Our route runs along the middle part of the Horyn River, which takes it source in the neighboring Ternopil Oblast and flows north to Belarus, where it finally flows into the Pripyat River. The landscape around the river is mostly flat with sandy hills, and it’s called the Pohorynnia. The river banks are surrounded by wide meadows and ancient forests sometimes located almost near the shore.
Since the earliest times, the Horyn River has remained the only way through the Polissia wetlands. The Drevlians, an ancient tribe of the Polissia territory, have founded numerous settlements on the hills around the river. In thousands of years, these settlements became modern villages and towns with rich history.
1. “The Tunnel of Love”
It’s one of the most popular attractions in the Rivne Oblast. This botanical wonder is a railway surrounded by green arches and is around 4 kilometers in length. It is known for being a favorite place for couples and visitors to take walks.
“The Tunnel of Love”
Lately, the Tunnel of Love became a popular spot for making photo sessions and shooting films by numerous artists from various countries.
Distance: 7.5 km / 4.6 miles.
Road type: 5.0 km / 3.1 miles – historic pavement road, 2.5 km / 1.5 miles – gravel path.
Variant 1 – Bus transfer – 5.0 km / 3.1 miles to the bike transfer spot/
Variant 2 – By bike – 7.5 km / 4.6 miles.
2. Susk National Botanical Reserve
National Botanical Reserve is located near the Susk village. Its territory begins from the chalk abrupt banks of the river. The river water is so clean, that one can see clearly its white chalky bottom.
The historic road to Susk Botanical Reserve
An array of oak and pine forest is typical for the Polissia. Its territory of 284 hectares is a great place not only for the lilies of the valley in spring and sweet blueberries in summer, but also for many other unique plants, including those listed in the Red Book of Ukraine. In particular, a valuable medicinal plant, Folia Digitalis, grows here as well.
Susk Botanical Reserve near the Horyn River
Distance: 10 km / 6.2 miles.
Road type: 10 km / 6.2 miles – a gravel path through the forest and along the Horyn River, gravel village roads with very low or absent traffic.
By bike – 10 km / 6.2 miles.
3. The hills of the Horyn River. The White Mountain.
More than 40 years ago, this picturesque area of 30 hectares has been recognized by the former government as a complex natural monument. Oak and hornbeam trees create a northern border of the forest steppe border of Ukraine. Strong roots firmly hold these majestic trees and do not let them bow too close to the water.
The hills of the Horyn River
Distance: 2.0 km / 1.2 miles
Road type: 2.0 km / 1.2 miles – a gravel path through the forest and along the Horyn River, gravel village roads with very low or absent traffic.
By bike 2.0 km / 1.2 miles.
Derazhne is a small town with mysterious history and its own identity. Convenient location on the Horyn River waterway has always boosted its development. Now the town stretches along the abrupt banks to the north of the winding river.
From the other side, the town is surrounded by the cascade of beautiful ponds that were built in the last century as a part of meliorative systems. Being surrounded by the trees, the impressive ponds have many peninsulas and even one island.
Distanse: 2.0 km / 1.2 miles.
Road type: : 2.0 km / 1.2 miles – gravel village roads with very low or absent traffic.
By bile 2.0 km / 1.2 miles/
5. The park of “lost sculptures”
There are amazing figures located in surrounding forests and parks: a family of a fly agaric mushroom, a fairytale dragon with three heads, a hippo (or rather a big frog?), alligator, Don Quixote with its square, Sancho Panza, castles, arches, etc.
The sculptures are made of concrete, white and red bricks by students and instructors of Kyiv Architecture University. Now hidden in a deep forest, originally they aimed to represent a decorative part of the park similar to Sofiyivsky Park in Uman, Ukraine.
Distance: 1 km / 0.6 miles.
Road type: 1 km / 0.6 miles – park zone path.
By bike 1 km / 0.6 miles.
6. Epic Farm
Epic Farm, which look like an oasis, was build on the sand peninsula on one of the numerous ponds near Derazhne. Its owner, Vasyl Epic, grows special varieties of cherries, apricots, plums, nuts, gooseberries, pears, apples, and raspberries; as well as southern peaches, cherry silver berries/gumi and exotic figs, kiwi, barberry, dogwood, and even bamboo. There is a small apiary, walls with grapes from different varieties and rose bushes on site. Also, there is a shore with planted viburnum garden 30 m / 98 feet long. However, the main business of the farm is growing fish.
Distance: 9 km / 18.5 miles.
Road type: 9 km / 18.5 miles – a path along the river.
By bike 9 km / 18.5 miles.
7. Along the river to the spring “The Eye of the Horyn River”
The Horyn River
To the north from the forests and ponds, the endless meadows stretch along the abrupt banks of the river, which like a giant snake winds and shines under the bright sun.
The white slopes are located on the other side away from the water, where is no escape from sun and blowing wind. But one of these slopes hides a true cool treasure – a barely noticeable water spring.
The spring “The Eye of the Horyn River”
Anyone, who finds this spring, will be rewarded for their persistence with a sip of clean and cold water.
Distance: 11,5 km / 7.1 miles.
Road type: 11,5 km / 7.1 miles – highway with a minimum or absent traffic.
Variant 1 – Bus transfer – 11,5 km / 7.1 miles.
Variant 2 – By bike – 11,5 km / 7.1 miles.
8. The fountain near Zlazne
The fountain near Zlazne
This man-made fountain is another confirmation of groundwater wealth of the area along the river. This fountain is inherited from geodetic surveyors of the last century, who did their research along the banks of the Horyn River. All year round, healing water with high levels of hydrogen sulfide comes rushing out of the fountain, and the unique view of the fountain attracts many visitors.
Distance: 2 km / 1.2 miles.
Road type: 2 km / 1.2 miles – highway with a minimum or absent traffic.
By bike – 2 2 km / 1.2 miles.
9. Basalt Columns
It’s one of the 100 natural wonders of Ukraine. This unique natural beauty is located in the tract of the Yanov Valley, near the village with the same name, Bazaltove.
In fact, Basalt Columns are four-, five- and even eight-sided natural columns of 30 m/98 feet high. The deposits of basalt were found here in the eighteenth century, and since then, this location remains an open-pit mining of this stone.
Some former quarries are already covered with water from numerous springs opened during the stone extraction. Now they remind of the lagoons with turquoise water surrounded by majestic stone pillars. And you can freshen up in this crystal clear water.
The view of Bazalt Columns is truly impressive and is an excellent way to end our journey.