Lat: 57.861519, Lon: 24.357290
We begin our trip in the quiet and welcoming town of Ainaži, which is known for the first seafaring school in Latvia that was established here by K.Valdemārs, Ainaži port and the Museum of Ainaži Naval School.
At the center of the town, right after the Pharmacy, we turn on the Ainaži – Valmiera highway. For those who prefer more extreme terrains, we offer taking the former narrow-gauge railway dike that goes along the road up to the inhabited place ‘’Šalkas’’, but you will enjoy a more comfortable ride on the same highway which has a rather low traffic. We should continue 2 more kilometres on the highway until we reach Mērnieki. Here, nearby the old Mērnieki watermill we can see some rapids in the Salaca river. After a short rest we return back until we reach the sign ‘’Red cliffs of Salaca’’ and continue along the gravel road that leads us from Mērnieki to Salacgrīva to enjoy the Red cliffs of the Salaca. Along the way approximately 1.5 km further you can see the old Iron bridge across the Salaca river. It was built in 1913 and reconstructed in 2009. The scenery that can be seen from this bridge, showing the Salaca river and nearby meadows, is magnificent both – in summer as well as in winter.
Some 1.5 km further we reach the Red cliffs of Salaca (Pietraga cliffs) with the beautiful sandstone exposures and camping places. After seeing the clifs we return on the same road and continue our way on the highway in the direction of Valmiera. After 3 km on the left side you’ll see a sign “Dižozols’’ (the Noble oak). We go 8 km along this forest road untill we reach a crossing of two roads. The sign ‘Dižozols’’ is on the right side of the road but we must continue straight until we reach a gravel pit, next to which the oak is located.
It is approximately 23m tall with a diameter of 5.18 and the tree crown spreads about 22x22 m. A resting place has been created at the foot of the tree – one can light a fire and have a meal at a wooden table. Then we return to the highway, continue further until a sign which says ‘’Kājnieku tilts’’ (footbridge) can be seen on the right side of the road. This bridge reveals a picturesque view to the Salaca river. After swinging on the bridge we can return to Ainaži – the starting point of this trip.