This area is treasured for its rural architecture in the form of historical wattle-and-daub houses, farm buildings and churches. Such buildings are the unique heritage of this land. To preserve and popularise it, the “Checkered Land” product was established by the “Słupia” Association of Branded Rural Tourism Products, This was done with an eye to save it from oblivion and devastation.
The route is long and fairly difficult, and you should devote at least two days to travel it. The most convenient place to start your excursion is Słupsk (due to its communication connections). The easiest locations to find accommodation are around Dębnica Kaszubska or Bydlino. It is also possible to end your journey a bit earlier, by getting to Słupsk along a different “Checkered Land” trail. In order to get to Swołowo from Słupsk, you should take the blue 13.5 km long “Dolina Moszczeniczki” (the Moszczeniczka Valley) trail, or the “Dolina Księżyca” (the Moon Valley) green trail.
Length: 126 km
Predominating surface: dirt roads
Time needed to complete the trail: 16 hours (2-3 days)
Recommended type of bicycle: mountain / trekking bike
Route: Słupsk – Dębnica Kaszubska – Słupsk
0 km – Słupsk. Start from the train station on Słupsk, and go along Józefa Piłsudskiego Street, towards Bierkowo, following the blue “Dolina Moszczeniczki” trail.
6.0 km – Bierkowo. Many wattle-and-daub buildings can be seen here, as well as a church with a wooden tower.
8.5 km – Bruskowo Wielkie. This is noted for its wattle-and-daub architecture and a Neo-Gothic church.
13.5 km – Swołowo. The best-preserved village in the “Checkered Land”, Swołowo reveals a preserved urban layout, a Gothic church and a regional inn.
16.5 km – Gać. A manor from the 17th-18th century that has been rebuilt from scratch. The town also shows remnants of wattle-and-daub architecture.
28.0 km – Słonowice. A Neo-Gothic church from the 19th century (Note: the section to Kuleszowo has a poor-quality surface).
34.5 km – Kuleszewo. A wattle-and-daub church from the mid 18th century can be found here. Inside, there is a Baroque altar with a Gothic figure of Christ and a pulpit.
52.5 km – Łysomiczki / Leśny Dwór. This is noted for a bridge over the Słupia, and a camping area (a kayak wharf).
54.5 km – Dębnica Kaszubska. The visitor can encounter here a 16th-17th century church with a wattle-and-daub transept and chancel. In the village and nearby, there are several agri-tourist lodgings.
68.0 km – Zagórzyca. A Neo-Gothic church from the 19th century with an early-20th-century tower.
Note!From Karżniczka, you can go to Damnica, where you will find a train / urban rail station (approx. 2 km).
69.5 km – Karżniczka. Found here are the ruins of an once grand palace from the 18th century. This is still surrounded by a moat.
Note!From Swochowo, you can travel to Słupsk along the green “Do Stacji Gabel” (To the Gabel Station) trail.
86.80km – Swochowo. An old 18th-century mansion and some regional architecture.
94.5 km – Bydlino. The town is noted for its regional architecture and the remains of a grange, the Słupia River.
99.5 km – Strzelinko. The “Dolina Charlotty” Hotel Complex.
104.0 km – Wielichowo. A stud farm (Note: The road surface of the forest section between Swołowo and Wielichowo is of poor quality).
112.0 km – Swołowo. The trail loop ends here (further travel to 13.5 km to Słupsk is possible along the blue or green “Do Stacji Gabel” trails through Gać and Zębowo).
Foto: M. Bieliński – Dep. Turystyki UMWP