot of Harghita Mădărași we go on a trodden path through a beautiful pinewood and we reach the Poiana "Crucile de piatră" clearing. Here there is a sheepfold too. From here we go to Northwest through a pine forest on the edge of the Mădărași craters until we reach the highest point (1427 m). From the hostel we walked 6 km in 2 1/2 hours. Northwards from here there is a clearing with a sheepfold, after that on the right we go along the edge of the craterand after 3 km we reach the Mădărași tourist track 4A that is marked with blue cross (this leads down to the hunters' lodge). Now we are in the Fertău saddle in the Poiana Porcului moors and we go to northeast towards Fertău peak (1589 m). From here after 3 km from the peak we go through pine forests until we reach the Western edge of the Muntele Observator and after 1 km we reach the path that leads to the Lacul Dracului lake. From here We walk one more km and we arrive to the intersecting point with the Lok waters tourist track that is marked with blue cross. After that we climb to the look out of the Muntele Fagul Roșu. From here we go northwestwards and then Westwards through pine and beech forests and we arrive to the two sheepfolds from where we walked 1 1/2 km from the look out. We go through beech forests and we reach the clearing on the Poiana Liban peak where there are two sheepfolds. After 5 km from the look out we reach the Liban peak, the DJ 138 main road, and here ends the main ridge track. We can spend a night here in the barn or in the sheepfold, or we can go down to Liban that is 6 km away if you go along the main road (2 hours) where you can easily be accommodated.