Ślęża is a 718m small lonely mountain of the Sudetes, located not very far, 30km south from the Polish city of Wrocław. For this reason, it is a quite popular promenade for many people, the time of a half day, or even an evening after work.
This little mountain, woody until the top, has many trails, most of them for the hiker, but some of them can be cycled, and this is a fine area for mountain-biking.
Ślęża is surrounded by green fields. The lower part is made hardwood forests, and the upper part more with conifers like pine and fir trees, which plunge you into a sort of mini-mountainous atmosphere.
From the top, by goow weather, you can see the far mountains of Karkonosze, highest summits of the Sudetes on the border with Czech Republic.
For more information see Romuald's excellent page about this mountain on SummitPost
You need to park (10zl) on the car-park near the beginning of the trails in Sobótka. If you make the loop only, you can also park at the Przełęcz Tąpadła car park.
I will describe here 2 possibilities of trails :
* Loop around Ślęża, easy (pink + orange trail)
* Loop around Ślęża with ascent to the top, difficult (pink trail)
Loop around Ślęża
This circuit is very simple. It consists in following the black marked trail which goes around the hill. It can be done in both directions, but if you go for the first time I recommend to do it anti-clockwise (starting to West from Sobótka), because there are many junctions in this side, including one which we miss very easily coming from the opposite direction.
The only part of the black trail which you should avoid is the part along the road on the south side. It is far too steep, take the road instead. At the pass Przełęcz Tąpadła, there is possibility to make a break and even have a beer at the small refreshments bar. The second half of the return consists in a long ascent and a long descent.
Ascent of Ślęża
This circuit is more complicated, and was shown to me by my friend Marcin. Unlike the first circuit, you must do it clockwise and start with the East side. The beginning is the same, follow the black trail during almost all the climbing part. Some 100m after the junction with the red trail, an unmarked trail arrives on the right side from uphill. Take this sharp turn and go this way. This track joins the official red path for pedestrian, going to the top from the North. From there, there are very difficult sections with stones, which will force you to push the bike on few hundred meters, unless you are vey skilled. The last part can be cycled again.
On the top, you can have a break and eat/drink something at the hut "Schronisko na Ślęży" (http://www.domturysty.net). A church stands also on the top, as well as a tower-balcony on which you can admire the view, over the trees.
The descent begins on the south side of the summit, first on a nice paved way, then very uncomfortable track full of stones. People with suspended bike may find it more fun than with a traditional mountain-bike... Don't go down until Przełęcz Tąpadła; at the big junction with black, yellow and blue trails, take the black on the right side. This black is a variant of the black described in the first loop. It keeps going down on most of the length. One part is a bit bumpy with stones all over the way. This trails joins the main black trail half-way on the west hillside. The return to Sobótka is made this way.
I was told there are also possibilities to cycle the trails going near Radunia, the secondary top of Ślęża located on the south.
When to Bike
Spring, Summer, Autumn, and even winter if no snow. Make sure it was not raining recently, even more than 2 days ago, otherwise you will come back completely muddy and dirty, since water from rain tends to flow into the weelprints of many of the tracks.