Risnjak National Park is located in the northwest of Croatia and geographically covers the forested area of Gorski Kotar. It is located near the Adriatic Sea, about 15 km northeast of the city of Rijeka. The area of the park is 63.5 km2 and covers the central part of the mountain massifs of Risnjak and Snježnik, as well as the source of the river Kupa with its upper course. Risnjak National Park belongs to the Dinaric mountain system, which is a natural link between the Alps and the Dinaric Mountains.
The peculiarity of climatic conditions and relief, as well as the proximity of the Adriatic Sea are the reason for the appearance of temperature inversion, so the same types of flora and vegetation are found along the mountain peaks and in the valleys of the National Park. In a relatively small area of the Dinaric mountains, 14 main types of mountain forests alternate with about 30 other plant communities. The flora of Risnjak numbers 1148 taxa. In the National Park grow almost all types of forest communities that have retained their authentic natural beauty because in the past they were spared from overexploitation.
Risnjak is also known for the diversity of fauna. The entire area of the Park is a known habitat of three large European predators and is one of the last refuges: wolf, bear and lynx, after which the Park is named. They represent an important link in the food chain in the ecosystem of Risnjak. Apart from them, there are other animals such as birds, reptiles and insects. The upper course of the river Kupa is called the miraculous valley of butterflies. The survey registered almost 500 species.
The entire area is a treasury of various types of karst forms. Broken rocks, abysses, ravines and sinkholes up to 200 meters deep, bays and karst fields are the hallmarks of Risnjak. Limestones and dolomites predominate, forming water-permeable rocks that form a large underground reservoir. On the other hand, there are clay shales, sandstones and quartz conglomerates as waterproof deposits.
The Leska educational trail, with its 23 points of view, is the best way to get to know Risnjak. For visitors, the source of the river Kupa from the first 5 km of its flow and the massifs of Risnjak with beautiful mountain pastures are interesting. Nature lovers have at their disposal perfect stone sculptures, rich forests and meadows with a unique view that stretches from the highest peak of this massif, Veliki Risnjak (1528 meters) or from Snježnik (1506 meters) to the Kvarner Bay.