On Pomorskie trail
Comfortable shoes, a detailed map, useful can be also a working GPS. Moreover, packed lunch, a bottle of water and a raincoat just in case – you do not need much to start an exciting adventure during hikes on touristic trails. And there is many of them in the Pomorskie. The most interesting trails in the region can be found on the terrain or in the buffer zones of Pomorskie nature protection areas – two national parks (Słowiński, Bory Tucholskie), as well as 9 landscape parks.
Hikes can be started from the easier trails, to with time enter more diffcult level and conquer longer and more demanding trails. All are marked out in such a way as to cover both the nature treasures or interesting landscapes, as well as human creations, including regional symbols and secrets. While following Pomorskie trails, we will come across a more than 500-years-old grand Bartuś oak in Park Narodowy Bory Tucholskie, that with its name alludes to the Polish record-holder, around 700-year-old “Bartek” from the Świętokrzyskie Voivodeship. Unforgettable moments will be ensured by red trail in Słowiński Park Narodowy that leads in its first part across the Baltic Sahara, that is dunes Łącka and Czołpińska. The highest hills on this trails are natural overlooks of the whole Park. It is also worth to stop on a yelllow trail of Park Krajobrazowy Dolina Słupi [Słupia Valley Landscape Park] and take a moment to see a huge glacial erratic, not by a coincidence called a dragon egg. It has been moved to the Pomorskie Region ages ago by an ice sheet, and to this day baffles with its size.
A black trail in Nadmorski Park Krajobrazowy [Coastal Landscape Park] will surprise us with a different nature monument in the form of glacial puddingstone caves with weirdly shaped stone columns. We will find them in a Kashubian village Mechowo, of which interesting history goes back to the 13th century. Whereas in Puszcza Darżlubska located in the north of Kashubia, for the seekers of inanimate nature treasures await other glacial erratics with telling names – Diableski Kamień [Devil's Stone] and Boża Stopka [Godly Foot]. A part of a blue trail of Brda, on the terrain of Tucholski Park Krajobrazowy [Tucholski Landscape Park], worth of a recommendation is Piekło [Hell] nature reserve. Located here boulder deposit area is classified as a nature monument, and the sinister name of this place was assigned by keelmen who, while flowing down the Brda, encountered here various obstacles. We can name interesting places with no end, but one thing is sure – each one of them is worth seeing.
During the hike signs will be our lead. They are located on trees, stones, posts or walls. They have a characteristic form of three adjoining to each other horizontal lines, of which two peripheral ones are white, whereas the colour of the middle one depends on the character of the trail – its length, rank and function.
Let's always stick to our trail to be sure nothing interesting gets past our attention. Let's go!
Park Narodowy Bory Tucholskie - tourist routes
Picturesque forests and numerous lakes of Bory Tucholskie create fantastic conditions for various activity forms, and one of them are hikes that allow for deliberate and detailed introduction to all nature and ethnographic attractions. Trails of the Park Narodowy are in total 45 kilometres long and allow to feel why Bory are such a friendly place – both for tourists, as well as for living here since ages in harmony animals and plants.
Bory Tucholskie National Park, fot. Daniel Frymark
One of the most popular trails in this area is marked red Kashubian Trail of Julian Rydzykowski, that starts in Chojnice and is 59 kilometres long. A part of the trail that is within administration borders of Park Narodowy Bory Tucholskie is around 10 kilometres long, and starts in Bachorze by Charzykowskie lake. The name of this settlement comes from the word “bachorze,” that means swamp, marsh. We will find here a copy of a wooden crucifix, set here in 1812 by Polish legionnaires that headed over to Moscow with the Napoleon army. We will then go to the forest where we will follow a sandy road. We will pass sites of rare plants – a groundcedar and a twinflower (a relic from glacial era). Then we will pass a dystrophic Kacze Oko lake, reaching a place called Stara Piła (Piła Młyn). Once there was a little settlement here, and a water mill, however the most interesting is around 600-years-old, overgrown with thick moss, pedunculate oak called “Bartuś,” the most famous and the oldest monumental tree of the Park that is 25 metres high. The next stop on the trail is Płęsno lake, by which with a stroke of luck we can meet living here otters or nesting kingfishers. Further we will hike along Struga Siedmiu Jezior [Seven Lakes Stream], passing lakes Główka, Bełczak and Jeleń. By the last one, there is a wooden bridge and a place to rest. Along the way we may look for the traces of local beavers' activity. Going to the east along the shorelines, we will reach the border of the Park Narodowy “Bory Tucholskie” – the further part of the trail leads beyond its terrain, leading us through a range of Kashubian villages of rich cultural and historical traditions. The final stage of the long hike is Wiele village and an area of Kalwaria Wielewska located on the hillside of Biała Góra, that has 23 objects (including 14 chapels).
