The Ciuc Mountains

Bypass tracks

Track no.18: Livezi railway station- Viaduct Caracău-valley bridge- Vf. Livezii peak slope (1289 m) - Gyertyán peak- Cad ridge- Vf.Kocsonka (898 m) - Cad peak (842 m) - Vf. Ceții hill (765 m) - cariera Văcărești mine stone - atu Nou, church

Mark: unmarked Length of track: 16 km Track time: 5-6 hours Level difference: 610 m Description: Accessible in each season.

We arrive in the morning on the railway no. 501 to the Livezi railway station. We walk back along the rails and we reach viaductul Caracău valley bridge (1,3 km). This is the biggest railway viaduct in Romania. Length: 264 m, height: 61 m, radius of the arc: 37 m, length of arc: 100 m. First it was built in 1897, but it was ruined at the end of the First World War. The second bridge was ruined in 1944. The present bridge was built in 1945. At the bottom of the bridge there are a few houses on the right side of the railway. A road goes up near the houses on the southern side of Vf. Livezii peak, across a huge field with hay fields and pastures. We may choose this path, or we may climb up to Vf. Livezii peak (1289 m) by following the path that goes under the bridge and goes along the viaductul Caracău stream. We can find mushrooms on the slope. From the peak we can see the Bazinul Ciucului de Mijloc basin. After a short rest we go further to west (left) on the edge of the forest and we reach the Cad ridge. We are careful to not to go down to Illanc stream, so we don't fallow the paths that go to the right. We go through a wood (2 km) and we reach a ridge named the creasta "Gyertyán" peak. Here we can see the north willages of the Bazinul Ciucului de Sus basin. We go along the creasta "Gyertyán" peak and Vf. Cad-mountain. The view is beautiful. After 2 km we are above Nădejdea railway station. We may go down to the station and catch a train home. Or we can continue the tour on the ridge path. Near the Nădejdea railway station we go further and we see the Cad forest. After 4 km the road bifurcates: - the road 18/A leads across the Vf. Stejarului hill and reaches the forsaken stone mine near cariera Văcărești (part of Racu). We can see here basalt andesits. There is a lake in the yard of the mine. This is a unique lake in Ciuc. We leave the mine and walk to Satu Nou to see the church. - the road 18/B leads along the Cad ridge and turns to the left under Racu peak (808 m) and reaches the church of Satu Nou. Before we go and see the church, let's take a look at the graveyard. We find here the grave of Zöld Péter, the leader of the opposition movement in 1764, called the peril of Madéfalva. We can also visit in Racu the Cserey mansion, under the Vf.Bogat hill there is the mineral water bath and on the hill the Saint Jakab chapel.

Track no.19: Miercurea-Ciuc- Fitod - Véreskép - the church of Leliceni - ridge of Bocskor mountain- Vf. Fagului (939 m) - Hosasău - Hosasău stream- Xántus chapel- Fitod - Miercurea-Ciuc

Mark: unmarked Length of track: 15 km Track time: 5-6 hours Level difference: 260 m Description: Accessible in each season, it's an easy track.

We start from the eastern end of Miercurea-Ciuc, from the editorial office of Hargita Népe daily paper. We go along the asphalt road towards Misentea, we leave behind the farm between the city and Fitod. Going around "Dealul Cáka" hill we see the Șuta accumulation lake and the woody hill of Șuta on the right, and on the left we observe the round peak of Șumuleul Mare. At the beginning of Fitod the road bifurcates. We don't enter the village but we go along the road that goes towards Misentea, uphill. On the highest point of the saddle situated between creasta "Bocskor" hill and Șuta, on the edge of the road we observe Véreskép, the first important point of our track. We go further to Leliceni. From the center of the first group of houses starts a road that goes to the left. We leave the main road and we follow this narrow road to reach the church. The church is a valuable monument from the Roman Age, built in gothic and baroque style. Several pieces of the furniture are art treasures. A 300 years old lime-tree grows in front of the church. The old tree is on the list of the protected plants of Hargita county. The key of the church is kept in the vicarage. After visiting the church we continue our way through the graveyard or along the fence of the graveyard. We go across the marshy hay fields of the pârâului Banatoș stream. We go across the stream and climb up to the edge of the Bocskor mountain and turn to the right we go along the ridge towards Hosasău. Before reaching the Vf. Fagului (939 m) peak ve observe a road crossing our way. We keep straight on and follow the ridge road, and we reach the saddle between Vf. Fagului and Vf. Trei Fântâni peak (948 m). Here comes up the cart-road that comes from Misentea and goes to Hosasău (difficult by car). We turn to the left in the saddle and we go down along the edge of a small forest and we reach Hosasău. We can find here mineral water. There is a church on the round and steep hill. Around the church there is an abandoned graveyard. After 1974 many people moved from here. After visiting the village we turn back and go downwards the valley of Hosasău. The road goes along the left bank of the stream. After two kilometers on the left we reach the Xántus chapel on the edge of the forest. Opposite the chapel, on the Libidári hill in the forest we can find the ruins of the Xántus castle. The road from the chapel to Fitod is two kilometers long. Leaving Fitod, following the road we reach Miercurea-Ciuc.

Track no. 20: Miercurea-Ciuc -the hills of Cáka - slope of Șumuleul Mare - Șumuleul Mare peak (1033 m) - saddle of the two Șumuleul - Saint Antal chapel- mineral water spring of Șumuleu- church of the Blessed Virgin of Șumuleu - Miercurea-Ciuc

Mark: unmarked Length of track: 10 km Running time: 4-5 hours Level difference: 380 m Description: Recommended in each season.

This track can also be interpreted as a pilgrimage to Șumuleul Mare and Șumuleu . Starting from the center of Miercurea-Ciuc on the Leliceni street we reach the press. Following the asphalt road we leave behind (on the left) the farm and the dealul "Cáka" hill (on the right). We turn to the left in the curve after the farm and we continue our way on plough-land. The path goes up gradually on the southwestern slope of Șumuleul Mare. As we climb up we reach a forest road that goes around the mountain. The view starts to be beautiful. When we reach the round-going road we follow it in the right direction, eastwards. We go through a forest, and after 500-600 m the road ends on a clearing. Walking further on the edge of the forest we reach the edge of Poiana Șerpilor wasteland. Here, in a young larch forest (Larix decidua, deciduous pine) on the left on the border of the two forests we find the road which goes up to Șumuleul Mare. The road goes up gradually to the saddle between the western peak of Șumuleu mountain and the main peak. From the saddle we follow the trodden road up to the peak of Șumuleul Mare (1033 m). On the top there is a 25 meters high look out tower made of metallic pipes. The Șumuleu mountain is in the very center of the rigion, there is no other place from where one could get a better view of the Bazinul Ciucului basin. After a while we come down from the peak. At the beginning we follow the same road we came up. We go around Șumuleul Mare from west by following the road on the edge of the forest. We reach the slim saddle between Șumuleul Mic- and Șumuleul Mare - the pilgrims' arrival point and the scene of the Ezer Székely Leány day (Thousand Sekler Ladies' day). There is an outdoor altar designed by Makovecz Imre. Down, on the southwestern peak of the mountain there is the Saint Anton chapel. There is an other way down from Șumuleul Mic: following the Golgota path, which consists of 14 stations. The upper end of this path is on the yard of Salvator chapel, where the Passió chapel and the hermitage is. Both passages end at the roofed mineral water spring, in Șumuleu. At the end of the tour we arrive back to Miercurea-Ciuc, either on the Sec road or towards the Márton Áron high school, or we can cross the meadow towards the Spicului quarter.