This park is located to the south-east of the High Tatras in the north-eastern part of the mountain range of Slovenské Rudohorie. It spreads over an area of 19,763 ha and its buffer zone covers 13,011 ha. It straddles the districts of Brezno, Poprad, Rožňava and Spišská Nová Ves and is best typified by its impressively deep gorges and canyons, 150 – 450 m deep, created in limestone and dolomite by water currents.
The best known gorges include Suchá Belá, Piecky, Sokol and Kyseľ with numerous waterfalls. The highest point is Mt. Javorina /1186 m/. Almost all the area is covered by limestone beech and spruce forests. It provides habitat for numerous protected plant species – the blue Alpine daisy, spring gentian, globe flower, bellflower, buttercup – Pulsatilla slavica, Iris sibirica and others. The fauna is represented by bears, lynx, lesser spotted eagle, the Eurasian kestrel, eagle-owl, black stork and others.
In Slovak Paradise there are almost 200 caves and precipices; the ice cave, Dobšinská ľadová jaskyňa, listed by UNESCO, has been open to the public since 1972 and in its vicinity is a nature reserve with various rare fauna species. In 1972 a 21-km-long cave called Stratenská jaskyňa was discovered, the longest and largest cave in Slovakia. At an altitude of 1153 m, to the north of the village of Stratená, visitors can also find a famous rocky formation known as Havrania skala.
The national park of Slovak Paradise is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Slovakia. Lovers of adventure and the mysterious should take a hike along the Prielom Hornádu (the river Hornád canyon). It is an approximately 16-km-long section of the upper flow of the river Hornád from the mouth of the stream, Veľká Biela voda, down to Smižany. The river Hornád has created here a canyon-like valley with slopes falling from side ridges and summits which create more than a 300-m altitude difference in some parts. This trail is equipped with 7 iron bridges and benches, almost 300 m of chains on steep rocky walls, 140 metal rungs and almost 70 m of wooden rails. The trail along the Prielom Hornádu is one of the most beautiful spots in the national park.
The best known tourist centres here are Dedinky, Mlynky and Čingov. The dam of Palcmanská Maša in the vicinity of Dedinky is ideal for water sports, bathing and fishing in summer. In winter the ski resorts of Dedinky and Mlynky offer excellent facilities for cross-country and down-hill skiing. The beauty of the whole region makes Slovak Paradise one of the most delightful national parks in Central Europe.