Gorce and Island Beskids – cycling, hiking or skiing?
Cyclists, lovers of long hiking, skiing and enthusiasts of snowboard will all feel at home here. In summer and spring, Island Beskids and Gorce are waiting for bike riders who prefer sport cycling. They can choose the route leading from Lubomierz to Turbacz, having some relax on the picturesque glades crossing the trail – Jaworzyna Kamienicka and Polana Gabrowska. Another interesting suggestion is the road that starts in Mszana Dolna and leads through Turbacz to Rabka. In 2017 Kasina Wielka has inaugurated its Bike Park Kasina – an ideal place for both adult and young cyclists. It offers 9 routes with different levels of difficulty for more experienced bikers. Beginners, on the other hand, are offered an obstacle course consisting of humps, profiled turns and small “jumps”. An equally attractive bikepark is located in Kluszkowce, where every year in May a Joy Ride Festival for mountain bike fans is organised. For lovers of cycling challenges, MTB 4 Towers is also organized, which is a stage bicycle race conducted along the routes of the Enclave of Active Leisure in the Heart of Gorce. It is here that you will find the steepest asphalt climbs in Poland: Twarogi, Skałka, Studzionki, as well as streams, beautiful views with the Tatra Mountains in the background, Lake Czorsztyn and the Dunajec gorge in Tylmanowa.
High demand for energy and endorphins can also be satisfied by varied hiking routes. Island Beskids and Gorce offer, among others, two interesting blue routes: Szczawa – Kasina Wielka and further, towards Poznachowice Górne, as well as Saint Just Gorge – Limanowa – Kamienica – Kluszkowce. In Ochotnica Górna, it is worth to see the attractive historical and natural path “Valley of the Jaszcze Stream”, related to the activities of partisans, as well as the history of the American bomber “California Rocket” that has fallen in this area. The path leads through scenic glades and areas of the Gorce National Park. For tourists who like long distances, we recommend the red routes: Main Beskid Trail and Little Beskid Trail.
The real endurance test is the International Extreme Walking Marathon KIERAT on a distance of 100 km, which assumes an uninterrupted march in the mountains of the Island Beskids and Gorce – a challenge that only experienced competitors will cope with. Lovers of ultra runs come here every year in August to take part in Gorce Ultra Trail – a festival of long-distance mountain running through the entire Gorce range.
In addition to the routes mentioned above, we recommend, of course, waling up the peaks - peacefully and without rush. Many pleasures are guaranteed by routes leading to Śnieżnica, Lubogoszcz, Ćwilin, Kudłacze, Lubomir, Luboń Wielki, Mogielica and Turbacz. We can surely add to this group the route to Łopień from the Rydz Śmigły Pass and the climb to Jasień from the Przysłop Pass. In Turbacz, Stare Wierchy, Maciejowa and Luboń Wielki, there are PTTK hostels awaiting us with accommodation and tasty food.
Winter in the mountains? What could be more pleasant - especially for those who like winter sports. Downhill skiing is still the most popular of them. We can recommend you slopes such as Limanowa-Ski, Laskowa-Kamionna, Kasina-Ski, Koninki, “U Żura” in Chabówka and Lubomierz-Ski. There is also a growing interest in skitouring and cross-country skiing, which can be practiced on the Obidowa – Turbacz route and on the routes in the area of the Mogielica mountain and in the Zdrojowy Park in Rabka-Zdrój. And if you're looking for other ideas, try hiking in snow shoes, preferably on the trails leading to Turbacz, which are suitable for this kind of sport. In addition, for lovers of running, Gorce Ultra Trail Winter is organised every year in Ochotnica.