Šerák, 1351m, is the second top of the mountain Keprník. Unlike the last, it is possible to cycle until the top via a track. A mountain hut is located near the summit, Chata Jiřího na Šeráku. Some strange granitic rocky outcrops which stand on the northern hillside.
Šerák-Keprník is another beautiful mountain, similar to Praděd, quite close in the same range, on the opposite side of the pass Červenohorské Sedlo.
I have been twice on this mountain. The first time during my early mountain-biking experiences with the hardtail in 2008, but this left me a feeling of unfinished job, having ridden a bit too much the asphalt, this given the dense network of trails on this mountain.
Recently once more with a friend, trying a more complete and demanding route going both sides of the mountain, and using only singletracks. I believe this one to be much closer to the optimal way to enjoy all possibilities of Šerák.
2008 loop from Filipovice
During a touristic farniente week-end with my wife I took the opportunity and packed the bike in the car too, for an early-morning-excursion as I like them. I parked at the bus top in Filipovice, near our Guesthouse in Bělá pod Pradědem, where starts the blue hiking trail and the red cycling marks. No fees.
You first cycle on a road crossing the wide meadows of the Bělá valley and then enter the deep forest. From this point the track is still asphalt but forbidden to cars.
However, I was overtaken in a cloud of dust by a huge costy land-rover. 5mn later, I was overtaken again by a police car; few hundred meters ahead the land rover owner was negotiating with the cops but they didn't look too friendly and he probably payed the fine... I had a sort of sadistic satisfaction and took this picture :)
The trail keeps elevating in the forest steadily. There is a mistake on the map, the red marked cycling trail doesn't follow the pedestrian blue one, but keeps going on the track nearby.
On the point where it comes back to the blue, the trail is not asphalt anymore and gets very steep, you'll probably need to select one of the easiest gear of the bike. But the track is good and not too rocky.
Then you reach the pass, in a splendid mountainous landscape of dwarf pines, and you keep going on the ridge for a short distance to the mountain hut. This section is the most beautiful.
After the break (the beer ?) at the hut, I took an "illegal" option which consisted in taking for few hundred meters the pedestrian trail forbidden to bikes. It was early morning, I was alone, but the trail soon turned to be too steep to be descended on bike, and I had to carry it until the junction at Obří skály.
"Obří skály" is an enormous rocky outcrop on which you'll also probably take a break for watching. The return is made of a long descent on the track marked in green. Pay attention at the 3 junctions with the blue and yellows, always turn right and keep the green marks.
One option is to return to Filipovice via the main road, but another is much more attractive. When the track becomes asphalt again, turn right on the trail at the level of the group of houses. Then keep going right on this track, which first seem to go up the hill again. But it goes finally on its side and offers fine views from the edge of the forest. Half way there is a viewpoint with picnic table. Then you come back to the trail of the morning and the car.
2011 loop from Ramzová
The initial idea was to bag Keprník instead of Šerák, and realize by the same occasion a sort of continuity with the area visited in the Travná Hora circuit the year before. Keprník wasn't done for technical reasons, but riding both mountainsides perfectly fulfilled the second goal.
This loop can be done on both directions, with a slight preference for anti-clockwise, but walking sections are met with each options.
The red-marked trail elevating SE from Ramzová is OK until the final portion under Šerák which we see at the beginning of Albert's film. Perhaps with better skills it can be managed entirely. The higher we go the better it becomes again.
Then, the descent on the E side can be made the same way as described in the Filipovice loop, however a parallel variant following the blue-marked pedestrian trail allows a wilder descent offtrails. Just don't forget to get back on the main trail as we reach the foot of the mountain. The same track under Nad Vyrovkou, still the same as previously described, gets to mills so we can catch the track elevating to the Javořík pass.
It is very easy to miss the junction going to Pod Strmym and Ch. Jelenka (so we did !). Both offer singletrack descents, the way as described with the section between Pod Strmym and Ch. Jelenka, or as we did by mistake from Obří skály to "Pod Obřími skálami". A very technical singletrack that will please many. Both options get back to Ramzová to the West after almost ascending the Šerák mountain for the second time in the same ride.
This valley of the Jesenik mountains is in Czech Republic, but on the northern hillside of the Sudetes. Then, paradoxically, it is best reached from Poland, from the region of Opole-Wrocław, via the road to Nysa and Głuchołazy.