Biskupia Kopa (or Biskupská Kupa in czech) is one of the easternmost summits in the Sudetes, and the Eastermost in Poland. Culminating point of the mainkly flat region Opolskie, it stands like a northernmost extension of the large Jeseniky massif, shared with Czech Republic, just like the summit itself.
Despite it fails to reach 1000m (or even the "Polish Munro" status with less than 3000ft), its popularity amongst tourists owes a lot to the presence of a beautiful outlook tower on its top, served by several trails. By some chance, and like often in the Sudetes, these trails perfectly suit the level of difficulty usually sought by mountain-bikers, not to say quite challenging in terms of effort and bike-handling in the last meters of the ascent. Effort well rewarded by the panorama once we are on the tower (mind taking few coins, the entrance isn't free; preferably some Czech korunas as the tower is owned by them).
The proposed loop hereby corresponds to the loop as most people would do it from Poland (excepted an orientation mistake that led me too far south at one point), however one can vary itineraries as much as are marked trails are numerous.
Don't forget to read the anecdote related to this trip.
Jarnołtówek is the local mountain resort, and usual trailhead for those who seek to ride the mountain from Poland. From Czech republic, the closest road access is the mountain pass that separates the Oloumouc and Moravian regions, between Zlaté Hory and Petrovice.
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From Jarnołtówek, elevate to Bolkowice. When to road stops, don't look for the yellow marks supposedly immediately on the right as the map shows. While descending a bit straight forward you'll pop into the large track that elevates to the hill, soon merging with the yellow marks coming from nowhere.
This trail elevates comfortably and steadily till the Czech Border at "Pod Rudolfsheinem"(don't follow yellow marks that eventually leave the track to elevate to the hut on the right).
From "Pod Rudolfsheinem", take a sharp pin-turn that goes up northwards, finding back yellow marks. Don't try to ascend the mountain from here following the border, this is too steep by bike.
We reach this way the mountain hut "Pod Biskupią Kopą" where one can have a deserved break. But don't eat or drink too much, the hardest is to come.
As we are again on the border, now the mountain needs to be ascended southwards, following a red-marked trail along the border marks. This trail soon turns to be very steep and quite rugged in the last meters. Doing it in one go without stepping down is a real challenge, take the time to breath and recover during the rare flatter portions.
The last meters require a rush of blood and lots of stamina to pass all at once the ultimate rough section. Then the tower appears so suddenly that we don't have time to go decrescendo, we need stop suddenly out of breath under the amazed eye of the tower keeper...
A panorama later, and possibly a coffee or soda, comes the well awaited descent. I haven't seen where the blue trail was separating from the green (and eventually rode down till Petrovy Budy) so watch out for the intersection. Riding up from Petrovy Budy as I did isn't the ideal route. It gets back to the same spot on the border named "Pod Rudolfsheinem".
One can consider returning to Jarnołtówek via the yellow trail, a track named "Solna Droga", or, more challenging, trying to follow the border ridge, which certainly involve more elevation and more rugged terrain.
In Zamkowa Gora, we find a large intersection; we take left, which leads us back in Jarnołtówek, a bit further upstream than where we started from.
The panorama from the outlook tower is one of the most extensive one can find in the Sudetes. I could see as far as the Karkonosze on the West, and the Czech Beskidy on the East, in the Carpathians !