The path to the top of the extinct volcano that is Kab-hegy leads through a wild trail, providing the perfect hike for a day out.
Once upon a time, a railroad zigzagged around the northern part of Kab-hegy. The line was used to transport the manganese which was mined in the area. Today, all you can see is the embankment as you follow the trail from Úrkút to the summit of Kab-hegy, which is part of the National Blue Trail. Parts of the hike are very scenic, others less so, and the trip takes almost two hours in each direction unless you are an experienced hiker.
The overgrown embankment
The trail starts at a lovely square on the edge of Úrkút. There’s a decorative fountain here, surrounded by trees and benches, and there’s also a car park. Here's where you can start following the Blue Trail. It’s a lovely, shaded part of the route, through a pleasant landscape.
Then comes a game fence: these can be found all over the hill, making the experience a bit less charming. The trail gets narrower after a right turn, and then comes the embankment of the old railroad. There are spiky plants and a lot of nettles around the trail. You can make a short detour if you follow the branch marked with a cave sign – it leads to a sinkhole.
A road and a forest trail
Then you suddenly reach the asphalt road that you have to follow for about 30 minutes. The surroundings are nice, with an abundance of blackberry bushes. A right turn leaves the road behind, leading through a forest trail. Quaint little lakes can be spotted alongside.
An asphalt road leads to the top of the former shield volcano over the last kilometre. The Blue Trail's stamping post is along this road, while opposite is a centre for hunters.
The famous Kab-hegy transmission tower stands on the summit, at 304 metres Hungary’s fourth tallest structure. This is a private area and entry is strictly forbidden. A bit further up the road there’s another tower, surrounded by trees. Following the fence around it, you can reach the Kinizsi Pál Lookout Tower, which was named after Pál Kinizsi, a commander under Renaissance-era King Matthias. His castle can also be found in the area.
A lookout tower with a limited view
Although the pine structure stands at 600 metres due to the transmission towers and the woodland, the view is blocked in three directions. The view to the south, however, is pretty impressive, especially in clear weather, when you can see Lake Balaton in the distance, the slopes to the south, the Balaton Uplands as well as Veszprém and forest all around. The so-called Little Moscow military base can be found in these woodlands, and although it was never confirmed officially, rumour has it that Soviet nuclear equipment were once stored here.
If you arrive by car and leave it in Úrkút, you have to take the same route back. If you don’t need to go back, head to Nagyvázsony, where you can catch a bus to Tapolca or Veszprém once you walk through all the woodland.
Duration: about 1.5-2 hours in one direction
Distance: 6.7 kilometres in one direction