A brief description of the trail
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Mieczysław Orłowicz’s Main Sudety Trail – a brief description of the trail

Mieczysław Orłowicz’s Main Sudety Trail is marked in red and begins in Świeradów-Zdrój (to the west) and ends in Prudnik (on the east). The fragment described – the section between Szklarska Poręba and Orłowiec – constitutes approximately 85% of the entire length of the trail. During one several-day trip or a series of shorter trips, this trail allows one to explore the Polish Sudety (a major part of the mountains is located in the Czech Republic, while smaller parts of the Lusatian Mountains and Lusatian Highlands – in Germany). The part of the trail described here leads through the highest range of the Sudety: the Karkonosze Mountains; the trail allows the exploration of their main, border ridge. Hiking at a height of nearly 1500 metres is an unforgettable and exciting experience. Next, the trail enters the Jelenia Góra Valley and emerges only to reach the mountains again – this time the somewhat lower (less than 1000 m) Rudawy Janowickie. Next, the land drops again at the Brama Lubawska (the Lubawska Gate) and the trail then enters the Stone Mountains (Góry Kamienne). The elevations are not too high, but very steep; this is followed by the taller and vast Owl Mountains, whose highest peak, Wielka Sowa (Great Owl), exceeds 1000 metres. Hiking along the forested ridge soon changes into a long descent into the deepest valley of the Sudety – the Kłodzko Valley. Having passed the Valley, the trail enters the Table Mountains (Góry Stołowe), the only Polish mountains with a plated structure, with their rocky bastions and labyrinths. The next stop are the vast Orlickie Mountains (about 1000 m) and the slightly lower Bystrzyckie Mountains. After crossing the deep Upper Nysa Trench (Rów Górnej Nysy), the trail leads into the Śnieżnik massif (it reaches a height of 1425 m). Orłowiec – the final stop on the trail – is situated in yet another mountain range, the Golden Mountains (Góry Złote).

The trail runs through two national parks: the Karkonosze National Park and the Table Mountains National Park. It includes attractions such as the Kamieńczyk Waterfall, Śnieżne Kotły (snowy pits), Kocioł Łomniczki and the rocky pyramid of Śnieżka in the Karkonosze, as well as Szczeliniec Wielki, Błędne Skały (Errant Rocks) and Skalne Grzyby (Mushroom Rocks) in the Table Mountains. Moreover, there are plenty of natural attractions either on or right next to the trail: forest reserves (e.g. Bukowa Kalenica), peatbogs (Równia Pod Śnieżką, Torfowisko Pod Zieleńcem in the Orlickie Mountains), the Wilczki Waterfall and the biggest cave in the Sudety – Jaskinia Niedźwiedzia (the bear cave) in the Śnieżnik massif.

The Sudety are also a culturally rich area. The hiking trail includes medieval castles (Konradów, Radosno, Rogowiec, Homole), manors and palaces (Bukowiec, Mysłakowice, Ratno Dolne), splendid monasteries and famous pilgrimage centres (Krzeszów, Wambierzyce), famous and picturesque resorts (Lądek-Zdrój, Kudowa-Zdrój, Duszniki-Zdrój, Jedlina-Zdrój, Długopole-Zdrój), magnificent fortresses (Srebrna Góra) and interesting relics of folklore art. Numerous viewpoints, both natural (on rocks) and artificial (lookout towers, some of them historic – Wielka Sowa, Kalenica, All Saints Mountain) make hiking even more interesting. Some of the tourist hostels are also historic, like Hala Szrenicka, Równia Pod Śnieżką, Andrzejówka, Zielenie, Hala Pod Śnieżnikiem). Some sections of the trail are very popular with tourists (the Karkonosze, the Stone Mountains, the Table Mountains, the Śnieżnik massif), others offer peace and quiet (the Orlickie Mountains, the Bystrzyckie Mountains and the eastern part of the Owl Mountains).

The total length of the section of the trail described here is 338 km.

The route of the trail:

Section 1 (three days) – 49.5 km

Section 1 (three days):

  • Szklarska Poręba – Hala Szrenicka (5.5 km) – the Mokra Pass (7 km) – Równia Nad Śnieżnymi Kotłami (the plateau above the Snowy Pits) (1489 m) (10.5 km) Śmielec (1409 m) (12 km) Śląskie Kamienie (1417 m) (13 km) – Czeskie Kamienie (1413 m) (13.5 km) – the Karkonoska Pass (17 km);

  • The Karkonoska Pass – Słonecznik rocks (3.5 km) – Równia Pod Śnieżką, the “Śląski Dom” tourist hostel (8.5 – 25.5 km, with the possibility of taking a diversion from the trail and climbing Śnieżka; ascent: red trail, descent: blue trail, in total 2.5 km) – Kocioł Łomniczki, the “Nad Łomniczką” hostel (11 / 28 km) – Karpacz (16 / 33 km + Śnieżka 18.5 km);

  • Karpacz – St. Anna’s chapel on the slope of Grabowiec (5 / 38 km) – Głębock (10 / 43 km) – Mysłakowice (14 / 47 km).

