The trail passes through the historical centre of Valmiera and the Atpūtas Park, which is a popular place among hikers and Nordic walkers, then crosses the suspension bridge, passes Pauku priedes pine forest and Baiļu kalns. From there it follows the Abuls Trail, curving along the banks of the river until reaching the Brenguļi Brewery, and further down, beyond Pūpoli, enters vast, unpopulated forest areas. The first part of this section passes by numerous small summer cottage villages with names such as Enerģētiķis, Saulītes, Sprīdītis, Gaujmaļi, Pūpoli and Gaujaslāči, which were initially established during the Soviet period as summer cottage neighbourhoods of the people of Valmiera and the surrounding territories. Near Ūdriņas, the Forest Trail leads through a labyrinth of the riverbeds and turns north, crossing the Gauja Bridge, where a resting and boating stop is located. The centre of Strenči is located at a 1.5 km distance. Part of the section passes through the Northern Gauja protected landscape area.
Length: 29 km
Duration: 1 (long) day or 2-day route
Starting point: Valmiera, Cēsu street
End point: Gauja Bridge next to Strenči
The course of the route: Valmiera (Cēsu street) – Atpūtas Park – Vanšu bridge – Enerģētiķis – Brenguļi – Pūpoli – Ūdriņi – Gauja Bridge next to Strenči (Trikātas street)
Road surface: Forest trails and small forest roads, gravel roads, paved roads and sidewalks in populated areas
Difficulty: moderate, if the section is completed in two days, hard, if completed in one day
Obstacles: Slopes tend to be extremely steep in the Abuls Nature Trail.
Danger points: Make sure you are safe when you cross railroad tracks, and walk along the roadside!
Keep in mind! The banks of River Abuls may be slippery in damp conditions.
Alternative route options: Strong hikers without heavy backpacks will be able to complete the distance in one day. It is advisable to divide the section into a two-day walk with an overnight stay at the recreation centre “Baiļi” or camping “Jaunarāji”) (~ 6 km on the first day and 23 km on the second day). A great chance to visit Valmiera on day one. You can take a bus to Brenguļi.