Mount Paiko is located in Central Macedonia at the borders of the prefectures of Pella and Kilkis . The highest peak is Gola Tsouka with 1.650 m altitude.
Its forests are consisting of beeches, pines, walnuts and chestnut trees. Forest roads are passing through glades with grass and small ponds, through deep valleys with oaks and old civil war guerilla facilities, many forest trails with water springs and wooden bridges. Griva, Karpi, Kastaneri, Pentalofos, Omalos, Livadia and other villages, combine the beautiful landscape with organized forest recreation spots.
We have to emphasize the excellent behavior from Forestry officials, who waited on Saturday morning in Forester’s Service office in Goumenissa to get to know us and to give us information for our routes in the region.
Going up towards the center of the forest and just 5 Km from Kastaneri village in a mountain’s place called Paliochori , there was the environmental information center of Paiko. We use past tense because, the only thing that now exists, is the stone chimney of the old log cabin. From this spot, which is in the middle of the mountain, we have a variety of mountain places that we can visit.
Following the main road, going to village “Livadia” at a distance of 1,3Km from the environmental information center, there is the place “Primatari” where we enjoyed a spectacular view of the gorge from the wooden observatory that exists there.
From this place, starts a trail with length of 3,5 Km. This beautiful trail goes through the shade of high beeches, and with Stravopotamos stream ( the path crosses the stream 8 times ) flowing below the wooden bridges, with the ideal color changes and the chirping of birds, it is unique in beauty and enjoyable for all seasons of the year. The trail ends in Forest Recreation area of Stravopotamos ,next to the main road , leading to “Livadia” village, where there is wooden Forester’s cabin.
In this glade we decided to set our camp. There, we discovered that we had forgotten our tent pole set, but as shown in the photos , we found another way to set the tent up. After the setting up, we went back to the environmental information center , to climb to the nearby peak.
At the forester’s cabin ruins and looking northeast, you can see in the horizon a rocky peak. We do not know the peak’s name, but the locals called it “Agnanti”. The trail is clearly visible, climbs up to the nearby hill, passes to the left of a large forest glade with tall ferns (about 1.20 m in autumn) and arrives at the root of the peak where it stops after a while. From this point, the way to the top, can only be made, with free ascent.
This is the way we climbed, in 1 hour and 30 minutes from our starting point. The last 30 minutes, we were ascending freely, in rocky formations with the call of the slope being about 30-40%. The ridge is parallel with the Stravopotamo’s Gorge with a huge cliff on the north side. Basically, the ridge , is the one side of Stravopotamo’s Gorge. When we step at the peak, we discovered that it fully justifies its name “Agnanti”. The word agnanti in Greek means a place that someone can see very far in the horizon. So, from “Agnanti” peak you can see all the plain from the city of Kilkis up to the city of Giannitsa. We returned, descending freely, up to the edge of the glade with the ferns and from there, back to the Forester’s cabin ruins (our starting point). The way back, took us, about the same time with our ascending time.
We drove back to our camp site (the forest glade at the end of Stravopotamos trail). The night fell and a gorgeous sky with a spectacular view of the Galaxy, took the place of the sunny day.