Section 2 (two days):

  • Mysłakowice – Mrowiec (2 / 49 km) – Bukowiec (5 / 54 km) – Skalnik (935 m) (13 /60 km) – Rozdroże Pod Bobrzakiem (the Bobrzak crossroads) (14 / 61 km), then, on the blue trail, 2 km north to Czarnów with accommodation at “Czartak” (a former hostel, now a farm with accommodation) (16 / 63 km);

  • Czarnów – Szarocin (7 / 70 km) – Zadzierna (723 m) (15 / 78 km) – Lubawka (20 / 83 km).

Section 3 (two days):

  • Lubawka – Krzeszów (9.5 / 91.5 km) – the Krzeszowskie Hills – Grzędy (Konradów) (17 / 100 km) – Lesista Wielka (863 m) (23 / 106 km) – Sokołowsko (28.5 / 116.5 km);

  • Sokołowsko – Przełęcz Trzech Dolin (Three Valleys’ Pass) (“Andrzejówka” hostel) (4 / 120.5 km) – Rogowiec (803 m) (9.5 / 126 km) – Jedlina-Zdrój (14.5 / 131 km).

Section 4 (three days):

  • Jedlina-Zdrój – Włodarz (811 m) (5 / 136 km) – Przełęcz Marcowa (March Pass) (7.5 / 138.5 km) – Przełęcz Sokola (Hawk Pass) (11.5 / 142.5 km) – Wielka Sowa (1015 m) (14 / 145 km) – Przełęcz Jugowska (Jugowska Pass), “Zygmuntówka” and “Bukowa Chata” hostels (19 / 150 km);

  • Przełęcz Jugowska – Kalenica (964 m) (2 / 152 km) – Bielawska Polanka (3.5 / 153.5 km) – Popielak (866 m) (4.5 / 154.5 km) – Przełęcz Woliborska (Woliborska Pass) (8.5 / 158.5 km) – Szeroka (824 m) (10 / 160 km) – Gołębia (803 m) (14 / 166 km) – Srebrna Góra, “Srebrna Góra” hostel (21 / 171 km);

  • Srebrna Góra, “Srebrna Góra” hostel – Stróża (4 / 175 km) – Czerwieńczyce (7 / 178 km) – Nowa Ruda-Słupiec (12 / 183 km) – Góra Wszystkich Świętych (All Saints’ Mountain) (648 m) (15 / 186 km) – Ścinawka Średnia (19 / 190 km).

Section 5 (three days):

  • Ścinawka Średnia – Ratno Dolne (6.5 / 196.5 km) – Wambierzyce (8 / 198 km) – Skalne Grzyby (Mushroom Rocks) (15 / 205 km) – Karłów (25 / 215 km);

  • Karłów – Błędne Skały (Errant Rocks) (852 m) (6.5 / 221.5 km) – Kudowa Zdrój (14.5 / 229.k km);

  • Kudowa-Zdrój – Grodziec (802 m) (10 / 239.5 km) – Zielone-Ludowe, a crossroads by the ruins of Homole Castle (12 / 241.5 km) – Duszniki-Zdrój (17 / 246.5 km).

Section 6 (three days):

  • Duszniki-Zdrój – Kozia Hala (5 / 251.5 km) – Zieleniec (13 / 259.5 km);

  • Zieleniec – Lasówka (7.5 / 267 km) – Spalona, the “Jagodna” hostel (18 / 277.5 km);

  • Spalona, the “Jagodna” hostel – Ponikwa (7 / 284.5 km) – Długopole-Zdrój (11 / 288.5 km).

Section 7 (three days):

  • Długopole-Zdrój – Wilkanów (5.5 / 294 km) – Igliczna (845 m) (11.5 / 300 km) – Międzygórze (14 / 302.5 km) – Hala Pod Śnieżnikiem, the “Na Hali Pod Śnieżnikiem” hostel (21 / 309.5 km), the possibility of climbing Śnieżnik (on the green trail) + 3 km;

  • Hala Pod Śnieżnikiem – Czarna Góra (1204 m) (6.5 / 316 km) – Przełęcz Puchaczówka (Puchaczówka Pass) (8 / 317.5 km) – Kąty Bystrzyckie (16 / 325.5 km) – Lądek-Zdrój (21 / 330.5 km)

  • Lądek-Zdrój – Orłowiec (7 / 337.5 km); the trail leads to Złoty Stok, where you can finish the tour (+ 10 km).

Travel options for this trail:

Hiking.