Mineral Water Trail
Greenways are successful and well recognized initiatives in Western European countries and in the United States. Greenways are routes, trails and natural corridors that are used in harmony with their ecological function and offer the opportunity for sports, tourism and recreation.
Greenways offer plenty of benefits for our environment, improvement of the quality of life and present an opportunity for sustainable economic activities for the local population in towns and the countryside.
The "Mineral Water Trail" Greenway is one of the first initiatives of this kind in Romania. This trail was created in Harghita County, in central Romania. The Romanian Environmental Partnership Foundation and the Csík County Environmental and Nature Protection Association took the first steps in 2000 in order to make this initiative a reality. The existence of hundreds of effervescent mineral water baths and thousands of carbonic aerated mineral water springs with their healing effects was the perfect base for the creation of such kind of trail. The culture of mineral water bathing has been a tradition for hundreds of years in the micro-region of Csomád-Bálványos. This opportunity to celebrate a treasured tradition was embraced with great enthusiasm by the local communities.
Between 2000 - 2003 several successful projects, funded by REPF, such as the suspended wood-path of the "Mohos" Peat-bog, the reconstruction of "Nádasfürdõ" Mineral Water Bath and the construction of the Mineral Water Museum in the Village of Tušnad were implemented by this local association and are a large part of the success of the Mineral Water Trail. In additon, in 2007 REPF initiated and implemented the construction of the Monks' Bath in Sumuleu Ciuc.
Two books were edited about the mineral water baths, springs of the region and their history.
At the same time, thanks to other funds and the help of local administrations and volunteer participation this association successfully reconstructed some other traditional mineral water baths.
All these achievements are sightseeing spots on the Mineral Water Trail.
The bicycle trail was developed on an existing county lane in order to avoid busy roads and included most of the historical, cultural and natural sites, mineral water springs and baths, and protected areas of the region.
Mineral Water Trail Program