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Szlak pieszy: Szlakami Beskidu Małego

Hiking trail: Along the trails of Beskid Mały

widok na Park Krajobrazowy Beskidu Małego.
Krzeszów Tourist region: Beskid Mały i Makowski
In Gorce, you need to ascend Turbacz, in the Tatra Mountains: Giewont, and in Beskid Mały, this rule applies to Leskowiec. And so, we will take you on a trip to the highest peak of Beskid Mały! We’ll visit a shelter and a mountain sanctuary, try to find out why the inhabitants of the surrounding villages used to call this peak Buty (Boots), see the old beeches twisted as if in a fairy tale and pass several beautiful wayside shrines. Beskid Mały is a great place for peaceful hiking, and we hope this trip will only confirm that!


Practical information

Starting point of the Trails of the Beskid Mały. Car park near the Church of Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Krzeszów Dolny (in search engines, the village generally appears as Krzeszów near Żywiec).

Access to the starting point along the Beskid Mały Trails. From Wadowice along national road no. 28 to Tarnawa Dolna and from there following the signs to Krzeszów. From Kraków through Sułkowice to Zembrzyce, where we turn right onto national road no. 28 (towards Wadowice) and after a while in the above-mentioned Tarnawa Dolna to Krzeszów. Once in this village, leave the main road, heading straight ahead towards the church visible on the hill. The first car park is in front of the temple, at the curve of the road, and the second, after passing it and turning left, is near the school.

Driving from the south, use road no. 946 Sucha Beskidzka-Żywiec, from which you turn in Stryszawa to Krzeszów (to the left), and after less than 5 kilometres, you’ll reach the aforementioned church from the side of the car park by the school.

Difficulty level of the route along the Beskid Mały Trails Easy

Time to complete the route along the Beskid Mały Trails. 6 hours


Beskid Mały is a small mountain group on the border between the Małopolskie and Śląskie Voivodeships, clearly separated by the valleys of the Soła River (in the west) and the Skawa River (in the east) and separated from other massifs by basins in the south and north. One of the most popular places is undoubtedly Leskowiec and its surroundings. We’ll visit it by hiking trails that will at least give us some insight into this mountain group.

To Przełęcz pod Smrekowicą

We start the hike at the crossroads near the church, following the green signs leading to Targoszów and to Łamana Skała. The first quarter of an hour is a walk through the village, after which you cross the main street and, together with the yellow signs, wander between a succession of houses. After a while, we turn right and soon emerge into a field that rises slightly to the ridge separating Krzeszów and Targoszów. At the highest point, Na Groniku (about 45 minutes from Krzeszów), there’s an interesting miners’ chapel, erected in the 19th century probably as a votive offering for saving the lives of the buried miners.

After descending to Targoszów, in a place where the yellow trail diverges to the right and ascends directly to Leskowiec, we’ll meet another shrine connected with miners who mined iron ore in the area years ago. In the interior, an image of Our Lady of Częstochowa and a statue of Our Lady of Grace can be found.

We keep to the green signs, turn left, cross the road leading to Targoszów and enter the forest.

 Option of a trip along the Trails of the Beskid Mały Mountains. Using a small car park at the side of the road, the ascent to Leskowiec can be shortened to around 4.5 hours. The route will then run as follows: from Targoszów, take the green trail to the Przełęcz pod Smrekowicą pass then follow the red trail signs to Leskowiec and the chapel on Groń Jana Pawła II, then return to Leskowiec and, from there, follow the yellow trail to Targoszów and, in the last 100 metres before the chapel, follow the green trail.

Keeping to the green trail, we hike through the forest for a quarter of an hour then another 15 minutes between loosely scattered houses. The road gets steeper and steeper. This is a foretaste of the ascent to the Przełęcz pod Smrekowicą pass, which we’ll enter after turning right. The first 30 minutes are a bit tiring, but from the moment the trail clearly turns left, it gets much lighter. We hike on almost flat terrain, sometimes slightly uphill, and after about half an hour, we reach the pass (about 2.5 hours from Krzeszów).

A path between the trees leads to a position on a rocky outcrop offering a view of the slopes of the Czarny Groń massif.

To the mountain sanctuary on Groń Jana Pawła II

Immediately after the pass, a short steep descent awaits us, and we continue along a comfortably sloping road slightly downhill to reach the place marked Na Beskidzie after about 20 minutes. After a few moments, we meet a sign directing us to the Chapel of the Lord Jesus the Merciful on Klimoska.

