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The Mala Fatra Mountains are an extensive range of high peaks in the north of Slovakia that form part of the Western Carpathians. These limestone mountains, reaching more than 1,700m, have many deep river valleys and gorges, canyons and caves as well as springs and waterfalls.
There are impressive forests of Beech and Oak on the lower slopes with Pine, Spruce and Fir at higher levels. In addition there are high altitude pastures used for cattle grazing and the area is becoming increasingly popular with winter sports enthusiasts.
Breeding birds include Western Capercaillie, Hazel Grouse and Black Grouse and owls such as Eurasian Eagle Owl, Tengmalm's Owl and Eurasian Pygmy Owl. Woodpeckers are common in the extensive forests and include Black Woodpecker, Grey-headed Woodpecker, White-backed Woodpecker and Three-toed Woodpecker.
Other woodland species such as Spotted Nutcracker, Wood Warbler and Crested Tit are common. Also present, but elusive, is Red-breasted Flycatcher and there is a small breeding population of Black Stork. Peregrine Falcon, Golden Eagle and Wallcreeper breed on the higher crags and the alpine meadows have Water Pipit, Alpine Accentor and Ring Ouzel.
Birds you can see here include:
Black Stork, European Honey Buzzard, Northern Goshawk, Eurasian Sparrowhawk, Common Buzzard, Lesser Spotted Eagle, Golden Eagle, Peregrine Falcon, Hazel Grouse, Black Grouse, Western Capercaillie, Corn Crake, Eurasian Eagle Owl, Eurasian Pygmy Owl, Tengmalm's Owl, European Nightjar, Common Kingfisher, Grey-headed Woodpecker, Black Woodpecker, Middle Spotted Woodpecker, White-backed Woodpecker, Three-toed Woodpecker, Wood Lark, Water Pipit, Alpine Accentor, Rufous-tailed Rock Thrush, Ring Ouzel, Wood Warbler, Red-breasted Flycatcher, Collared Flycatcher, Crested Tit, Coal Tit, Wallcreeper, Red-backed Shrike, Spotted Nutcracker, Eurasian Siskin
History and Use
The area is now very popular for both skiers in winter and hikers in summer and although disturbance has increased these mountains are now more accessible.
Areas of Interest
Access and Facilities
This extensive mountain range which is only partly under national park protection, can be reached from the E50 which passes the towns of Zilina and Martin.
There are ski lifts up to the high peaks and the park has a network of well-marked hiking trails.
Content and images originally posted by Steve