Park Narodowy Bory Tucholskie is crossed also by a 162-kilometre long blue trail of Brda. It runs together with Brda river through two voivodeships, and it has its start in Bydgoszcz (Kujawsko-Pomorskie Voivodeship) and leads to Konarzyny village (Pomorskie Voivodeship). Following this trail we will enter the Park's terrain in Męcikał village. Brda will take us to two lakes – Kosobudno and Dybrzk, around which we will see impressive in size spruces that are nature monuments. Following the route we will reach Drzewicz settlement in order to then, while passing lakes Łąckie and Witoczno, reach the popular among tourists Swornegacie village, that is known for its characteristic name. It is a combination of two Kashubian words – “swora” is a plait braided from spruce's roots, once used to strengthening – “gacenie” – the rivers' banks. In the village, it is worth to visit a Neo-Baroque and modernistic parish church of Saint Barbara, as well as Kaszubski Dom Rękodzięła Ludowego [Kashubian House of Folk Handicraft]. Our further steps will be directed to the south, going along the eastern shore of Karsińskie lake. In the area of Owink settlement we will enter a forest, to reach Płęsno lake. We will leave the Park in Małe Swornegacie village, picturesquely located on the border of three lakes – Charzykowskie, Karsińskie and Długie.
Another trail of an above-regional rank, that covers the area of Park Narodowy Bory Tucholskie, is a green Struga Siedmiu Jezior Trail. The length of it amounts to 48 kilometres, and 22 of them we will cover on the terrain of the Park. The start of the trail is Charzykowy, a village that is a cradle of Polish inland sailing. Here, during annexation, there was created an unregistered Stowarzyszenie Przyjaciół Żeglarstwa [literally: Sailing Enthusiasts' Association], of which traditions are cultivated to this day. We will enter the Park's terrain in the area of Niedźwiedzie lake. Going north we will reach Wzgórze Siedmiu Dróg [literally: Seven Roads Hill], also called Hubertówka. There is a Saint Hubert monument here from 1931, with a relief in the shape of a seven-pointed star that shows the history of the Saint, who allegedly saw a deer with a crucifix between its antlers. Then, still going north, we will pass Wielkie Gacno Lobelian lake, to reach on a forest sandy road an inland dune, and right next a Bachorze settlement. In this moment, our route meets with the red Kashubian Trail. After seeing Bartuś oak by Stara Piła, we will turn to the route along the lakes belonging to Struga Siedmiu Jezior – Płęsno, Główka, Bełczak, Jeleń. In the area of Zielone lake, we can try to find a nature monument – a site of a rare plant, a twinflower. Our next steps will be directed towards the south, where our next aim will be Ostrowite lake – the biggest (280 hectares) and the deepest (43 metres) among the Park's reservoirs. In the shore area there appear rarely seen plant congeries like those of swamp sawgrass and reed association. We can meet also here water birds, among others, cranes, great cormorants, great crested grebes, sawbills, grey herons and butterbumps. The final stage of the Park part of the trail leads from Ostrowite on a sandy forest road to Klosnowo village.
On the terrain of the Park Narodowy Bory Tucholskie there are also two linking trails – a black one (4.7 kilometres) starts in Drzewicz, from where we will go through the alley of birches, passing Nierybno Lobelian lake, and we will reach a place of a former peat harvesting site, a so called “pętla Lipnickiego” [“Lipnicki Loop”]. The trail ends in a place where it crosses with a green “Struga Siedmiu Jezior” trail and a red Kashubian Rydzykowski trail.
The yellow trail (1.5 kilometres) links the blue trail with the red and green ones, stretching from Dybrzk lake to Jeleń lake.