Prado de Juan Ruiz Forest Trail

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Prado de Juan Ruiz Forest Trail

This is an extremely long forest trail that ends at the hamlet of La Donal in the province of Albacete. It is usually in good condition, although certain sections may not be suitable for traversing in cars that are not four-wheel drive. We suggest following the trail to the hamlet of Prado de Juan Ruiz, a journey of approximately 13.5 kilometres: you will be assured of pleasant views and will pass through areas that are among the most important in the park in botanical terms.


From the very start you will notice the abundance of gall and holm oaks mixed in amongst the Corsican pines, along with a number of sessile oaks. At kilometre 4 you will come across the start of a spectacular signposted route that climbs up to the limestone crag of Calar del Espino through an area that has been declared a Reserve Area and enjoys the highest levels of protection, owing to its botanical significance.

At kilometre 5.5 you will arrive at Collado del Ventano hill, where you can take in the superb views and also enjoy the sight of the abundant Spanish maples (which are particularly spectacular during the autumn). A short distance further on, at kilometre 6.9, a forest trail to the right allows you to climb up to Calar del Espino on foot and continue on to the magnificent mound of Collado de Góntar, from where you can descend all the way down to the Segura valley.

Sticking with the main route, you will arrive almost immediately at the charming little valley of Fuente del Tejo, and at kilometre 10 you will pass Morillas farm. Just 3.5 kilometres further on is the hamlet of Prado de Juan Ruiz, now in ruins and without any form of signposting. It is a lonely, abandoned spot, and from the old communal threshing floor, situated next to the track, you will experience the contradictory sensations of glimpsing how difficult life must have been here while simultaneously enjoying the majesty of the landscape.

If you continue on still further, after 7 kilometres you will come across a small trail on the right which leads to the hamlet of Collado de la Fuente, beyond which you can pass between slopes covered with dense oak forest to reach the stunning mountain pass of Los Huecos de Bañares. Having now entered the province of Albacete, you can carry on to the town of Las Juntas Miller and thus complete an extraordinary circuit of the Segura and Madera valleys.

LOCATION

From the junction of the JF-7016 from Segura de la Sierra and the JF-7012 from Siles, take the road leading to the River Madera and Santiago de la Espada. The trail, which begins just 400 metres along the road on the left-hand side, is wide and very easy to spot.



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