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Szlak pieszy: Pogórze Wiśnickie w pigułce

Hiking trail: Wiśnicz Foothills in a nutshell

Panorama Lipnicy Murowanej z drona. Na środku widać duży rynek, odchodzące od niego uliczki i ulice obwodowe. Na około rynku budynki pomiędzy drzewami, dalej łąki i kolejne zabudowania.
Lipnica Murowana
The Wiśnicz Foothills stretch between the valleys of the Dunajec and Raba rivers. As a region, it’s relatively little known but definitely worth discovering. Lipnica Murowana, famous for its Easter palm competition, the viewing tower on Szpilówka, the haunted castle in Nowy Wiśnicz, memorials to the January Uprising and World War II, as well as a Soviet military base, can be found here. All of this is offered during this short but interesting excursion along the unknown paths of the Wiśnicz Foothills.


Practical information

The starting point of the trail Lipnica Murowana, car park at the parish church (behind the northern frontage of the market square).

Access to the starting point of the trailu The two east-west routes, i.e. the A4 motorway and national road no. 28, will be the point of reference.

From the former, you need to exit at the Bochnia junction and head towards the town and then along road no. 965 towards Limanowa. In the centre of Nowy Wiśnicz, we turn left according to the signpost to Uszew, and after about 50 metres, turn right towards Lipnica Murowana, which is 8 kilometres away. In the centre of Lipnica, we turn left, and after about 100 metres, we’re on the Market Square.

Following road no. 28, we need to get to Limanowa, turn onto route no. 965 in the direction of Bochnia and then, in Żegocin, turn right towards Lipnica Murowana. In the centre of Rajbrot, we turn left (no sign) and, after about 100 metres, follow the signpost to Lipnica to the right. When we reach road no. 966, we also have to turn right towards Tymowa.

Walking time is about 3 hours, and visiting the viewing tower on Szpilówka will extend the hike by about 45 minutes.

Difficulty level of the trailAn easy trail, much of it running over gently undulating terrain. The ascent to the ridge of Piekarska Góra is a little tiring but only takes about 20 minutes. A perfect route for a family hike.



Lipnica Murowana is worth visiting at any time of the year, but most people come here on feast days associated with the saints who come from here and on Palm Sunday for the palm competition.

We suggest postponing your visit to Lipnica Murowana and getting to know the people connected with it until the afternoon. Let’s now set off from the Lipnica Market Square along the main road to the east, keeping to the blue-marked Niepodległa (Independent) walking path and the black trail. After about 300 metres, turn right following the black signs (at the pedestrian crossing, where the signpost directs you to the church to the left) and begin a gentle ascent towards the forest. After about 20 minutes, we’ll meet the signs of the walking path again, and along them, we’ll enter the Wiśnicz-Lipnica Landscape Park. After 10 minutes of walking along the forest road, we part with the signs of the footpath for a longer time and continue hiking along the black trail. The road is full of ruts and unevenness, and after the spring snowmelt and rainfall, you have to be prepared for looking for opportunities to walk dry-footed through the scrub. Fortunately, the unpleasant section soon comes to an end, and about an hour after leaving the centre of Lipnica, we reach the Piekarski Potok Valley, a place where the road descends to the stream and, just beyond it, rises again. This is a sign that we need to backtrack about 20 metres and turn right following the green trail signs (if you spot the stream from a distance, turn immediately left on the green trail).

Time to ‘ascend’ to the Cross of the Insurgents

Rest assured, the above words are just a joke. Yes, we’ll be hiking uphill for the next hour, quite steep at times, but the altitude difference we have to overcome isn’t that great. We’re located at about 370 metres amsl (above mean sea level), and the highest point we’re about to reach, Piekarska Góra, is 510 metres amsl.

At the beginning of this section, the trail changes direction several times, so you have to be careful not to lose it. From the moment we meet the signs of the red footpath from Iwkowa (it’s not marked on many maps), we turn decisively eastwards and ascend steadily towards Piekarska Góra. The ridge gets narrower and narrower, and when you reach the highest point, there’s an almost vertical slope on your left. From here to the Cross of the Insurgents, the goal of our hike, we still have about 10 minutes of walking left: first slightly downhill and then gently uphill (the hike from Lipnica to the Cross takes about 2 hours).

The cross was set up in 1864 by participants in the January Uprising as a votive offering for saving their lives. The passage of time and atmospheric conditions meant that by the end of the 20th century, it was in very poor condition. It was bishop Wiktor Skworc, the then Ordinary of the Diocese of Tarnów, who spotted it during one of his wanderings and who convinced the local authorities and parishes of Iwkowa, Rajbrot and Lipnica, as well as veterans’ organisations, to jointly renovate the Cross. The solemn consecration of the restored crucifix took place on 3 May 2010. Two years later, the inhabitants of Iwkowa Nagórze erected a gazebo, which serves tourists and participants in the services held at the Cross on 3 May.


tour option


If you feel strong enough and the weather is fine, we suggest you hike 20 minutes further along the green trail to the Soviet dugout and the viewing tower on Szpilówka. There’s a tourist shelter at its foot and a place to light a small bonfire. The route is flat and easy to follow. Having looked at the surroundings from a height, we’ll return to the same place. If we’re hiking in a group, those who don’t feel up to the extra effort can wait quietly by the Cross of Insurgents.

