The 17th section of the Blue Trail crosses the vast forests of Magas-Börzsöny, climbs to its highest peak and grants a retrospect looking back on Visegrád Mountains and the Danube Bend from Szent Mihály-hegy.
As for landscape character perhaps it is Börzsöny that resembles the Carpathians the most. The caldera (collapsed magma chamber) of the giant volcano is easy to spot on satellite photos. Inside and outside the steep rim of the hollow there is the largest uninhabited and contiguous forest of Hungary.
Despite its small size Börzsöny grants a real mountain forest experience far from inhabited areas with varied rock formations. Exploring High Börzsöny or hiking to Csóványos involves lengthy ascents and elevation change requiring good physical condition. Mountain arrangement determines trail network as well. Trails converge at the highest altitude so discovering inner parts is a challenging hike if we plan to make day trips.
Each creek of the interior area leaves the mountain by feeding only Fekete Creek and the radial arrangement of creeks divided the mountain in a special way. Another specialty of Börzsöny is the unusual height of the ridgeline around the caldera, making the mountain seem higher than it really is (700-900 m) and creating an unusually extensive contiguous wilderness.
The trail sets off from the riverside village Nagymaros to climb Szent Mihály-hegy, the “fugitive” as geologically it belongs to Visegrád Mountains, although separated by the Danube. Julianus lookout tower grants a breathtaking view over the Danube hugging the mount. Then the trail continues to Törökmező and Kóspallag on the edge of the mountains. Past hikers’ lodge of Kisinóc the challenge to hike through Magas-Börzsöny begins. A lengthy ascent takes you to Nagy-Hideg-hegy with a hikers’ lodge on the barren top and the trail follows the rim of the caldera to the highest peak of the mountains, Csóványos (938 m).
Another lengthy ascend takes you to the eastern side and this section ends in Nógrád, at the train station right below the castle.
Recommended entries and exits
Basic gear: hiking boots, seasonable wear, drinking water, food. Use Természetjáró app. to navigate.