Recently, over a long weekend break (May the 1st), I went to Wisła for a short hiking trip. This is the heart of the Silesian Beskids Mountains and a great place to make your base for a number of day hikes. My third day of hiking in the Silesian Beskid Mountains proved the most beautiful and the shortest. The weather was just wonderful and sunny. This year we have been having a really long winter, with gloomy, cold days so this change was more than welcomed. To read more on why the Silesian Beskid Mountains are a hiker’s paradise, check this post. I’m sure you will agree and come hiking around Wisła!
Day hikes in the Silesian Beskids, hike #3: Wisła Głębce train station to Mraźnica (blue)
I decided to start my hike from Wisła Głębce train station. On my map, it didn’t look that far so I chose to walk there from my hotel. That was a bad idea… If you decide to do this hike, get on a bus or take a train from Wisła center. Not only the walk is long but I also turned too early to the wrong train station, losing even more time.
Anyway – from the Głębce train station follow the blue trail toward Mraźnica for about 3,5km. For a short while you walk close to village buildings but soon you leave them behind for a nice forest walk. It’s a steady uphill trek but with no difficult climbs. When you finally reach Mraźnica you switch to the red trail and trek to Kiczory (990m).
Day hikes in the Silesian Beskids, hike #3: Mraźnica to Kiczory (red)
This spot is kind of a trail intersection with a new road being built and a spot to sit down and have a break (under a small kapliczka – a holy image on a tree with some flowers around it). It is well advised, as you have to make a pretty steady climb up the Kiczory mountain soon. Although you could continue with the blue trail directly to Stożek Wielki and skip Kiczory, I think it is well worth it to go up to Kiczory Summit.
On my way up to Kiczory, I passed by a group of “hikers” who made a break. They were sitting on both sides of the path, some lying down, talking and… smoking. Can you imagine? I’m walking up to them, all puffing and breathing hard from the climb and I have to cross right through a wall of smoke! Why would anyone do that? I can’t imagine how the smokers believe their smoke just disappear because they are out in the open. It’s not ashes to just drop down. It stinks, it poisons everything. I hate it and it’s one of my strongest anger triggers. I am still annoyed as I write it – a month later! This is why I escape the city – to breathe air free of pollutant and cigarettes’ smoke. [/end of rant]
The mountain is otherworldly, with some rocks, half-dead trees, and strange plants. It is not a good place to be during a thunderstorm, though! I still remember how, two years ago in August, I hiked in this area during a horrible storm… it was one of the scariest experiences in my life! I was seriously scared for my life, trying to remember all that I knew about the proper behavior in mountains during a storm, with lightning hitting the ground pretty close to me time after time. Soaked, cold and hit by hail… something I will be happy to never endure again!
On a good day, in addition to almost all the peaks of the Silesian Beskid, you can even see the Tatra Mountains from the peak. This mountain is built with a course kind of a sandstone, with a large amount of quartz, orthoclase, and siderite.
Day hikes in the Silesian Beskids, hike #3: Kiczory to Stożek Wielki and Stożek Mały (red)
From there you walk on an easy and wide path to Stożek Wielki (954m) where you can stop at the mountain shelter. This is the oldest structure of that kind that still stands, but be warned – the food is more expensive than in other places and the choice of dishes is pretty limited because of how hard it is to bring anything up there. But the views from the main room are worth it all. I grabbed a cup of coffee and double French fries with a view.
From Stożek Wielki continue with the red trail down to Stożek Mały and make sure you don’t go with a wrong trail – there are a few that go together for a while. It’s a steep downhill path so be careful.
Day hikes in the Silesian Beskids, hike #3: Stożek Mały through a viewpoint to Wisła Dziechcinka (yellow, then blue)
Stożek Mały is again a trail crossing spot. There are trails going to Soszów and Czantoria (read about hikes through those mountains here) and some leading off to villages down in the valleys on the Czech side. To walk to Wisła we turn sharply right along the yellow trail.
The trail soon splits into two: yellow and blue. Both of them end up in the same spot, the yellow being slightly shorter. But the blue trail leads you on a much nicer path. Although there is some concrete walking involved, there is also a lot of nice forest trekking and a visit to one of the best vantage points in the area.
It’s a rock from which you have a view that takes your breath away. It’s the perfect spot for a break and a photo session 🙂 Just be careful – it’s a 14m long drop from there! If you want, you may go down to the foot of the rock and climb up the other side. It’s a popular climbing rock with permanent loops for a rope at the top. I visited this spot the day before but it was gloomy and cloudy. This day I was lucky to have stunning light, as the Golden Hour was upon me! Perfect spot for a longer break and a photo session!
From there you just continue down toward Wisła and end in the Dziechcinka section of Wisła. The path takes you through some nice woods before hitting settlements. When you reach the end of the trail, right at the corner, there is a nice Cukiernia (Sweet Shop/Café) where you can reward yourself with a sweet something-something and a cup of coffee 🙂 You can grab a bus or walk to the center- it’s not that far.
From this point, you can grab a bus or walk to the center- it’s not that far.
I really loved this hike. I was, of course, lucky with the weather but even during a gloomy day, it would be some great hiking. It’s not as long as the other day hikes I did but it has a pleasant mixture of challenging, sweat-inducing uphill walks and gentle, meandering paths through forests. The views are splendid and even jaw-dropping at some points.
Day hikes in the Silesian Beskids, hike #3: Wisła Głębce – Kiczory – Stożek Wielki – Wisła Dziechcinka
The distance: 15,5 km
Time: You should provide about 5h for this hike.
Total ascent: 600 m
Total descent: 702 m
Hiking solo in the Silesian Beskids and other concerns:
All four days I was hiking solo. There was absolutely no problem with it and there is little risk that you would have any issues. There are hikers around those areas and although there were no crowds, I was passing others a few times. If there was any kind of accident – it’s easy to call the Beskids’ section of GOPR (Mountain Rescue) – SOS phone # 985 or simply scream – there is a pretty big chance someone would hear you 😉 There are people living near the trails and you are never in a truly remote area.
There are no dangerous animals or plants in the Silesian Beskids.
The trails are very well marked. The system is pretty simple: white stripe – trail color stripe – white stripe. There are arrows made of those colors when you need to turn and, what I found particularly useful, an exclamation point before a tricky spot – when you could miss a turn or such. If you see it – be extra vigilant about the marking around you.
Make sure you are well prepared for this long day hike – check out the list of a day hike essentials you should have with you.
Although most of the time the paths are not particularly challenging, there are sections with loose rocks and stones which can be tricky. I hiked in boots (opposite low hiking shoes or trail runners) and recommend it. And don’t forget your trekking poles! I found them really helpful during this day hike!
Have you done this hike? Did you like it? If not – have I convinced you to buy a ticket Wisła? 😉
Read more on hiking in the Silesian Beskid Mountains in Poland and take a look at the day hike around Wisła #1 and the day hike around Wisła #2.
If you have any questions about hiking in Poland – don’t hesitate to ask!