Hiking to the Wildfire Observation Station of Skipiza – Parnitha (family friendly hike)

While some people think their days of hiking are “on hold” once they become parents, that’s just not the case! There are still plenty of adventures ahead for both parents and children.

If you’re a hiker with young children, you don’t have to put your hobby on hold until they head for college. And if you’re a parent who is new to hiking, there couldn’t be a better time to start! Spending time on the trail offers a world of opportunity for family outings and vacations. Not only will your family grow closer, but you can introduce the next generation to all that trails offer for personal growth and education while making life-long family memories.

One of the keys things to remember when hiking with children is that the trek no longer becomes about getting from point A to point B, but more about exploring the trail and what is on it.

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Map exploration

 

See other outdoor activities in Parnitha:


Hiking to the Wildfire observation station of Skipiza

There are many different paths that lead to the wildfire observation station of Skipiza. One option is to start from Mola, another option is to start from the Bafi mountain refuge and another route is to start from the location “skalakia”. The latest option is the easiest and less distant route in order to reach the wildfire observation station of Skipiza.

The trail is well signed, easy to follow and the elevation gain is minimal. Therefore, is a great hiking route for families with toddlers.

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Trail sign boards
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beginning of the trail
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easy trail

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Beautiful forest
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between the trees
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Sign that indicates the Skipiza springs
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Sign that indicates the wildfire observatory

The trail that leads to the wildfire observation station of Skipiza is about 2.5 km long and with a normal pace one can reach the wildfire observation station of Skipiza within 30 to 35 minutes.

The view from the wildfire observation station of Skipiza magnificent and it also provides a great sense of calmness.

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Some nice rocks for climbing
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Sign “Wildfire Observatory”
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at the far end, one can see Dirfy
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Almost there
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View from the observatory
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View from the observatory
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The interior of the observatory

About the Wildfire observation station of Skipiza

The wildfire observation station of Skipiza is located in the position of the same name at 1.240m., on the NW side of Parnitha. Skipiza in arvanitika language means eagle’s nest. In the area (15 minutes walking distance to the south of the  station) the spring of Skipiza can be found. I.Sarris in his book “The springs of Parnitha” (1925) mentions Skipiza as the highest, coldest and the best in terms of quality spring of Parnitha.

A real eagle’s nest, that in 1987, with the establishment of EDASA was selected by members of the association as the ideal position for observing the western and northern slopes of the wider Parnitha mountain. During the first years wildfire observation was made outdoors, camping on the rock were today stands the fire lookout station. In 1989 a small wooden platform with a protective wall was build and in 1990 it was decided to build a wooden wildfire lookout station, which was built gradually paid by EDASA with the work of dozens of volunteers.

Dozens of forest fires have been spotted from Skipiza and were suppressed in a short time by the authorities. The strategic importance of Skipiza is due to the wide field of view and the absence of similar infrastructure in the north side of Mount Parnitha. During its operation as a wildfire observation station, forest fires have been detected in the wider mountain of Parnitha, in Salamina, in Aspropyrgos, in Dervenochoria, Oinofyta, Dirfy mountain, in the mountain Pastra and Kitheronas while a fire was even spotted in Parnassus (under excellent weather conditions)

In 2007 it was determined that the wooden structure was in need of a reconstruction due to extensive damage from the adverse weather conditions that had made the wildfire observation station unsafe. The design study and the purchase of materials was made through WWF Greece sponsorship, the construction was carried out by a specialist crew with the help of volunteered EDASA members. All the building materials (wood, machines, aggregates, etc.) were carried to the site by hand by EDASA volunteers. The base of the station was strengthened, the station was build larger to accommodate more volunteers and a balcony was created on the north side as well. The great fire of 2007 fortunately did not destroyed the then unfinished structure, so fire observation on the position continues smoothly until today. The wooden fire observation station is maintained twice a year (before and after the fire season) by EDASA volunteers.

Staying at the fire observation station outside fire watching duties is prohibited under the regulations of the Parnitha National Park. Access to the Skipiza fire observation station is possible only on foot from the position Skalakia.


Details of the Hike:

  • Location: Parnitha Mountain
  • Starting Point: Skalakia
  • Ending Point: Wildfire Observatory of Skipiza
  • Trail Signs: Well signed path
  • Minimum Elevation: 1.190 m
  • Maximum Elevation: 1.273 m.
  • Total Distance: 5 km
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Water Features: Yes

See route via google Map here:

Parnitha_Wildfire_Observation_Station_Skipiza_MAP


See other outdoor activities in Parnitha:

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