Izvorul Mures and its surroundings

Tracks of Bălan

Track no.25: Bălan (865 m) - valea pârâului Fierarilor - Colțul Mestecănișului - Cabana Piatra Singuratică (1504 m)

Mark: blue stripe Running-time: 1 1/2 hours Length of track: 4,5 km Level difference: 639 m, accessible in all seasons.

Our starting point is Bălan, which lies at the upper course of the Olt river, 35 km from Miercurea-Ciuc and at 11 km from the Izvorul Olt rail station. There is also a daily bus line between Miercurea-Ciuc and Bălan. We start our track from the catholic church of the town, from the spring of Pârâul Fierarilor stream. The first part of our route (800 m) goes along the Pârâul Fierarilor stream, on the Pârâul Fierarilor street . Reaching the last house the mark climbs to the mountain foot surrounded by one ranch of the Pârâul Fierarilor stream and the "Szoros" stream. On the path, 45 m after leaving the valley of Pârâul Fierarilor stream, we reach the first clearing. The clearing goes along the eastern side of the ridge. Soon the mark crosses on the other side of the Colțul Mestecănișului ridge, touches a forest, then crosse a side branch of the "Szép" stream. Crossing the stream we reach the bottom of the clearing, where we meet the red triangle that goes along "Szép" stream. Advancing near the ski track after 300 m we reach the hostel at the foot of Piatra Singuratică. From here we can see the walls of the Ciucului basin.

Route no.26: Bălan (865 m) - valley of "Szép-patak" (885) - Piatra Singuratică hostel(1504 m)(1504)

Mark: red triangle Running-time: 2 hours Length of track: 5,5 km Level difference: 639 m, accessible in all seasons.

We start from the Catholic church of the town, from the Kovács stream estuary. The first part of the road (2 km) goes together with the track no. 27. We leave the main road no. 125 near the foresters' lodge at the "Szép" stream estuary, and we go further towards east on a forest road, where we meet the arrow mark. Here we leave the forest road, we jump over the fence and climb to the mountain foot between Szép and Nagy streams. Soon a cart road appears which leads to a clearing, on which we walk 1,6 km and reach some huts. At the last hut on the right we meet a cart road, and on the left a tractor road. Here the clearing crosses a young forest. Here starts the hardest part of the track, the road gets steeper, then reaching a valley turns to the lower end of the ski track. Here we meet a blue stripe that comes from Bălan, then the two marks go together up near the ski track to the hostel. We can continue our way on the tourist track no.2 or no.25.

Track no.27: Bălan (roman catholic church) (865) - under the Bălan accumulation lake (950) - Fagul Oltului stream estuary (940) - "Meggyes" stream estuary (995) - Valley of "Vas" stream - Poiana Albă meadow (1490)

Mark: blue stripe, at the Meggyes stream estuary the blue cross Running-time: 4 1/2 hours Length of track: 12,5 km Level difference: 625 m, hard in the winter

We start our track from the catholic church from Bălan from the Pârâul Fierarilor stream estuary. The first part of the track (600 m) goes along the street 1 Decembrie 1918. We reach the bus station of the town. We cross the Olt bridge and pass by the industrial zone on the left bank of the Olt river. We reach a pass and after leaving behind the houses and the foresters' lodge we see the red triangle going up towards east to the Piatra Singuratică hostel. We follow the main road no.125 which climbs soon on the right side of the accumulation lake. We start to descend and leave the lake behind. 600 m from the end of the lake, on the left the Sípos stream pours into the Olt river, along which we can go to the "Súgó" cave, then after 800 m we reach the Fagul Oltului stream estuary. From here to the north, along the waters of the Fagul Oltului we go further on the main road no.25 towards Pângărați peak. Our track follows the Olt valley on the main road no.125/A, after 2,7 km we reach the "Meggyes" stream estuary, where we can see some houses. Here we find the blue cross. The main road 125/A follows the Olt valley by touching Covacipeter peak and leads to the motel 4 km milestone. Turning to the right on the forest road of "Meggyes" stream we reach the "Vas" stream estuary. Here at the VIII/50 forester landmark we follow the "Vas" stream forest road. The "Vas" stream joins us on 2 km, first we reach the VIII/75 forester landmark, then after 10 min walk the blue cross leaves the road. The blue cross goes further on a path then turns to the right and goes along a stream. After rising 5 min we meet the main road no.125. We don't follow this road but we advance in a forest on a large path. Our road crosses one side stream of "Vas" stream then the grassy path (cart road) turns to the left. After 200 m in the forest another curve follows, we turn to the right and go upwards on the edge of the valley. Finally, touching one side branch of the stream in the valley, we reach after a few curves and after crossing the forest, the Poiana Albă . From the focal point to the right we can reach Piatra Singuratică hostel, to the left the Poiana Albă meadow tourist point, from where we can go in three different directions.

Track no.28: Bălan ("Gálkút" stream estuary) (825 m) - Pasul Dracului - Șaua Tarcău (1297 m)

Mark: without mark Running-time: 1 1/2 hours Length of track: 5 km Level difference: 472 m, accessible in all seasons

This track follows the main road no. 127/B, goes along the northern mountain ridge of the Ciucului mountains (Noșcolat and Hășmaș mountain). Our walking tour begins at the "Gálkút" stream estuary, track recommended for those who come from the Ciucului basin. The entrance of Gálkút is 8 km from Sândominic and 2,5 km from the center of Bălan. The ridge is accessible by car in dry weather. At our starting place there is a bus station. Here we cross the Olt bridge, soon we reach (right) a foresters' lodge and on the left we can see some private houses. The road continues under a gate and starts to rise. Soon we see on the right the forest road of Noșcolat. After 400 m another road separates from the main road and goes up along the "Tibék" stream. After two curves we enter the forest and we rise on the steep mountain foot between the "Bálintok" stream and "Tibék" stream. After 1,5 km another curve, then the Pasul Dracului pass serpentines follow. Here springs the "Bálintok" stream and this is the clearing of Tarcău saddle. In the saddle we can find some huts and a sheepfold. Going towards south, after 500 m the "Ködlátó" peak (1361 m) emerges. This is an important tourist point: the route no.2 leads towards northeast to the hostel situated at the foot of Piatra Singuratică (2 h), towards east following the Iavardi stream we can reach Valea Rece and Lunca de Jos, following the red stripe mark towards southeast we can reach the Livezi Ciuc rail station, touching in our way the ridges of Noșcolat mountain, Noșcolatul Danfălăului, Vf. Sălămaș peak, Crucea Condra. The fourth option is to descend from the saddle to Trei Fântâni on the forest road, which leads further to the Lacul Roșu holiday camp, dodging the main ridge of Hășmaș.