Jaworzyna Kamienica & Kiczora
I didn't bother to make it to the crowded top of Gorce's highest point ( (1310m) during that ride, but no other title than Turbacz is appropriate for this circuit.
I started from the West, not exactly at the main road but almost (due to the location of our guesthouse), and made it till Javorzyna Kamienica and Kiczora, respectively two neighboring tops allowing panoramas, a bit more east passed Turbacz. One can consider riding down the other side if keen on returning via the main road, or having a second car.
This circuit is "the" ride of the Gorce massif, one of the most famous in the Polish Carpathians, and perhaps one of the best in Poland : Perfect mountain-biking terrain, very beautiful views all along, including the nearby majestic Tatras.
And, most of all, the beginning of my (long) love story with mountain-biking in Polish mountains :)
5h are approximately required if you take the time.
I started from Ponice where was located our "agroturystyka" guesthouse. But, for the one who doesn't stay there, it can be started more conveniently at the StatOil petrol station at Rdzawka, where the blue trail starts from the national road.
Both options are preferable than using the red trail from Rabka, as the section between Maciejowa and Stare Wierchy is not suitable at all by bike.
In Ponice, after the church, catch the green pedestrian marks, going right towards few houses, where a "196" red and yellow panel indicates the guesthouse. Pass the houses until the end of the asphalt (at the guesthouse) and continue on the track. Here you'll probably need to put your feets on the ground and push for a while, as the slope is made of concrete big cobbles, in order to prevent tractors slipping on it. Nearer the end of the slope, you can cycle again. Once on the crest, there is a hedge of trees with a junction.
Take left on an unmarked trail, which separates in three as it goes up in the forest, follow the central steepest one. Some hundreds of meters later, after an arduous climb, you catch the blue trail on the ridge. This is the trail on which you would be already, starting from StatOil petrol station on the Zakopane road.
The blue trail passes successively few meadows and forest parts, with small bumps, but generally steadily until the mountain hut of Stare Wierchy, where you can have refreshments, eat, or even sleep.
Going further, before Turbacz, there are few arduous sections which forces to push the bicycle for few hundred meters, but the rest can be cycled.
After, we circumvent Turbacz on the north via the yellow trail, to catch back the red at the Turbacz mountain-hut. (here also you can eat, drink, sleep, but it is much more crowded than the previous one).
Later, as we cross a wide scenical meadow (Długa Polana) where sheep are often grazing, and where one can buy cheese in a little wooden sherperd hutit is possible to continue, either to Javorzyna Kamienica and/or Kiczora, fine viewpoints to the North and to the South of Gorce, where you can watch the Tatras.
My initial project was to reach the summit of Gorc further on, but the trail gets narrower from Javorzyna Kamienica.
You can also choose to continue after Kiczora, down south. I read this part is cycleable. This way, you reach the pass Przełęcz Knurowska, where starts the trail to Lubań.
Ponice is located South from Rabka (see this map on the left).
Rabka is some 50km south from Crakow (Poland's second main city), half-way in the direction to Zakopane.