Option of a trip along the Trails of the Beskid Mały Mountains.According to the signpost, it’s 500 m to the chapel, but, in fact, it’s rather a bit more. The descent and return – quite steep! – take approximately 25 minutes. At the first bifurcation, take the left-hand path, and at the next bifurcation, follow the signpost to the right.

The chapel was built in 2019 and features the image Jesus, I Trust in You, with the Stations of the Cross placed around it.

The building therefore has no historical or architectural merit but instead captivates visitors with its simplicity and atmosphere. The silence and the beautiful view of the surrounding hills encourage you to take a moment to reflect, ponder and sink into your thoughts.

From the signpost pointing to the chapel, for about a quarter of an hour, we march on almost flat terrain, after which a gentle ascend to Leskowiec begins. On this section, it’s worth looking sideways to spot fancifully twisted beech trees, letting your imagination run wild in determining what they remind you of.

The vast clearing on Leskowiec invites you to take a rest, especially as there’s an extensive view to the east over the slopes of Beskid Makowski, a bit further on Beskid Wyspowy, and completely in the distance, when the visibility is good, you can see the Tatras. The special board placed here helps to distinguish between the different peaks.

Important information about the route along the Beskid Mały TrailThe aforementioned yellow trail leading to the car park in Targoszów diverges from the red trail at a right angle, straight ahead from the tourist shelter standing on Leskowiec.

In front of us is a few minutes of quiet walk to Midowicza Pass, where we abandon the red signs for a while and follow the black trail to the Czesław Panczakiewicz shelter on Leskowiec, which is visible in front of us (about 4 hours from Krzeszów).

Next to the structure (behind it, looking from the side from which we came) lie two plaques dating from the 19th century commemorating the stay on Leskowiec of the then owners of the surrounding area, with shoe marks imprinted in the stone. They were written about in pre-war guidebooks, then disappeared from Leskowiec and were only found 80 years later. This time, they ended up not on the summit but in the area next to the shelter.

On the hill above the building is the mountain shrine, created in 1995 as a gift to Pope John Paul II on his 75th birthday. The sanctuary includes a 13 x 5 metre chapel, which symbolically refers to the date of the assassination attempt on the Holy Father, i.e. 13 May 1981, and stores mementos and gifts from the Pope.

Interesting fact about the route along the Beskid Mały TrailGroń Jana Pawła II (formerly Jaworzyna) is the only peak in the Beskids named after the Polish Pope. This is the official name, included in the regulation in the Official Journal, number 229 of 31 December 2003.

The shelter is generally crowded and bustling. Fortunately, the numerous tables set up around the building make it possible to accommodate many tourists at the same time.

We calmly and comfortably descend to Krzeszów

After a rest, we return to Midowicza Pass and turn left, continuing along the red trail that will take us to Krzeszów. Depending on the pace of the walk and the time taken to rest, at any of the glades we pass, it’ll take us up to two hours.

The trail leads along a comfortable, wide road, so you can march freely. You just have to be careful to choose the right direction at the numerous bifurcations here. In addition, if it’s after rain, on the steeper sections, extra care must be taken on wet stones and roots.

A little over an hour later, between the trees, we spot the church and school in Krzeszów from where we set off on our hike in the morning. We soon emerge into the fields, and after a few minutes, we reach the first buildings.

When you reach the main road (about 1.5 hours after leaving the shelter), turn left after the red signs. From here, it’s approximately 1,100 metres to the car park. Most of this distance is a long straight line ending at a junction where the trail turns left. We, on the other hand, head right, without signs, to a church visible in the distance. On the way, we’ll pass Księża Studnia on the left, which was put up in 1850. It’s a chapel founded by Father Wawrzyniec Barcik and local parishioners at the site of a spring from which many Krzeszów residents drew their drinking water until a water supply system was built.

It’s worth noting that although the Krzeszów church was only built in 1902, it houses a valuable crucifix from 1380 and a 17th-century bell.

Since we’re in Beskid Mały, the hike was not overly long. Nonetheless, it allowed us to get to know its specifics  and to look from the heights into different parts of the world. Those who enjoy the local trails are encouraged to explore their corners themselves. One suggestion could be a hike from the Kocierska Pass through Kocierz Rychwałdzki and Mlada Hora to Łamana Skała, with a return via Potrójna (6 hours 45 minutes).

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