Located 40km from Budapest, towards Vác up the Danube Bend, the Gyada nature trail is cosy excursion destination by Naszály Hill. A six-kilometre round trip, this scenic walk appeals to the whole family, with sights for the adults and playgrounds for the kids.
With a total hiking time of two to three hours, the Gyada nature trail is an ideal getaway. Along the route are many spectacular views and landmarks, such as the suspension bridge over a small gorge – the longest of its kind in Hungary – and raised paths through a swamp, offering an attractive meander through the trees.
The start and end point is the tour centre in Szendehely, the Katalinpusztai Kirándulóközpont. There are many child-friendly activities here, which might be a little distracting for little ones whose parents want to go on a long hike! A large car park accommodates visitors, next to a sweeping meadow, miniature railway, playground and information building, with a pond and snack bar nearby.
An orderly, easy-to-traverse gravel road leads you into the woods, which are full of well-maintained pathways and open spaces for exploring.
The nature trail is exactly 6.1 kilometres long, with little fluctuations in elevation, resulting in an intermediate-level hike which won’t leave you huffing and puffing at the end. Its scenic nature will have you stopping to admire the surroundings, so expect to add a little time to that estimated two to three hours.
Like most trails in Hungary, the Gyada is lined with clear markers – in this case, a big green T. The red one indicates the roads through the hills.
The hike also touches Lósi creek, following its natural banks until you come to a huge clearing which marks the forest floodplain and Lósi creek itself. This large, muddy, swampy area would seem to signal the end of the day’s adventures, but not a bit of it: a romantic, winding footpath on raised wooden planks takes you through the area without getting any mud on your boots. It all feels very Gothic, particularly at dusk.
In the warmth of daylight, however, there’s nothing spooky about the area, and you might find it fairy tale-like, instead. A Giant’s Resting Place, with an open grill and picnic areas, has been fashioned from forest furniture for multiple families to enjoy a meal in the woods.
Another swampy area then follows, again navigable by raised plank walkways. This is where you come to a tricky swing bridge which moves here and there as you cross it.
From there, you reach Gyadai meadow, where you can relax for a bit, tuck into the snacks you packed and admire the scenery. At this point, the red and green trails you’ve been following separate, the red one heading in a different direction. Instead, a blue line now joins up to the trusty green T, so keep both those signs in mind in case you get lost!
After the open space of the meadow, it’s time to dive back into the forest, which brings you to the longest pedestrian suspension bridge in Hungary. It spans a large, shallow gorge, covered in old leaves from the trees above.
Following the bridge, the trail gradually winds to a close, bringing you through the tranquillity of the forest with birds chirping overhead. Part of this route is also integral to the national Blue Tour, and 13 information boards along the way illustrate local forestry and wildlife.