In 1950, a wooden triangulation tower was erected on Szpilówka, the top of which could be reached by ascending four 5-metre ladders. When the structure crumbled from old age, stories about the panoramic views it offered started circulating among the local residents. This prompted the local authority to erect a 34-metre-high metal viewing tower. With good visibility, it offers views of Kraków and Tarnów (to the north), as well as Beskid Wyspowy and Beskid Sądecki (to the south).

Few people know that around 1962, a small unit of Soviet troops was established on Szpilówka, with about 20 soldiers stationing there. Various stories circulated among the local population about what went on there, and the truth seems to be quite prosaic. It may have been part of a communications system, as suggested by the transceiver antennas located here. The military finally abandoned the hill in 1970. A souvenir of that time is a rebuilt dugout that served Soviet soldiers as a shelter and a place to store the radio station.

Along the Independent path

We return to the Cross of Insurgents by the same route and start the descent to Lipnica Murowana. We’ll now hike the blue-marked Niepodległa (Independent) path, which was already mentioned at the beginning of the tour.

After about 15 minutes of walking, we’ll come to a plaque commemorating the events of 1944. Here you can lose your bearings a little, as the trail turns right, and the directional sign isn’t very fortuitously placed. We may recognise the site by its appearance: it should be a very small clearing.

The inscription on the monument recalls that on 3 May 1944, Fr. Józef Urbański celebrated a solemn Mass here for the intention of the Fatherland, and on June 26 of that year, Major General Ignacy Ledóchowski promoted soldiers from the cadet school of the 1st Battalion ‘Pszczoła’ of the 12th Infantry Regiment of the Home Army of the Bochnia Land. Prisoners freed by partisans from the Wiśnicz prison were also accommodated here at the end of July.

After another 25 minutes of hiking, we’ll meet the signs of the black trail we hiked before noon. Soon, we’re out of the forest, heading towards Lipnica, which lies in the valley. We suggest following the blue signs, i.e. turning right along the tarmac road. It runs parallel to the black trail, and a walk along it allows you to see the manor house in which St Urszula and Blessed Maria Teresa Ledóchowska once lived and the monumental statue of St Florian standing nearby (just off the main road).

In the footsteps of St Simon

Two saints are associated with the small town of Lipnica Murowana. We’ve already mentioned St Urszula Ledóchowska. The second figure is St Simon. It’s in his footsteps that we’ll return to the Market Square in Lipnica.

Therefore, having reached the main road, we leave the marked trail and follow the signposts directing us to the church (in the place where we turned in the morning following the black trail). After about 200 metres, we’ll come to the old cemetery in Lipnica with the Church of St Leonard inscribed on the UNESCO list of World Cultural and Natural Heritage in 2003.

According to accounts, it was built in the 15th century on the site of a pagan temple, from which the so-called Svetovit pillar supporting from the back the altar of St Leonard is said to have originated. Other legends say that St Simon often strayed away from his peers to pray in the temple, and on one occasion, Saints Leonard, Florian and Lawrence came down to him from the triptych.

From the church, we head west across the bridge and turn left after a while. We’re now by the former parish school, which currently houses the Regional Chamber. Walking towards the market place, we’ll pass the Sanctuary of St Simon and the Ledochówski Sisters and the monument to King Władysław I the Short, the town’s founder, standing right next to it.

We walk out onto the Lipnica Market Square, where our attention is drawn by the statue of St Simon, set up in 1913 upon the initiative of Franciszka Ledóchowska. After seeing the Market Square, we head between the houses to the nearby Church of St Andrew the Apostle, by which we parked in the morning. This is the last point of our wanderings along the paths of the Wiśnicz Foothills.

The return journey can be varied by exploring additional attractions.

Those returning north can stop in Nowy Wiśnicz to see the castle there and the Museum of Jan Matejko Memorabilia ‘Koryznówka’. Our attention will surely be drawn by the walls of the former Discalced Carmelites monastery, which now houses a penitentiary, visible from a distance on the hill, and the town hall with a well standing nearby. Additional information on the monuments of the village can be found on the website of the Town and Commune Office of Nowy Wiśnicz.

As an incentive, we should add that the architectural and landscape complex of Nowy Wiśnicz, Stary Wiśnicz and Leksandrowa were recognised as a Monument of History, and the so-called Wiśnicz Columns, which are numerous in the area, arouse heated debates among scientists and inspire the imagination of lovers of amazing stories. According to folk tales, the origins of the columns are linked to Turkish captives who, unable to endure their harsh captivity, constructed wings from bird feathers and flew out of the Wiśnicz castle on them. After a short flight, one of them fell in the area of Wiśnicz, another in Olchawa, a third in Bukowiec and the last one in Bochnia, by the today’s Karosek Street. The columns were erected to indicate where they died. Another legend tells of the existence, by the column in Olchawa, of an entrance to an underground tunnel leading to the Wiśnicz castle.

Even without stopping in Nowy Wiśnicz, we’ll see one of the columns. It stands on the road leading to Bochnia, near the High School of Fine Arts.

On the other hand, those returning in a south-easterly direction are advised to leave Lipnica by road no. 966 and after 4 kilometres stop by Gospoda Pod Kamieniem. From here, you can take a 10-minute walk to the Brodziński Stones Nature Reserve.

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