Bišár – Tichý potok Nature Reserve

The Bišár Nature Reserve and its haystacks. The municipality of Tichý Potok lies in the eastern part of the mountains Levočské vrchy, in the upper part of the Torysa river valley, at an altitude of 520 m. In some places, however, the area reaches a height of up to 1,090 m. The first written record on Tichý Potok dates back to 1427 to the list of villages of the Šariš Chair. The list states that the municipality belonged to a noble family from Brezovica. In documents from this period, the municipality was called Stelbach or Stillbach – the original German names with the meaning of Tichý Potok (Still Creek) given to the settlement by its owners of German origin. The locals modified this German name to sound more Slovak – Štelbach. In the municipality you will find a well-preserved “Šteľba wooden house” – now home to a museum of Ruthenian folk culture. Above the municipality is the mountain range Levočské vrchy and the Bišár Nature Reserve with an area of ​​1.6741 ha under the administration of the State Nature Protection Office. If you follow the red tourist mark, it will lead you to the unspoiled beauties of the Šariš region – beautiful meadows with haystacks. Haystacks above Tichý Potok (in local language: Šelbašské šeňiky) were used by the locals to store hay directly in the mountains. Dozens of them were scattered across the meadows, however, not very many survived. They were lost in the hazel vegetation, others succumbed to the ravages of time. Years ago, VLK (Forest Protection Group) took the best-preserved haystacks under its wings. At present, the most accessible and probably the best-preserved haystacks are located on the meadows of Lazurka or Ladzirka (Lazisko). In the past, meadows were mowed regularly to prevent their overgrowth and protect valuable plants growing there, like orange lily (Lilium bulbiferum) and mountain flowers. The presence of the rare flower species was also a reason why Bišar was declared a protected site in 1979. Lazisko is full of picturesque haystacks. Each has a floor plan of approximately 3 x 4 meters. The perimeter walls with large holes in them help with ventilation of hay. The roofs made of wood protect against direct rain. The floor is made of crushed clay, possibly mixed with remnants of hay. There is a spring nearby. Once you reach the meadow ridge, look to the southeast – there is a cottage in the forest. The approximate coordinates are N49.11962 ° E20.78712 °. The view of the meadow and haystacks from the cottage is breathtaking and worth the hike. We recommend visiting the place if you want to escape the hustle and bustle of the city – Bišár is the right place to unwind.


How to get there

In Tichý potok, follow the red tourist mark. Cross the bridge over Torysa and let yourself be led against the flow of the Černákovec stream, all the way to the old Černakovec signpost. From there it is an hour’s walk to Bišar.