This circuit makes a loop around the emblematic Table Mountains ("Góry Stołowe", see the SP album), a must-see attraction in Southern Poland.
Contrary to what we can imagine when looking at these impressive and puzzling rock formations, the mountainous area in which they are located is not steep at all, and the area is perfect for those looking for flat rides into forests of mountainous character. Surprisingly too, the ground is kind of sandy, just like one can experience in some places of the Polish Jura or near the sea.
The generous profile of this ride, combined with the scenically interest, matched perfectly what I was looking for with the company of my father: as he was riding the Tomac, I had to use my old and rigid red one, in city tyres ! Given my better physical condition, advantages where then fairly and equally dispatched :) We started from the thermal resort Duszniki Zdrój, or more exactly the nearby village of Dolina in which is a guesthouse I absolutely recommend.
The idea that came though my mind was a loop around the "rocky labyrinth", as they call it here. (It cannot be penetrated by bike and it is better visited on foot).
As we stayed in Duszniki Zdrój, we started from there, but anyone can choose another point. Besides, the approach, via some small roads, is not the most interesting. Let's only mention the piece of singletrack near Zaczise (yellow marks).
In the upper side of Zaczise, the road heads into the forest and transforms into a track. It elevates steadily in the NE, until it reaches a sandy junction. Turn right, where the track gets back in the initial direction a minute later, describing a Z. It goes below "Urwisko Batorowskie", a rocky balcony that cannot be seen from the track. The path is unmarked but large. Blue marks appear from nowhere in the final part.
We reach a large junction and turn right, following now yellow marks into a wide forest of pines on a terrain which is now almost flat. We are located on marshes known as "Wielkie Torfowisko Batorowskie".
We cross a small asphalted road (but closed to cars) called "Kręgielny Trakt" and keep forward.
We reach Niknąca Łąka, a natural peat-bog, depression of the ground where the soil becomes so marshy that trees grow into a sort of soft deep and wet lichen, in which no one can step. This place reminds a lot of Torfowisko pod Zieleńcem (indeed, not very far from here), or Rejvíz in the more distant Jeseniky. A small trail, on wooden ladders, allows to visit it on the right side of the track. One can continue after, and catch back the trail I describe, but this bit of trail is not very suitable by bike, with lots of tree roots. Better turn back.
At the junction of Burzowa Łąka, turn left. We now follow red marks on a track called "Droga Nad Urwiskiem". As we reach a zone with laces getting steep in the forest, red marks leave the track and blue ones appear instead. We follow them shortly and catch yellow ones elevating into a meadow. The open views now reveal the rocky formation of Szczeliniec Wielki on the left, which we circumvent as we reach Pasterka and its mountain hotel, most distant point of the ride.
We leave Pasterka by the only road that leads to it, and watch for green marks that soon leave it to the right, via a short and quite steep rocky portion, the only one of this kind in the whole circuit. Once in meadows that allow again views to Szczeliniec Wielki on the left (but seen now from the opposite side), we reach the village of Karłów, trailhead of the pedestrians visiting the rocky labyrinth, with all possible souvenirs and cafés.
On the lower part end of Karłów, we catch the green trail that follows a tiny road ("Kręgielny Trakt", mentioned earlier), but followed itself for a short while too as green marks head into an even tinier track. We pass in front of a large rocky outcrop named "Bialy skały", and then reach back the large junction of "Wielkie Torfowisko Batorowskie". The rest of the return to Duszniki Zdrój is made identically as the way up.
Duszniki Zdrój is an ideal starting point, but it can be also Polanica Zdrój or Świeradów Zdrój, the neighbouring thermal resorts, as well as any village close by. Duszniki Zdrój is just the most direct and located on the main road.
From Wrocław, we need to take the direction of Kłlodzko, south. In Kłlodzko, instead of heading into the center we take the direction of Świeradów, passing over the large viaduct. Duszniki Zdrój is reached soon after Polanica Zdrój, well indicated.
From Czech Republic and Prague, this southern enclave of polish territory is easily reached by the border of Náchod.
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