Best Day Hikes in the Silesian Beskids: From Ustroń through Czantoria and Soszów to Wisła
For my second day hike from Wisła (pronounce: viswa) in the Silesian Beskids Mountains, I decided to start in Ustroń and walk back toward my hotel.
It's a nice linear trail with a pleasant mixture of challenging ascents and steep downhill treks with lovely and easy walking.
There is a lot of forest hiking with enough clearings and meadows to satisfy anyone's longing for mountain views.
If you want, you can stop to eat something hot on your way as there are a few options close to Czantoria and Soszów.
Day Hikes in Silesian Beskids, hike #2: Ustroń Centrum - Czantoria Mała (yellow trail)
I took the local bus to Ustroń Centrum. Right at the bus stop starts the yellow trail to Czantoria Mała (858 m) (the Small Czantoria).
For a while, it leads you over the pedestrian footpath and soon out of town. At the spot where the town road ends and forest trail begins, there is a nice picnic place to take a break. It is a steep and challenging ascent - you gain 500m in 5km.
At the Czantoria Mała summit, the views aren't all that great because of trees surrounding the peak. I was hiking during the long weekend so I was not alone.
Smaller and bigger groups of tourists were a common view. But at this point, it was still not particularly obvious... until later on.
Best Day Hikes in Silesian Beskids, hike #2: Czantoria Mała to Czantoria Wielka (black trail)
I picked up the black trail to Czantoria Wielka (995m). It is pretty easy to get there by a chairlift, so you will see many "Sunday tourists" walking around.
The walk between those two mountains is pleasant and not particularly challenging. If you want to tweak the trail a bit you may use the lift to start your hike from here (either at Czantoria Mała or Czantoria Wielka) and move farther down the trail instead of going down to Wisła at Stożek Mały.
At the peak, there is a huge tower you can climb for 6zł (1,5 €) which is well worth it in a fair weather. The views are stunning all around.
The peak is also right on the border between Poland and the Czech Republic - hence signs in both languages everywhere. There is plenty of places for a break around if you want it. At the day I took this hike it was cloudy and gloomy, so I decided to pass the tower.
But I was there a couple time before and I liked it. I prefer to move fast through Czantoria, as many of the tourists smoke which I really hate, particularly when I'm breathing hard and walking in nature.
Best Day Hikes in Silesian Beskids, hike #2: Czantoria Wielka - Beskidek Pass - Soszów - Stożek Mały (red trail)
From Czantoria Wielka you pick up the red trail and go steeply down over rough and difficult loose rocks and stones path.
Be careful - it's very easy to lose your footing around here! I passed dozens of hikers making the climb and I did not envy them! This is a long and steep climb, over a tremendously difficult surface. I was happy I was doing it that direction.
I ascended this section two years ago and remember how harsh it was. When the path evens out for a while there are nice views and big patches of wild blueberries - check them out if you happen to hike in season! I was there much too early.
Just make sure you wash them - there is a nasty disease spread in areas where foxes urinate.
After about 40 min. you reach the Beskidek Pass (684m) to again go up in the direction of Soszów Mountain. Before you reach its peak you can stop at Soszów Mountain Shelter.
After reaching the top there is a nice view right next to the ski lift. Turn left and keep on hiking the red trail all the way to Stożek Mały through some very nice area - some woods, a lot of open spaces with great views.
After a while, you reach Cieślar (920m), a peak covered with meadows, with a lovely, wide vista. In a good weather, you can see many mountains of the Silesian and Żywiecki Beskid Mountains (among them the highest peaks of the Silesian Beskid: Skrzyczne [1257 m] and Barania Góra [1220 m]).
Best Day Hikes in Silesian Beskids, hike #2: Stożek Mały - Wisła Dziechcinka (yellow then blue trail)
At Stożek Mały there is somewhat of a busy trail crossing. Multiple trails meet here - some lead up toward Stożek Wielki and Kiczory, some toward Czech villages down the valley and the yellow one back toward Wisła.
Turn left into the yellow trail which later splits into yellow and blue - pick up the blue trail as it leads to a wonderful viewpoint that is not to be missed.
The yellow trail would also take you to Wisła Dziechcinka but it goes quickly into the valley and among houses on a paved road. Blue trail is slightly longer, but much nicer.
The blue trail runs for a while over a paved road but later turns left into the woods. It is pretty easy to miss this turn - make sure you pay attention when you see an exclamation point on a tree. You will see a hunting tower on the left - that's where the trail leads.
At one point you turn up and left on a dirt road next to a horse padlock. Right on top, there is the most stunning view. It's a rock with a 14 m long drop, so be careful and get your camera ready. It's a lovely spot to have your break and eat a snack.
There is also a big chance you would be here around the Golden Hour time when the sunlight creates the most stunning photos. Now is the time for all your lovely photos! I was unlucky that day - it was gloomy and I had no chance for golden light... but I was here also another day and was lucky to have the most stunning weather. I took gazillion photos and post here just one, cheating a bit ;-) but it's the same spot!
When you get your fix of the views, walk down toward Wisła. Follow the trail till you get to Wisła Dziechcinka section of the town.
To get to the center, turn left and follow the road. Right on the corner there is a nice Cukiernia - a cafè with cakes and ice creams - to get your reward :)
Check out the main post about why Wisła in the Silesian Beskid Mountains is a hiker's paradise and the day hike # 1 from Wisła.