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Szlak pieszy: Dookoła Piwnicznej Zdrój

Hiking trail: Around Piwniczna Zdrój

Od prawej alejka wyłożona kostką po której idą tyłem ludzie, dalej schodki prowadzące do parterowego budynku z dwiema kwadratowymi wieżami po bokach i jaskółką po środku. Przed nim rozłożone parasole. Za nim wysokie drzewa. Obok alejki ogród z krzewami, kwiatami i z fontanną pośrodku. Za nim dach budynku i lasy. Niebo pogodne.
Piwniczna-Zdrój Tourist region: Beskid Sądecki i Niski
Piwniczna Zdrój is the heart of Beskid Sądecki. A place where black sheep graze on meadows, where precious springs bubble up, where regional cuisine offers one of the most delicious dishes in the Małopolska region and where the folklore of the Poprad Highlanders fascinates visitors from the first moment. In Piwniczna Zdrój, you can choose from several hiking and mountain biking trails spreading to the four corners of the world, abounding in gentle but often steep ascents. The route described below is a combination of these two. Don’t be discouraged, just let yourself be tempted, as the views on the hike are unforgettable!


Practical information

The starting point of the trail. Piwniczna Zdrój, car park at the railway stop of the same name. Not to be confused with the Piwniczna station!

parking.Near the railway station.

Access to the starting point of the trail Driving along national road no. 87 from the north, you need to turn left before the bridge over the Poprad River. While coming from Muszyna, you turn right after the bridge. Kazimierza Wielkiego Street will lead you to the car park.

Note: Don’t follow the signposts that direct you to the Piwniczna station!

Time to complete the trailApproximately 7 hours

Difficulty level of the trail Difficult, mainly due to the duration of the hike, as well as the length of the ascents (half of the route is uphill) and the gradient of several sections.


Note: The route is largely on exposed terrain. On sunny days, headgear, UV sunscreen and sunglasses will also be useful.

On the way to Hala Pisana, we can taste the water to our heart’s content.

Starting from the car park, we follow the yellow signs, cross the footbridge to the other bank of the Poprad River and turn left. After walking about 600 metres, we reach Pijalnia Artystyczna, a spot which offers not only water from the local intakes but also concerts and exhibitions. A little further on, in the Health Resort Park, there’s another spring: well no. 7 of the Piwniczanka. It’s a good idea to taste and compare the water known from bottles to that coming directly from deep within the ground.

Just after the pump house, the pavement on this side of the street ends, and we have to cross to the other side. After a while, however, we return to the previous side, for at the point where the footpath reappears, we turn right onto the stairs visible between the trees. People of shorter height may complain about their dimensions – the steps are too long to take in one step but too short to take in two. Well, that’s the fate of the tourist: the trails aren’t always adapted to everybody. Fortunately, we soon come out onto a tile-lined path and a little further down onto a tarmac street. From now on, our path will ascend higher and higher. The first steep climb will begin after a few hundred metres where the tarmac surface gives way to concrete, then openwork slabs appear. Behind us is a view of the western part of Beskid Sądecki.

Behind the last buildings, there’s a wooden bench inviting you to rest, but we suggest you keep going for a few more moments until the bend in the road where we meet another spring and another a bench by it (it’ll take us about three quarters of an hour to get here).

The road ascends all the time, sometimes very steeply. The presence of slabs suggests that it leads to more hamlets, and indeed it does. We’ll still be wandering on comfortable ground for many minutes. When more houses appear, it’s a good idea to get a walking stick (if you don’t have Nordic Walking poles) so that you have something to scare away the four-legged hosts who jump out from behind the buildings barking furiously. You can never be sure if they’ll stop only at barking.

After about an hour and a half of hiking, the openwork slabs come to an end for a while, and we enter a normal dirt road, which, along the edge of the forest, will lead us to the ridge. At the end of it, there are no signposts; we have to turn left towards an information board about the importance of grazing for the preservation of meadow biodiversity, visible about 100 metres away. From here, there’s a beautiful view to the south, to the highest peak of Beskid Sądecki: Radziejowa and its surroundings; in favourable weather conditions, in the distance (on the right), we can see the hills of Beskid Wyspowy. A rest combined with admiring the view is suggested a little further on.

By the next building, the openwork slabs appear again, and we enter the next hamlet where a small cottage chapel stands. On the nearby benches, you can rest and have a snack, as the most difficult section of the trail is about to start.

About 5 minutes behind the last buildings, there’s another spring. After a few moments, a problematic spot: no signposts saying that the green trail descending to Łomnica starts here (a chance to shorten the hike) and that following the yellow trail you should turn left.

We turn in the indicated direction and begin the ascent. After nearly 2 hours from leaving Piwniczna, we reach Siodło pod Groniem, an obligatory point for a short rest, as we now face an extremely steep incline. Fortunately, it’s short, and once you have overcome it, you come out onto a wide forest road that rises gently. Then there are a few steeper sections, but overall, it’s not that bad any more. After less than 3 hours from leaving the valley, we reach the Bukowina Pass, where we meet the red signs of the Main Beskid Trail, which runs from Ustroń (Beskid Śląski) to Wołosate (Bieszczady). From now on, we’ll follow them on our trek.

It isn’t worth stopping here, as it’s better to muster the strength for a few minutes of gentle ascent and have a rest on Pisana Hala, celebrating the fact that we have crossed the level of 1,000 metres amsl.


