This route is section of VPP, Velebit mountaineering trail. It connects its two check points, Rujno plateau and Struge plateau. Section begins at St. Mary church on Veliko Rujno and over Strazbenica (1120m) and Buljma (1400m) passes reaches Struge plateau and Struge refuge (1400m). Altitude difference is around 550m and ascent is split in two parts, each being under a pass. Nature along the route is very beautiful as path partially goes over open with great views towards surrounding peaks and sea or through beautiful beech and black pine forest. Since there is no refuge or hut on Rujno this route is mostly done in combination with Stap – Rujno section of VPP. Rujno - Struge route is not only used by those doing VPP but is also (partially) main path which connects Rujno and Paklenica areas.
Rujno – Struge: 2.30h
From the church head towards SE or Paklenica direction. Over open grassy spaces path goes 10mins before reaching junction where right branch leads towards Velika Paklenica (via Borova Kosa) and towards Milovac on the coast (Veliko Rujno from Milovac route).
You go left and in another 10mins over the open reach the edge of black pine forest. Immediately behind the entrance on the right is mouth of large Golubinka hole. Bottom is not visible from the edge.
Path continues through dense pines that path looks like a tunnel through them. 40 years ago there wasn’t a single pine here, only open meadows of Rujno. After 15mins through flat forest ascent begins. Soon pines are replaced by very nice beech forest. Ascent is constant and moderately steep, path wide and nice. After 30mins you’ll reach the junction where right is towards Veliki Golic (1265m) (Paklenica hut – Strazbenica – Veliki Golic route). After another 10mins you are on the panoramic balcony from where is beautiful view of Rujno and Viserujna (1632m). This is top of first ascent.
In next 5mins path descends a bit till junction on Strazbenica pass (1120m), 1.15h from church on Rujno. Towards right path descends to Paklenica hut via Mozak ridge (Veliki Golic routes routes).
Continue straight. Minute behind the junction is water source! It dries in summer. Marks turn right shortly before it. After slight ascent path begins to descent gradually, traversing slopes above Brezimenjaca (NW part of upper Velika Paklenica valley) with fantastic views towards it and peaks around. After 15mins there is a water source just by the path (dries in summer). Minute behind the source is junction where Struge route from Paklenica hut joins VPP, 1.30h from the church on Rujno.
Wooden sign says that Buljma and Struge are left. After 5mins path leaves the forest behind, entering rocky slopes below Tadina Glavica (1500m) (which is part of Viserujna (1632m)). In many sharp bends it ascends quite nicely over steep terrain that is mostly made of cliffs. View down towards Paklenica valley and sea in the background is great. In some 30mins you are on a rocky balcony with fantastic view. This is nice place to rest.
Behind balcony path turns left into scree valley below Buljma pass that is surrounded by cliffs of Buljma cliff (right) and Tadina Glavica (1500m) (left). After 10mins over the scree you are on Buljma pass (1400m), 2.15h from church on Rujno. Beautiful view of Struge opens here. Left behind Struge is Badanj (1638m) while right is Stirovac (1569m) and Babin Vrh (1735m).
Have one more view towards the sea before you gradually descent on Struge. 10mins behind the pass is junction where left path leads towards Visocica (1619m), right directly towards upper Struge and Vagabski vrh (1757m) while straight is towards refuge where you are heading (most probably).
Path continues straight through the shallow valley between two hills. After 5mins it begins to ascent and enters the beech grove. 5mins from foot of last short ascent you are in front of Struge refuge (1400m), 2.30h from church on Rujno.