Thrashing beneath lofty limestone cliffs, the Negovanka River has sculpted deep creeks and pretty waterfalls in this captivating nature reserve, 22km west of Veliko Târnovo. For soaring views across Emen Canyon, hike the Negovanka Ecotrail along 90m-high bluffs. The trail begins with a steep clamber up rocky steps from Emen Cave (it’s safer not to enter) to a spectacular vantage point over the gorge. The path then weaves among tree-shaded clifftops before a muddy descent to a 10m-high waterfall.
It takes about two hours to the waterfall and back. Don’t attempt the slippery trail after rainfall or in winter, and don’t step out on to the disastrously unmaintained wooden walkways and bridges; stick to the path.
There is a narrow, cobblestone car park by the cave, but it’s better to leave your vehicle in Emen village’s central car park. From here, set out through Emen’s northeastern streets uphill towards the river. The trail is signposted from the Vishovgrad–Emen road, at the northern fringe of Emen, though signs can be hard to spot and read.