Mazák NNR lies on the western slopes of the highest mountain in the Moravskoslezské Beskydy range – Mt. Lysá hora (1324 m). The reserve was declared in 1956 and was extended to its current area of 92.91 ha in 2000 and lies at elevations between 715 and 1315 metres above sea level, to the SE of the town of Frýdlant nad Ostravicí in the Beskydy PLA and the Moravskoslezský kraj – Moravia-Silesian Region. The subject of the protection are the natural forest communities which form a gradient from herb-rich beech growths in the Mazák stream valley through spruce-beech stands on the upper slopes to windswept spruce stands below the summit of Lysá hora.
The region lies in the centre of the thickest facies of the Godula Member proper. The surface is incised by ravines of the tributaries of the Mazák stream. These ravines are V-shaped in profile and have a high gradient. The gulleys are filled with blocks and talus streams and ice-falls form here in the winter. A large part of the slope is boulder-covered and boulder fields have formed in places. Skeletal brown forest soils are formed on the majority of the territory, with shallow Podsol being found at elevations above 900 metres.
The majority of the NNR is covered with herb-rich beech forest of the Eu-Fagenion sub-alliance where the main tree species is beech (Fagus sylvatica), with sycamore (Acer pseudoplatanus) in the admix along with silver fir (Abies alba), which has been in decline in recent years. Elements found in the herb layer are coralroot (Dentaria bulbifera), purple toothwort (Dentaria glandulosa), nine-leaved toothwort (Dentaria enneaphyllos), woodruff (Galium odoratum), herb Paris (Paris quadrifolia), Jupiter’s distaff (Salvia glutinosa), sanicle (Sanicula europaea), sweet spurge (Euphorbia dulcis)and wood spurge (Euphorbia amygdaloides). At elevations above 800 m the proportion of spruce increases, and at elevations above 1000 m they are the main species and are accompanied by rowans right up to the summit. This native population of mountain ecotype spruces is of great genetic value and is included in the Athyrio alpestris – Piceetum association of spruce with ferns. The herb layer is dominated by Alpine lady fern (Athyrium distentifolium) along with hairy small-reed (Calamagrostis villosa), bilberry (Vaccinium myrtillus), wood sorrel (Oxalis acetosella) and broad bucklerfern (Dryopteris dilatata). Other species found in the undergrowth include purple coltsfoot (Homogyne alpina), chickweed wintergreen (Trientalis europaea), clasp-leaf twisted-stalk (Streptopus amplexifolius), Alpine sow-thistle (Cicerbita alpina), purple lettuce (Prenanthes purpurea) and May lily (Maianthemum bifolium).
This territory provides a suitable habitat for many rare and endangered animals which are bound to the little-disturbed or near-natural ecosystems and remoteness from civilisation of the NNR territory. The lynx (Lynx lynx) regularly visits the area. The presence of many dead and hollow trees provides ideal nesting conditions for birds such as the black woodpecker (Dryocopus martius), white-backed woodpecker (Dendrocopus leucotus), wryneck (Jynx torquilla) and rarely the Ural owl (Strix uralensis). The black stork (Ciconia nigra) and hazel hen (Bonasa bonasia) nest in the forest growths and the capercaillie (Tetrao urogallus) is occasionally seen here. The springs and spring channels are a suitable habitat for breeding amphibians such as the fire salamander (Salamandra salamandra), common frog (Rana temporaria) and common toad (Bufo bufo). The all-age forest stands with large quantities of rotting wood are the home of a large number of invertebrate species. Beetles found here include the stag beetle Cernchus chrysomelinus and the longhorn beetle Tragosoma depressarium which is bound to the natural spruce forests.
In the past the higher elevations were little influenced by felling. The summit of Lysá hora – Bald Mountain – was previously deforested and used for sheep grazing. At present the summit is dominated by a 60 metre high radiocommunication transmission tower and there is also a meteorological station, Mountain Rescue Service chalet and three mountain chalets here. Mt. Lysá hora, together with Mt. Radhošť, are the most visited summits in the Beskydy mountain range and 5 tourist trails lead to the summit.
We recommend that you use the route of the Lysá hora themed trail, which starts in Ostravice and follows the red marked tourist trail to the Lukšinec crossing of trails. Here we can find the Ondrášovy díry caves, and we can continue along the border of Mazák NNR to the summit. If we are lucky with the weather, we will have unique views over the whole Beskydy range as well as the mountain ranges in western and central Slovakia. We can return the same way from the summit to the Lukšinec crossing of trails and then take the yellow trail around the Satiny waterfalls and to the renowned U Veličků pub in Malenovice.