ICE AGE TRAIL
Public Institution Barać Caves withdrew funds from the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development in the amount of HRK 750,000.00
FUND: European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development
MEASURE: 08 Support for investments in forest area development and improvement of the viability of forests
SUB-MEASURE: 8.5 Support for investments improving the resilience and environmental value of forest ecosystems
OPERATION: 8.5.2. Establishment and improvement of walking trails, look-out points and other small-scale investments.
PROJECT NAME: Landscaping the educational Ice Age Trail accompanying minor infrastructure
PROJECT VALUE: HRK 743,950.00 (aid intensity 100%)
APPLIED ON: August 2018
IMPLEMENTATION PERIOD: 22 April 2020 – 22 April 2021
PROJECT HOLDER: Public Institution Barać Caves – Protected Areas Management In the Municipality of Rakovica
EDUCATIONAL ICE AGE TRAIL:
A number of studies have been carried out in Barać Caves over the past few years, and the results have shown that the caves are an extremely rich paleontological site. The most represented species is an extinct cave bear. Also, the researchers point to the cave lion as a very significant find, as the number of finds exceeds that of most of the cave lion sites in Croatia. Since these were animals that lived in the area of Rakovica during the Ice Age, the idea of creating an educational trail imposed itself as a logical sequence of events, inspired by the vision of presenting life during this period in a unique, innovative and visually appealing way.
WHAT THE EDUCATIONAL ICE AGE TRAIL WILL LOOK LIKE
The beginning of the Ice Age Trail will be located at the entrance, i.e. exit from Upper Barać Cave. After they have completed their tour of the cave, all visitors will pass through the Ice Age Trail on their return. In this way, a brand new circular tour system will be established, the offer of the site will be enriched, and visitors will be further educated and informed in an interactive and exciting way.
Elements of interpretation on the exterior of the Educational Ice Age Trail include:
Two new look-out points/rest areas where visitors will be able to gather, rest and observe nature. These are structures made of steel and wood that will serve to extend the trail in places where it is steep, or where it is necessary to provide a place for rest due to the climb.
On the trail, there will be ten interpretation points with elements such as interactive puzzles, paw print structures, screens with sound effects, and interpretation boards presenting trivia about Ice Age animals.
In addition to these modern interpretative elements, the project also encompasses investment in the necessary infrastructure for visitors, which includes setting up a landing/floor decking at the entrance to Upper Barać Cave, setting up a protective fence along the path in places where it is steep, and investing in sanitary facilities on the excursion site.
By setting up the Educational Ice Age Trail the objective is to, in an interactive and visually appealing way, present the species that used to live in this area during the Pleistocene (Ice Age), for the purpose of educating and informing visitors and raising the attractiveness of Barać Caves. Also, this project will improve visitor infrastructure, stimulate interest in natural heritage among visitors and locals alike, and develop awareness of the importance of preserving of natural heritage as the backbone for preserving a protected natural area.
STATEMENT BY THE DIRECTOR
A great number of visitors have already been stunned by the natural beauty of Barać Caves, but we do not want to stop there – our wish is to continue expanding our offer and provide our visitors with a variety of amenities that will make their time with us even more enjoyable. The Educational Ice Age Trail will provide added value to Barać Caves by expanding their tourist and educational offer.
Our wish is to help visitors to discover and appreciate heritage through effective interpretation, which includes methods aimed at raising visitors’ awareness of the importance of protecting and establishing a proper relationship with the heritage of the area. The value of this investment is 750 thousand kuna (excl. VAT), 100 % from the EU fund.