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  • Writer's pictureStefan Ivanov

Slivodol falls

Updated: Jan 23, 2023

My dear friends, come with me on a magnificent walk through the picturesque Rhodopes, the Red Wall Reserve and trail №7 Ribarnik "Tunnel" near the village of Bachkovo - waterfall Slivodolsko Padalo.

Slivodol falls
Slivodol falls in all its beauty and splendor

The small river Slivov dol, which, flowing through the Western Rhodopes, forms an extremely beautiful along its valley, so picturesque, but in some places quite dangerous canyon, flows into the Chepelare River right near the fishpond "Tunnel" near the village of Bachkovo.

This is where my next adventure begins

I had definitely heard of one of the highest waterfalls in the Rhodopes - Slivodolsko padalo falls, which with its 50 meters of height ranks first, but what I did not know is how beautiful and amazing it really is.

I had also heard that along the river I would have the opportunity to see a significant number of smaller, but as it turned out, no less beautiful waterfalls. That's why I decided that now is the time of year to hunt waterfalls.

Are you ready to hunt waterfalls? Let's go then!

How to get to the starting point of the trail?

Take the road Asenovgrad - Smolyan. Immediately after the first tunnel after the village of Bachkovo, turn left, where you will find the opportunity to leave your car. An excellent landmark is the Pond "Tunnel" near the village of Bachkovo, located on the right.

You can also leave your car next to it.

Keep in mind that the destination is quite known and in good weather, on weekends or holidays, many people will probably will think of visiting this natural landmark, so go early in the morning and be sure to find a place to leave your car.

Prepare for moderately difficult terrain, ie excellent hiking boots and water, bearing in mind that in spring or autumn the temperature at the cherished goal will be definitely lower, so an outerwear is always a good idea.

Cross the bridge over the Chepelarska River in the direction of the tunnel. On the wall of the tunnel you will see a small yellow arrow with the inscription Reserve "Red Wall", Slividolsko Padalo waterfall and added by hand 1 hour and 30 minutes.

From here begins the trail №7 "Tunela" fishpond, Bachkovo village - Slivodolsko Padalo waterfall. The trail is perfectly marked in blue. There is certainly nowhere to go wrong in either direction. Its length is 1810 meters. It is done with a normal course and with breaks for about an hour and a half on the way out and definitely faster on the way back.

Now I would like to draw your attention! The trail is of medium difficulty, and there are definitely easier and very pleasant places to walk, but as a famous and mountain guide described in his blog, the canyon of the Slivov Dol River is very dangerous as a landscape and I definitely invite you to be very careful all the time.

Yes, although there were really many families with little children, there are definitely a few sections of the trail that require your full concentration. The places are extremely narrow, the passage is made on rocks, and just a step away you will find quite deep precipices, and only a moment of inattention can be fatal. So just be careful and keep an eye on the kids!

It is obvious that years ago the trail was in extremely good condition. Unfortunately, time has begun to have a negative impact here as well. Some of the bridges you will cross are no longer complete and you will need to apply acrobatic skills to get to the other shore. Also, in some places the wooden steps are left with a number of less footrests. So be careful!

The picturesque canyon and the waterfalls

In general, the canyon of the river Slivov dol is incredibly picturesque!

The water has formed a number of ponds that are so clear and so clean that I had the feeling that they were empty, that there was no water in them - it was so clean.

Along the river you will find a huge number of larger, smaller waterfalls and falls, and all of them more beautiful, noisier and clearer than the previous one.

I guess if you choose spring for your visit, the waterfalls will be in all their glory and splendor!

At the beginning of the trail and immediately after the first steeper climb, you will pass along Granichna Street (means Border street "I am winking here"). Probably the name comes from the fact that here pass the border between the municipalities of Asenovgrad and Laki.

The trail to the Slivodol falls in Rhodopes, Bulgaria

As you will see from the magnifecent photo and video material, the beauty of the waterfalls is simply phenomenal!

Even though we are in the Rhodopes and in the Red Wall Reserve, I constantly had the feeling that the Krushuna waterfalls are scattered all around, they are so similar.

The Red Wall Reserve was declared as such in 1962 in order to preserve unique for the Rhodopes plant and animal species. This has kept the area extremely clean. The whole canyon of the Slivov dol river is rich in karst forms.

Interesting signs are placed on the trees along the path, which will entertain you as you walk towards the cherished goal.

The trail to the Slivodol falls in Rhodopes, Bulgaria
The path of the snowdrops

The snowdrop trail, yes, I would easily call it that, because at the end of February, the whole trail on both sides was totally full of snowdrops.

Incredible beauty!

Slowly you will get to the first stop - a wooden forest hut, in front of which you will find a table and a bench to rest. Rest well here, because the steeper part of the trail follows.

The trail to the Slivodol falls in Rhodopes, Bulgaria

Minutes from the shed you will find the Cherry Sprinkler. This is a relatively high (with a water drop of about 20 meters) and quite beautiful waterfall.

Cherry Sprinkler along the trail to the Slivodol falls in Rhodopes, Bulgaria

Some visitors had mistakenly believed that this was the cherished goal, but it was not.

The trail passes Cherry Sprinkler, and at one point you will find yourself just above it and then continue uphill.

At the end of the trail is the steepest part, especially on the way back. Be very careful!

From afar you will notice the cherished goal, and you will hear it - the characteristic roar of water falling from a height.

Slivodol falls

Slowly and carefully you will arrive in front of the majestic waterfall Slivodolsko Padalo.

They say that before up here, at the end of our walk today, there was a bench, today there is none, but that did not stop me from enjoying less the majesty and beauty of nature.

Standing here, you look small in front of such a view - a huge sheer rock, the water begins its way down somewhere in the trees above, makes a turn and descends headlong, creating a wide water drapery.

Although it was nearly 20 degrees at the beginning of the trail, the sun does not penetrate up here at all and the temperature is probably not more than 5-6 degrees.

I see some huge frozen parts of ice along the fall. Water has so etched the rocks over the centuries that everything looks unrealistically beautiful.

Somewhere down below, the water collapses with a rumble, forming a (probably deep) lake.

After I froze properly, I decided to go back.

It was here that I encountered the greatest difficulty - this narrow section and the incredibly slippery rocks under my feet made the descent more difficult than expected. Be very careful!

Gradually I found myself again at the wooden hut, and from there the road was easy and I quickly returned to the starting point at the parking lot.

As the terrain is very difficult in some places, I do not recommend this trail to families with small children (under 13) - it is too dangerous!

The trail is not suitable for people in wheelchairs at all!

I wish you an emotional and impressive walk!

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