7 Hiking Trails of Plitvice Lakes National Park – Croatia

Hiking Trails of Plitvice National Park

Views, Views, and more Views

At Plitvice Lakes National Park, there are views around every corner but we will focus on the actual hiking trails in this post. To whet your appetite, below are just couple trail pictures but there are spectacular waterfalls and lakes to see on all these beautiful paths. The trails are really nice to hike, most of them being dirt or wooden boardwalks that are in good condition. They wind you up and down through forest, along the side of the lakes, and past spectacular waterfalls. Some of them take you over a lake to get you close to a waterfall, something you could only otherwise do if you had a small boat. Sadly, if you work up a sweat and want to take a dip…sorry, no swimming in the lakes. For that, you can head south to Krka National Park with similar karst lakes, where you can swim.

Hiking Trails Maps

Below are some examples of the maps that show the hiking trails. The first one is the entrance ticket; kind of useless except to give you an overview, but don’t expect it to get you around the park very well. We entered at Entrance 2, kind of in the middle of the park. From there we first explored the upper lakes and falls. There was a great combination of small trickling falls, big wide cascades, and tall series of tumblers all down a long slope. We even saw a stream along a path that just vanished into a hole in the ground, pretty awesome!

Take it from us, buy the map when you enter, it’s only a few bucks and does help for navigation, mostly. Don’t be confused, the routes are not trails and the trails are not named (why there are no D, G, I, and J routes, I have no idea). One trail may be part of several routes and some of the routes are pretty similar. And don’t rely on the maps posted within the park, they’re OK but we found none of the maps in the Croatian parks have a “you are here” dot, so it can be really confusing.  🙂

Later in the day we took the boat across the middle lake to the lower lakes and falls. While the upper lakes and falls feel a little more intimate (we were there very early with almost no one around, the lakes and falls are generally smaller, you can get close to them, and there’s hundreds of lake trout), the lower part was bigger and more wide open, with much taller falls as streams enter the valley from high above. In the lower part of the valley, there we more places where you could hike up to the top of the canyon and get dramatic views, we’ll worth the effort and further away from the mobs of tourists. It gets really busy after about 10 am, so try and get there early like we did, 7:30 am. If I had to say, I would say that we did a modified version of routes H and K and saw almost all of the lakes and falls, and went up to some spectacular views from the edge of the valley. It’s not a park to miss!

  • Hike “A” – 2.2 miles, no boat or train available – starts/ends at North entrance
  • Hike “B” – 2.5 miles, boat and train available – starts/ends at North entrance
  • Hike “C” – 5 miles, boat and train available – starts/ends at North entrance,
  • Hike “E” – 3.2 miles, boat and train available – starts/ends at South entrance
  • Hike “F” – 2.9 miles, boat and train available – starts/ends at South entrance
  • Hike “H” – 5.6 miles, boat and train available– starts/ends at South entrance
  • Hike “K” – 11.5 miles, boat available – starts/ends at North entrance


  1. Thank you for such useful maps (so hard to find elsewhere) – so that I can now actually plan my days at this beautiful place better. May you enjoy many more happy travels.

    1. Karen you are very welcome. That was one of the reasons we put the maps on the page, so that others could benefit from them. We weren’t able to find any maps either when we were planning. Can’t emphasize enough the importance of getting there early in the morning if you can. Have fun, it’s a magical place.

  2. How did you get to the lakes? Did you motorcycle? How many miles is the the hike you did? Planning to go to Croatia July 5th but no set plans–yes, would like to get there early with no crowds

  3. WOW!! Thanks so much this is so useful!! I’ve bee searching clear maps for a while and I got here this is perfect! We are going to be there in less than a week! Thanks again this helps a lot for our planning!

    1. Hi Julie,
      You’re very welcome. That was the goal of this post, was to make the experience better for others. Glad you found it useful. We can’t stress enough how important it is to get there early if you can, to enjoy some of the lakes without all the crowds. Either way it will be a great trip for you. Happy travels and enjoy!
      Scott – TUR

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