After a wild jumping around in hills and valleys of Alūksne highland, in its fourth race "Stirnu buks 2017" goes to the misterious Pokaiņi forest!
Start/finish: Information center of Pokaiņi forest, Naudīte municipality, Dobele district. GoogleMap here!
Race schedule: HERE
Detailed distance maps: bit.ly/PokainuMezs
Although Pokaiņi forest is located in Zemgale lowland, its relief doesn’t look like one at all – here are both high hillocks and deep valeys, and also forest stands of diverse age and content. But most important – unique feeling of mistery to Pokaiņi forest is given by differently-sized stone stacks.
Stone rivers and stacks, uncountable smaller stone piles and peculiar larger stones - hermits underlie all the mystical guesses about this forest. Some geologists have a thought that this place is formed by glacier influence, others believe that Pokaiņi is an ancient sacral place for our ancestors in which people have never lived, but only came here with a wish for something or to do a ritual. Beside,s in a couple of hillocks couple remains of complex constructions are found with a radio-location.
However – while making the tracks, Stirnu Buks team faced some inexplicable things, but still we are absolutely sure that Pokaiņi forest is a special place and, of course, it is very friendly towards our runners! In Pokaiņi we all can find something that we need – peace, harmony, beautiful nature or an uplifting power, which helps to improve health and gives a chance for all of us to become better.
We can only add, that the runners of both longest distances will visit the long Krievkalni dam, which is covered with forests, while Bobcats will have a look at the lake Vipēdis and Smiltnieki castle mound on which in distant ages the witches were burned.
In this area already in 2015 we jumped for the first time, only then we got to know the wonderful lake Zebrus. Now it’s time to explore the area of Pokaiņi forest!
We hope you will find and feel that special thing that is needed for you the most! See you at Pokaiņi!
I feel it in my heart – earth, trees, grass, flowers. I bow my head in the front of Mother Earth and connect with its energies. I am united with the Earth.
Because of its misterious tales, Pokaiņi forest has become attractive to the tourists. It is located 13 km from Dobele, in direction of Īle. This forest is situated on steep hills and deep valleys – all together creates an especially picturesque view. Here, gathered in grops, piles and stone rivers, are the famous Pokaiņi stone heaps. Such an amount of stones in varios shapes and sizes concentrated in one place make a really extraordinary impression.
Covered with forests, Krievkalni hill is remarkable with its unusual dam-shaped relief. The highest point reaches 149 m above sea level. The top has a form of a sharp crest and from there you can catch a great view to Zemgale lowland. To reach the viewing platform one must take a very steep pathway.
About 4 km away from Īle, in the direction of lake Zebrus, there is the birch grove of the Latvian goddess Māra. It has been planted in the spring of 2012 and it contains not only birch trees, but also maples, oaks and linden trees. This grove is dedicated to the locals and their family houses, which have disapeared from Latvia’s map during the last century. At the centre there is an altar for Māra – a symbolic stone pile, whereas at the side of the grove you can see a large sign of Māra cross made from wood.
A place for fisherman and for those who love silence and peace. Vidpēde lake is located in a wooded area and it is popular amogst carp fishers. Lakeside is quite marshy, therefore there are foot-bridges around the lake so you can reach it easily.
This is the largest bunker in the Baltics – closed, well-masked winter quarters with a living space of 9x6 m. It was built in the woods of Īle by united Latvian and Lithuanian partisans in 1948 to fight against the Soviets. It was destroyed after a devastating battle in March 17, 1949. 15 partisans died, 9 were taken as prisoners and with their supporters sent to Siberia.
The writer Kārlis Ieviņš has named it miraculous and has dedicated his poetic novel „Pie teiksmotā ezera” („By the miraculous lake”) to the lake. The lake Zebrus is 412 ha large and it’s depth is 1,5 m. The lake is loved by fisherman – it is one of the few lakes where zanders live. At the lakeside there is a leisure complex „Niedras”, view tower, beach, pavilion and a fire place. This wooded area has many attractive places for nature lovers – paths, where one can go by foot or by bicycle and roads to go by car. By this lake one race of the running series „Stirnu Buks 2015” took place as well.
Spārnu (in Latvian - ‘wings’) castle mound is located at the eastern side of Spārnu lake. It is about 30 m high with an ancient cultural layer and sides with edges that reach an angle of almost 45 degrees. The castle mound was inhabited from 9. – 13. century. It is believed that it was the centre of the lands of Spārnene.
Naturalism and simplicity are the core elements in the menu of the restaurant "Zoltners". Its chef – Endijs Vīnerts – with his special approach creates unforgettable taste combinations. Restaurant is a great place also for families with children – kids favourite meal is thin pancakes with raspberry jam. Here also "Zoltnera Alus" ("Zoltners Beer") is being brewed.