About the Piatra Șoimilor Fortress
 
     At the end of Bixad village, on the right bank of the Olt River, at the south end of the Tușnad Defile, on a cone-shaped steep andesite rock was in the Middle Ages the Piatra Șoimilor Fortress. It is bordered on two sides by the deep, rocky valleys of Piatra Șomilor Mic and Mare streams.
The 717 m high peak extends over the west bank of the Olt River and gives space for the L shaped fortress wall, which delimits a 83 x 21 m area. The 1,3 m thick fortress wall was made of local volcanic stone. The eastern part of the castle has been destroyed during a landslide. On the southern edge is the highest point of the mountain.

 

 

About the route
Personal experiences by Loic Mary (French volunteer) and his enthusiastic group:
– the route starts from Băile Tușnad, near the Moara la Făgădău Inn, where you cross the Olt River on a suspended wooden footbridge. The bridge was renoved by the ACCENT GeoEcological Organization in 2017. The route continues to the left, southeward, along the Olt River. A route is wide and sight is beautiful, on the left side the flows the Olt River.
– the route continues towards Bixad village. On the way, we can see the remains of a former hydroelectric power station built on the Olt River, which serves as a dam / bridge and can be crossed. Soon after, we will see a mineral water source that must be tasted. Here we meet a small village called Carpitus, which is under the administration of Băile Tușnad and has a dozen souls.
– the route continues towards Bixad, passing through a small bridge over the Olt River and then the railway line. Soon after, the road will enter the forest. Do not choose the wide path here, but a narrow path to the right. There is a steep section here, but it does not take long and is worth it! Follow this path until you reach a pasture. You can relax and enjoy the sight. Then go through the pasture and re-enter the forest because the last section of the route follows.
– if you reach the top, you are at 717 m high. From there you can look around 360 degrees and see Bixad, its surroundings, the Olt River, agricultural lands, forests and mines. The peak is very exposed, so it is good if you have a long coat.
– on the downhill road you can visit the old bunker near the peak, used during the Second World War. The entrance is in front of the peak, to the right of the downhill road. You can go in and imagine how life was here during the war.
– on the way back use the same route.
Feedback from the group:

“very nice route along the river”
„the last section was a bit complicated, but the view was wonderful”
„very good view”
„I was tired at the end, but the view was wonderful, it was worth it”
„easy route, the final part is somewhat complicated, but the view is wonderful”

Suspended footbridge (610) – Carpitus (620 m) – Piatra Șoimilor Fortress (717 m) – hiking route:
Marking:
red line until the wood.
Duration to the peak: 1 hour and 30 minutes (80 minutes of walking, 20 minutes of resting). Time spent there: depends on the tourist/group, approx. 15-20 minutes.
Duration back to the town: 1 hour and 15 minutes.
Lenght to the peak: 4 km.
Level difference: 142 m.
Grade: 2.5%.
Easy route, recommended for all tourists.