In the Alps, high moors are special, very precious natural features. Their biological systems are often very unique, consisting of rare plants and small animals. Usually they are created on mountain plateaus or broad ridges, where rocks are holding water. If their bedrock is calcareous, the processes of layering glacial sediments helped to create conditions, where cracks in limestone are filled-in with mud and clay. In Slovenia, the high moors on Pohorje are the broadest ones, some smaller moorlands can be found also on the plateau of Pokljuka, on the ridge of Smrekovec and elsewhere.
Lovrenc Lakes in August
At the Lovrenc Lakes
The highest and broadest moor in Slovenia consists of two parts, separated by a strip of forest. In the moorland up to 20 small lakes or ponds can be found. They are called also moor windows. The lakes were created in bedrock depressions, filled with water. As elsewhere on the Pohorje, the rocks are mainly cristalline - granite and others. The whole moorland is situated on the high, flat ridge, on the altitude of some 1520 m, which is already very close to the highest altitude of the whole Pohorje massif. For the creation of moorland, peat is essential. Since the beginning of its creation (after the last ice age), some 8000 years ago, up to 3 m thick layers of peat were deposited. The entire moorland has no water inflow, the only source of water is rain and snow. Then the secondary erosion created depressions in peat and the holes were filled with water. The lakes are up to good 1 m deep, due to peat, water is almost black. Even in most dry summers the moorland stays fairly wet.
Lovrenška jezera are declared the state Natural Reserve.
The moor from the lookout tower
A good dozen of plants are characteristic for high moorlands on Pohorje. They are all adapted to wet and acid environment, poor with nutritients. Interesting are the characteristics of Sphagum riparium - the peat moss. It has a special ability to grow up, while its bottom parts continuously change to peat. So, the layer of peat becomes fatter and fatter, the speed is around 1 cm in a year.
Some species of fauna are characteristic for Pohorje moors as well.
The lakes can be reached by good and easy paths from several sides. But not all trails are marked and signposted. Many parts can be done by a mountain bike.
Once being on the moorland, you dont't have much options how to explore it. On the southern, highest part of the moorland, there is a lookout tower, offering a nice overview. From the tower, you can go into the middle of moorlands by wooden paths. They bring you to the group of biggest and most beautiful lakes. The path further northwards is not arranged and you are not allowed to wade through the moor.
Biking across Pohorje
The big majority of visitors reach the lakes from the Rogla recreation area (46.453169, 15.332546), 1480 m. Near the parking place we find the marks and plates, indicating that we have 1 h 20 min to the lakes. Across the ski track and a broad meadow we go (or bike) towards the N-NW, slightly down. Then we follow the marks again slightly up, through the woods and almost on the broad summit of Ostruščica, 1498 m. Then the path descends again towards the saddle of Komisija, 1446 m. There the paths are branching. We can go also by the left path (marked and signposted "Lovrenška jezera"), but the right path is a bit shorter. After a few minutes of dirt-road from the right the road from koča na Pesku (hut) joins. The path further on is flat, going northwards. Later on it starts ascending again and in the same direction we reach the lookout tower at the moors. The left path is not much longer, but does some more crossing of the slopes (Mulejev vrh), bringing us on a crossroads west of the tower. Then we turn right and reach the moor in a few minutes.
Two other options to the lakes are:
> From the koča (hut) na Pesku, 1385 m. A shorter option with some more altitude difference (ascent). 1 h 30 min.
> From the Ribniška koča na Pohorju, 1505 m. The western approach. 1 h 40 min.