Lisina Forest Park:
Lisina is a protected karst landscape next to the spacious protected area of Učka Nature Park. It belongs to the mountainous areas of Ćićarija mountain range and is almost entirely wooded with beautiful thickets of littoral beech forest. Only in some small areas is it spotted with picturesque meadows and grassy forest glades. This area has a long tradition of being visited by day-trippers. The forest resources of the mountain have always attracted the local inhabitants as well, who were traditionally busy collecting firewood, burning charcoal and hunting edible dormice.
Category of protection: protected landscape
Year of proclamation: 1997
Document proclaiming protection: Službene novine Official Gazette, issues 8/97 and 12/97
Area: 1,394 ha
Location: area of the Municipality of Matulji (Ćićarija)
Altitude: 600 – 1,241 m
Flora: autumn moor grass (Sesleria autumnalis), martagon lily (Lilium martagon), stemless lousewort (Pedicularis acaulis), blue lungwort (Pulmonaria australis), dark blue spring gentian (Gentiana tergestina), cowslip (Primula columnae); plenty of fungi, especially boletes (Boletaceae)
Fauna: edible dormouse (Myoxus glis), roe-deer, foxes, badgers, hares, martens, plenty of forest birds, occasionally deer and boars
Vegetation: littoral beech forest with autumn moor grass (Seslerio-Fagetum), to a lesser extent European hop-hornbeam forest (Seslerio-Ostryetum) and planted coniferous cultures – black pine (Pinus nigra), silver fir (Abies alba) and spruce (Picea abies)
The protected landscape of Lisina is a spacious karst wooded area in Ćićarija mountain range, which is a continuation of Učka Nature Park. The area of Lisina with its mountain hut and meadows surrounded by luxuriant littoral beech forests is a favourite destination of hikers and mountaineers and the starting point for numerous attractive walks to the nearby peaks and natural sites. One of the most interesting peaks in this wooded mountain landscape is the peak of Crni vrh (1,037 m). Over its picturesque ridge leads a mountaineering path starting south-west of the Lisina mountain hut. The ridge is rather rocky with a few smaller compact forest rocks where – even at this altitude – some representatives of thermophile Mediterranean-montane forests grow: European hop-hornbeam (Ostrya carpinifolia), manna ash (Fraxinus ornus) and others, mixed with representatives of the beech forests. Among rare plants, the protected martagon lily (Lilium martagon) can be found here. The nearby peak of Kadički vrh (1,104 m) is surrounded by karst terrain covered with beech forest and characterised by many forest sinkholes, smaller forest rocks and deep pits in which the snow remains until late spring. These areas are rarely visited by hikers or day-trippers, although there are several logging roads in this very interesting landscape. More visited is the area of Vodička griža (1,143 m) with the famous source of Vodice at its foot. This is the favourite point for hikers during the summer heat when the extremely cold spring water offers delicious refreshment. The peak of Vodička griža can be reached in only 10 minutes on foot from the source. The peaks of Lisina (1,183 m) and Gomila (1,241 m) are probably the most visited mountaineering destinations within the protected landscape, but the views from these points are limited because of a thick beech forest. To the north, there is the peak of Lepi (1,014 m) afforested with coniferous forests. The furthest south-eastern part of the protected landscape is the peak of Beljač (787 m), partially covered with planted black pine forest. Whilst other areas of the protected landscape of Lisina are mostly covered with beech forests, the area of Beljač is in the belt of thermophile European hop-hornbeam. Therefore, the flora here is somewhat different to the flora elsewhere in this area. Grassy surfaces play a significant role in preserving biodiversity in protected landscapes, but there are only few such areas here. Meadows in the vicinity of the Lisina mountain hut are mostly neglected and overgrown with thicket. Some of the rare plants covering these grasslands can be noticed already in the spring. Amongst others, these are for example the Tertiary relict stemless lousewort (Pedicularis acaulis) and blue lungwort (Pulmonaria australis), which also grow on the grasslands of Učka. In the forests of Lisina are some well-known habitats of the edible dormouse (Myoxus glis), which local inhabitants traditionally hunt in autumn.
The protected landscape of Lisina is the immediate continuation of the northern border of Učka Nature Park. Visitors who arrive from Poklon on Učka and climb the peak of Planik, the highest point of Ćićarija, often end their walk on Lisina and then take the bus from the village of Zvoneća. The entire tour takes 7-8 hours of moderate walking and is somewhat demanding in terms of orientation, but the paths are marked. Those who climb Crni vrh from Lisina can descend down the picturesque grassy glade of Mala Sapca towards Rukavac or Veprinac. Lisina mountain hut can be reached by gravel roads from the villages of Rukavac, Zvoneća or Veprinac. Since the hut is temporarily closed, visitors interested in Lisina should find accommodation on the Liburnian Riviera (for example in Opatija, approximately 15 km from the Lisina hut!), and make use of the bus routes to the villages at the foot of Lisina – Zvoneća, Rukavac and Veprinac. The diligent mountaineers of Matulji have recently traced out and marked the hiking-tourist trail through the most beautiful area of Lisina. This is called the “Lisina path” and passes over all the most important mountain peaks; it has ten control points and covers a length of approximately 30 kilometres of air distance.
While in this area, one should also visit some other interesting landscapes and cultural-historical sites like the locally significant terraces in the village of Zvoneća or the ancient small town of Veprinac, located on the belvedere hill above Opatija. The ancient town of Kastav, full of interesting attractions and legends, is also worth a visit. In the small nearby coastal town of Volosko, the scientist Andrija Mohorovičić was born, the discoverer of the Earth’s discontinuity, which was named the Moho in his honour. To the north of Kastav is the spacious karst forest of Lužina, especially attractive to trekkers, recreationists, and all nature lovers. In the spatial plan for the County of Primorje-Gorski kotar, the forest has been proposed for protection in the category of protected landscape. The cave of Sparožna, located within this area, has a long tradition of being visited – going back to the times of the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy. It has not been electrified, but a path has been laid down within the cave. The key to it is held by the members of the Estavela Spelaeological Society from Kastav.