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The Rails-to-Trails Movement Reaches the Balkans

An old train route connecting Croatia and Bosnia will become a 124-mile bike track.
The Bosnian town of Počitelj lies just off the new trail.
The Bosnian town of Počitelj lies just off the new trail.Flickr/Dmitri Gasulla

By the end of this year, a 200-kilometer (124-mile) railway track linking Croatia’s coastline with Bosnia’s mountainous hinterland should be open for travelers once more. A historic line that journeys from Venetian-built Dubrovnik up through a landscape of steep valleys, upland marshes, and dense forest, the reopened link should attract visitors to a beautiful, criminally under-visited part of Europe. There’s only one catch: travelers will need to provide their own two-wheeled transport.

The new line is actually a new long-distance cycle track, opened up along the path of a former railway. As the track is smoothed out and cleared for visitors, the rail-to-trail movement is creating its first true outpost in the Balkans.