The Northern Velebit National Park was designated on 09th June 1999., while the Public Institution was founded on 16th September 2001, according to the Parliament’s firman. The area was designated a national park due to its richness of carst phenomena, outstanding biodiversity and exquisitly beautiful nature on a relatively small area.
The Park covers the surface of 109 km2, and inside there is the Hajdučki & Rožanski Ledges Strict Reserve, famous for its geomorphological phenomena – the pits. Until now, there are more than 150 pits discovered, out of which the most famous is Luke’s pit, discovered in 1992.
It is forbidden to thread through the reserve (except passing the Premužić’s trail), and only scientific researches and educational visits are allowed, according to the decission of the eligible ministry or some other institution in charge. As parts of the park, there are the Visibaba botanical reserve, with a rich founding of the endemic Croatian Sibirrhaea (Sibiraea altaiensis ssp. croatica), and the Zavižan-Balinovac-Velika kosa botanical reserve, famous for its outstanding collection of species of the mountain flora. Inside the reserve there is a widely known Velebit Botany Garden, founded by the pharmacology professor Fran Kušan in 1967.
The Park is criss-crossed with numerous mountaineering trails. The most famous and widely known is the Premužić’s trail, named after its constructor, the BSc forestry Ante Premužić who built it in the late 1933. The path runs through the most beautiful and the most interesting parts of the park. From the numerous peaks in the surroundings you can have a magnificent view on the Adriatic Sea and its islands Pag, Rab, Goli, Prvić i Krk, and on the continental side as well. The Park’s cultural value is present in a form of numerous ruins of the so-called “summer lodges”, which witness of the ages passed and long forgotten, when Velebit was inhabited by the numerous population of shepherds and cattlers. On its coastal banks you can find many ruined houses, lodges and stonewalls which once marked the specific lifestyle of the local population who scattered all around the globe in the days to come, leaving nothing but traces of their presence on this remarquably beautiful and exquisit land.