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lądek zdrój

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Stage 16 is complicated both logistically and physically. Between Paczków and Głuchołazy there are hardly any options for an overnight stay, not to mention long kilometres of walking on the asphalt roads.

Route planning

Total distance from Złoty Ztok to Głuchołazy is 58,5 km, which is clearly out of range for regular hikers. You may want to split it as follows:

Option 1: Złoty Stok – Paczków (13 km) and then Paczków – Głuchołazy (45,5 km)

Option 2: Złoty Stok – Piotrowice Nyskie (30.5 km) and then Piotrowice Nyskie – Głuchołazy (28 km)

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Option 2 sounds more reasonable, though it involves overnight stay at Piotrowice Nyskie Palace, which isn’t particularly cheap. As it’s nearly the end of the hike, you can simply tell yourself that you deserve a little bit of a luxury 🙂

First kilometres towards Paczków

I hit the road in Złoty Stok following the main road passing through the town. Soon, on the right side, I noticed old lime kilns. If you want to learn more about their history, plan your first break here and have a look at the information board.

Finally the red track turn left leaving the main road and continues towards Błotnica and further to Kozielno and Paczków. Kozielno reservoir on your left is another nice place for a short break.

Zbiornik Kozielno, Główny Szlak Sudecki
Kozielno Reservoir

What to do in Paczków?

Paczków was founded in 1254 and shortly after defensive walls were erected. Remains of them can still be noticed today. Besides that, several other places are worth seeing: City Hall, Church of St. John the Evangelist, Gas Museum and city towers: Ząbkowicka, Wrocławska and Kłodzka.

City Hall

A beautiful building with the tower that retained its original renaissance character until today. It can be climbed and the panorama of the entire city fully rewards the effort.

Paczków, Główny Szlak Sudecki
City Hall in Paczków

Church of St. John the Evangelist

The temple is really huge and towers over the city so you can’t miss it. The construction began in 1350 and lasted about 30 years. The current shape of the building is the result of reconstructions in the Renaissance, Baroque and Neo-Gothic styles. An interesting fact is that in the 16th century, fearing the invasions of the Turks, the temple was rebuilt and fortified. A round stone well was set up in the southern aisle, the only one in Europe that was located inside the church.

Paczków, Główny Szlak Sudecki
Church of St. John the Evangelist in Paczków

Gas Museum

The gasworks in Paczków was built in the years 1898 – 1901 and shortly after started providing permanent gas supply. Over 90 years later, the place was turned into a museum, being the only facility in Poland where all the municipal gas production facilities have been preserved. You can see a huge collection of gas lamps, meters, cookers, heating stoves, irons but also more weird objects such as refrigerator or curling iron. Unfortunately, it was closed on the day of my visit in town due to COVID-19 pandemic, but it must be an interesting and unique place to visit.

City Gates: Ząbkowicka, Wrocławska, Nyska and Kłodzka

System of medieval town fortifications in Paczków is one of the best-preserved examples of its kind in Poland. Initially, three city gates led to the ring of defensive walls and in the 15th century, a fourth was built. Currently, Wrocławka Gate can be climbed for panoramic views and at the Nysa Gate, there is a wooden, roofed walking gallery with viewing platforms open to the public free of charge.

Paczków, Główny Szlak Sudecki
Kłodzka Gate in Paczków

The Main Sudetes Trail used to end in Paczków but a couple of years ago, it was extended to Prudnik. Therefore, I had to postpone celebration and continue my hiking adventure for a little bit longer. I turned left just after Nyska Gate and followed the main road all the way to the turn leading to Unikowice. Asphalt road passes through the village, goes further to Lisie Kąty and then to Ujeździec. It was only 8 kilometres from Paczków but the road seemed to be incredibly long and just boring with no mountains views at all.

Główny Szlak Sudecki
Small chapel with the indication of red track

There was still 10 kilometres between me and my bed for tonight. The boring path continued for 4 kilometres to Trzeboszowice. After passing it, the track turned right and took me to Ratnowice. Both are just another small villages en route without anything particularly interesting. For remaining distance, the landscape was quite monotonous. The only highlight was a young deer roaming the fields. Finally, I arrived at Piotrowice Nyskie and had the whole afternoon for relaxation after that difficult day. The distance was just fine, but walking on asphalt roads is usually much more tiring for the feet. Together with the monotonous landscape, it can be tiring for the mind too.

Główny Szlak Sudecki
The Main Sudetes Trail enters small village of Ratnowice

The following day started with 3 km to Kałków, unfortunately again on an asphalt road. I wondered if the trail would look like this until the end and if so, why was it extended. Luckily, after passing Łąka, it was finally the time to take a bit wilder path and cross the farmlands to reach Jarnołtów.

Główny Szlak Sudecki
Crossing the farmlands
Głuchołazy, Główny Szlak Sudecki
Storks are very common on a trail

Next targets were Sławniowice and Gierałcice, from where Polish-Czech border is a stone’s throw away. The track continues along on an asphalt road (yeah, again) until it finally separates and continues through the fields to Głuchołazy, passing Biała Głuchołaska river.

In Głuchołazy, I stayed in Guesthouse Iwona. Clean and spacious room with a nice yard in front of the house. There is not much to do in town but a short walk around the old market square and the Catholic Church of St. Lawrence is a good idea. And if you still have too much energy, wonderful Beech Forest Nature Reserve can be explored on foot.