Calmly and steadily to Hala Łabowska

Starting from Hala Pisana, we’re still accompanied by yellow signs for less than a quarter of an hour, but then we turn right and follow only the red signs. This section is rather flat. From time to time, there are slight descents, then we have to regain the lost altitude, but no steepness threatens us anymore. After about 45 minutes, we reach Wierch nad Kamieniem, and after another few minutes, we reach the site which is marked as Diabli Kamień (Devil’s Stone).

tour option

A plaque placed here states that Diabli Kamień is 500 metres away. This is a realistic distance, but the terrain conditions mean that it takes about 20 minutes to get there and return. Is it worth it? For the stone itself, no. For the view from this spot, definitely yes!

The arrow suggests going between the trees. This isn’t the best idea. It makes more sense to walk up the trail some 20 metres and, at a muddy marsh, turn left into a barely visible road. The green signs marking the access are difficult to see. The old ones are almost invisible, and the new ones – painted in bright green – are sparse and placed in not a truly reasonable manner. It’s necessary to move slowly, looking out for the markings, but also remembering the characteristic places where the path changes, which will be useful when returning. It’s easy to get lost in the tangled paths.

After about 150 metres, we reach a flat rocky outcrop, but this is not yet the destination of our hike. That’s on the other side of the hill, so you have to go down a bit. Green stripes, fragments of arrows visible on a few trees just above the ground, can help us find the right direction. After walking a further 150 metres between the trees, we’ll see barriers to which we need to head. They provide security on the rock shelf of the Devil’s Stone, which offers impressive views to the north and east.

After about a quarter of an hour from where the path leads to the stone, after another slight ascent, we reach the junction with the blue trail, which will take us back to Piwniczna. As we’re about 4 hours behind and still have about 3 hours of hiking ahead of us, let’s go to the PTTK shelter on Hala Łabowska, 400 metres away, to have a solid rest and some refreshment.

To another springs

Having left the shelter, we should stick to the blue trail signs. At the familiar bifurcation, we turn left and make a short ascent to find ourselves on the other side of the ridge. After reaching the highest point, we begin the descent. Having passed the first clearing and forest section, at the beginning of which there’s a shed on the left, we come out onto a narrow clearing where we can already look out over the peaks of the Slovakian Tatras. If nature doesn’t allow us to see them here, there’s a chance that they will show themselves to us in their full glory a little further on at the upper edge of the clearing where the two farm buildings stand.

The initially pleasant hike through gently sloping glades soon ends, and a very steep descent begins. You have to watch out for moving stones and slippery roots, especially after rain. We find ourselves at the bottom of the valley after about an hour. The descent time depends on the terrain conditions and experience in moving on this kind of a steep slope.

After crossing the stream, we enter a wide, comfortable forest road that will lead us to Łomnica Zdrój. After about 30 minutes of hiking along this path, we’ll meet another spring, and a little further on, we’ll pass a recreation area with a playground and educational boards. The next landmarks are the car park and the last bus stop, after which we’ll reach the source, called Stefan. The water flowing out of it helps treat digestive disorders.

A few hundred metres further on (by a small green area), there are other attractions: a waterfall on the Łomniczanka stream and several springs bubbling up from the stream banks in various places. Their waters also help with diseases of the digestive system.

There will be nothing of interest for several minutes of walking until you reach another waterfall and a sandstone rock. On the other side, a signpost shows the way to two hamlets, while we turn into the path right after, which goes between the houses. Unfortunately, once again there’s barely any signage. It takes about an hour and a half from leaving the shelter.

The last ascent and then it’s downhill all the way

We’re heading to the final ascent on our hike. The road initially leads between houses (once again, a stick to chase off the dogs can come in handy) and then emerges into fields. The climb is quite steep, but we soon reach the ridge, cross the width of the ridge and, by the roadside chapel, turn left (no signposts) towards Kicarz (with telecommunications masts on the peak), visible right ahead. The almost level terrain favours looking to the left: towards the Łomniczanka Valley with Łomnica lying in it, and to the right: towards the Poprad Valley with Piwniczna visible below, and even further, towards Radziejowa.

About three quarters of an hour after leaving Łomnica, we come to a metal cross. Here again, there are no signs: you need to head right, downhill. The descent to Piwniczna will take us within half an hour. Along the way, we’ll encounter a small chapel and see the figure of St John Paul II gazing into the distance (this is the work of the same artist who, together with his family, created a similar sculpture for the Religious-Tourist Square, which is located at the foot of the Piwniczna church) and we’ll overcome an extremely steep section with tight serpentines. More than a few motorists will probably wonder what it’s like to drive this way in winter.

Walking around Piwniczna Zdrój

After descending into the valley, we only have to cross to the other side of the Poprad River and rest. In order to loosen the leg muscles on flat terrain, we can walk around the aforementioned square, which also features a field altar, a gazebo and seven chapels referring to mountains important in the life of Jesus, including Mount Sinai, where God handed down the tablets with the Ten Commandments, or Golgotha, where Christ died on the cross.

If you still have the strength, you can go up the hill to have a look at the Church of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary and stand in the local square, in the middle of which stands a well-cistern built in the 17th century. In 1801, thanks to the efforts of the Piwniczna town hall, water was brought here through a system of wooden pipes, with a firehose, leather buckets and water barrels placed next to it. During the great fire of 1876, the well burned down along with all its equipment. Only the statue of St Florian, which fell into the water, survived.

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