Głuchołazy, Główny Szlak Sudecki
City centre of Głuchołazy
Głuchołazy, Główny Szlak Sudecki
In some places it seems like the time stopped

I was really happy to finally reach the town. Last two days were probably the worst ones during the entire hike. But I also had high hopes for the next day as I knew that mountains will be back for the last time. Biskupia Kopa (890m a.s.l.) is the highest peak in the Opawskie Mountains. So, the plan was easy. Climb it and then finish my adventure on the Main Sudetes Trail in Prudnik.

After the night near Stronie Village, I had to retreat my steps towards Biała Woda and join Main Sudetes Trail there. Luckily, the same as the day before, I managed to catch a ride quite quickly and save my legs from walking on a boring asphalt road.

The good news was that the distance to Lądek Zdrój (12 km) is rather easy and without significant elevation gains. A mostly downhill path through the forest is especially nice in hot weather and with sore muscles after getting to the top of Śnieżnik on the previous day.

I made a short break at Kąty Bystrzyckie. Next, the track goes gently uphill to the pass where you can see a small chapel. The legend says that it was built on the site of the death of 3 Swedish generals during the Thirty Years War.

The track follows the wide and comfortable road through the farmlands and forest until the first buildings of Lądek Zdrój pop up on the horizon. I could hear thunders becoming louder and louder, therefore I quickened my pace and shortly after arrived at the market square in the city centre.

The town is considered to be the oldest health resort in Poland, because according to historical sources, as early as 1241 there were bathing facilities here destroyed by Mongols returning from the battlefield near Legnica.

The area of old market square with the town hall, old tenement houses and restaurants is nice for a longer break and hot meal. Other than that, I recommend checking out the building of Wojciech Spa, Protestant church ruins as well as two picturesque bridges: the one of St. John of Nepomuk which is close to the old market square and the covered bridge which is more in the spa part of the city (still within walkable distance).

Wojciech Spa – a historic building from the 17th century, rebuilt two hundred years later. It houses a marble swimming pool designed in the style of a Turkish bath, stylish stone bathtubs for pearl baths and a pump room for waters from local springs.

Lądek Zdrój, Dolny Śląsk
Historic building of Wojciech Spa
Lądek Zdrój, Dolny Śląsk
Wojciech Spa seen from the sky

Bridge of St. John of Nepomuk – It was erected in 1565. The author of the sculpture took inspiration from the figure of the patron saint of Bohemia on the Charles Bridge in Prague.

Lądek Zdrój, Dolny Śląsk
Bridge of St. John of Nepomuk

Covered Bridge – one of the most original and beautiful monuments in Lądek. It was built in the 1930s in order to connect two spa facilities.

Lądek Zdrój, Dolny Śląsk
Covered bridge in Lądek Zdrój

Protestant church ruins – built in 1846, the temple was destroyed in the fire in 1999.

Lądek Zdrój, Dolny Śląsk
Ruins of Protestant church

The second part of the day from Lądek Zdrój to Złoty Stok is longer (16 km) and much more difficult due to elevation differences, especially ascent to the Great Jawornik (Jawornik Wielki, 872 m n.p.m.).

I left Lądek Zdrój crossing the bridge over Biała Lądecka and followed the red track towards Pass Under the Konik (Przełęcz Pod Konikiem) and further to Orłowiec village. There, it was time to take a turn from the main road and start tiring ascent to Jaworowa Pass (Przełęcz Jaworowa).

It’s over 3 kilometres to the top of the Great Jawornik. The views are limited because of the trees but there is a viewing platform within 150 metres of a detour from red track. Unfortunately, clouds were hanging very low and I could see absolutely nothing anyway.

There are 6 more kilometres to Złoty Stok but all the way downhill so it didn’t take long to reach historic villa Złoty Jar and shortly after I saw first tourists hanging around in rope park and gold mine museum. Sightseeing was on my list too but first I wanted to drop my heavy backpack at Gold Stok Hotel. The room was simple but comfortable. Moreover, a bed and a private bathroom was everything I needed at that time.

It was getting late and there is quite a lot to see in Złoty Stok, therefore I simply went out for the walk and dinner, leaving tourist attractions for the morning of the next day.

This medieval mining settlement was established in connection with the mining of gold (traces from as early as the 10th century were discovered). Złoty Stok is the oldest mining and metallurgical centre in Poland. The last mine (arsenic ores) was closed in 1961. Today, it’s a popular tourist destination with all attractions being related to its past.

Gold Mine Museum – A specially prepared tourist route with a museum exhibition covering two adits. The first one is called “Gertrude” (500 m) and presents a unique collection of geological maps, ancient mining instruments and rich collection of rocks, ores and minerals from around the world.

The second one, called “Czarna” (700 m), is located in the upper part. This adit leads visitors through the 16th-century, hand-forged workings. You can learn about mining techniques used over the centuries and admire the only underground waterfall in Poland. The tour ends with an underground tram ride in the direction of a daylight 🙂

Złoty Stok, Dolny Śląsk
Entrance to Gertrude adit
Złoty Stok, Dolny Śląsk
The only underground waterfall in Poland

Medieval Technology Park – A replica of a medieval settlement with a lot of real size devices. All of them still work and knowledgable guide presents their usage and let tourists try them themselves. 1-hour tour is concluded with the visit in Executioner Hut. He played an important role in punishing criminals and thieves.

Ochre Adit – It was opened in 2017 and the underground part includes 130 meters of the pavement that is opened for visitors. Sightseeing possible only with a guide.

Combined ticket for all three attractions costs 59 PLN per adult and you should count at least 3.5 hours for sightseeing.


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