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Szlak pieszy: Pasmo Polic - nieznane, a urokliwe!

Hiking trail: Polica Range: unknown but charming!

Zdjęcie ukazujące jeden z budynków usytuowanych w Skansenie należącym do Muzeum Kultury Ludowej w Sidzinie
Sidzina Tourist region: Beskid Żywiecki i Orawa
The route described below isn’t very long, but it’s an extremely attractive hike in terms of views and scenery. A magnificent panorama of the Tatras, an approx. 6-hour walk through varied terrain, roadside shrines, war memorials and a mysterious shovel located in a tourist shelter at Naroże: these are what await you in the little-known Polica Range! If you’re looking for an idea for a trip away from the busy mountain trails, this is the perfect proposal!

Practical information


Pictogram with the starting point of the trail Car park by the open-air museum in Sidzina.

Pictogram with information on how to get to the starting point We take national road no. 28 to Jordanów, where we turn according to the signposts for Spytkowice (the impressive building we’ll pass on the right is a former inn built in the mid-19th century). After crossing the railway tracks, we head towards Sidzina/Toporzysko. From the latter, we look out for directions to the Children’s Holiday Centre and the open-air museum in Sidzina, where there’s a car park (almost 10 kilometres from Jordanów).

Pictogram with transition time 5.5 hours

Pictogram with the level of difficulty of the trail Easy; only people who aren’t used to longer walks can find it tiring.

Pictogram with information about the map

There’s a dispute over the attribution of the Polica Range. For some, it’s still Beskid Żywiecki, while for others, it’s already Beskid Makowski. There’s no doubt, however, that many hiking trails lead there. We suggest a hike to the shelter of the Polish Tourist and Sightseeing Society at Hala Krupowa, a rather rarely used option where there are no crowds of tourists, and the terrain conditions are favourable for relaxation.

In the footsteps of the partisans

We continue along the road just after the car park at the open-air museum, i.e. the Museum of Folk Culture in Sidzina, and the blue trail leaves the main road and turns right between the buildings. The first half hour of the hike is a pleasant walk on flat terrain, during which you’ll pass an interesting chapel standing on a mound of stones. When the trail turns left at a right angle and after a while heads right at a bifurcation, we begin a steady ascent that lasts over an hour. All you have to do is keep an eye on the signs so you don’t get lost at one of the many junctions, sometimes cutting through the scrub to avoid the muddy ruts.

After a little more than an hour’s walk from the car park, we’ll come out onto the Malinowa Glade, pass neglected buildings and, after a few minutes, reach the Sanctuary of Our Lady of the Home Army on Hala Malinowa. It’s linked to a grouping of Home Army soldiers of the partisan units ‘Chełm’, ‘Huta Podgórze’ and ‘Harnasie’. The chapel was built in gratitude to the inhabitants of the Malinowe estate, who gave shelter to partisans in 1944, for which the Germans pacified the hamlet. In the grotto below, plaques with the names of those who fought for independence were placed after their deaths.

The canopy with tables and benches located here is a good place to relax. We’ll meet another site of this kind in about an hour and a half.

Mysterious shovel

From the sanctuary, we hike another 10 minutes along the trail to the Malinowe Pass, where, as a memorial plaque reminds us, the headquarters of the aforementioned partisan units were located during World War II.

At the pass, we turn left, and from then on, we’ll follow the red trail signs. We have about 2 hours of hiking ahead of us to Okrąglica (1,239 metres amsl), the highest point on the route. Although the difference in elevation is considerable (we’re at 839 metres amsl), the ascent isn’t at all difficult. With every passing moment, we’re covering more metres of distance and entering higher and higher altitudes.

After less than an hour’s walk in the old high forest, you’ll emerge into an area overgrown by younger trees, which is even slightly downhill, and after a quarter of an hour, we’ll reach the tourist shelter at Naroże.

A sign placed here informs us of the distances to the end points of the Main Beskid Trail, along which we hike: Ustroń in Beskid Śląski (to the west) and Wołosate in Bieszczady (to the east).

There’s a shovel waiting for tourists at the shelter. What for? This is something we won’t reveal in advance. You have to get here and see for yourself.

To Our Lady Protector of Tourists

We still have nearly an hour of uphill hiking ahead of us. In some places, the ascent is steeper than before, and the hike is made more difficult by loose stones that, when moved, make us loose the rhythm of the walk. The effort will be rewarded by the beautiful panorama of the Tatras that will appear to our left at some point (if the weather is good, of course).

When you reach the pole with the transformer, it’s worth turning right (no signs, just a barely visible directional sign) to reach the chapel of Our Lady Protector of Tourists. It’s only 3 minutes slightly uphill, and we’ll then be standing on top of the Okrąglica.

The chapel was founded in 1989 upon the initiative of the Lay Apostolate Team at St Joseph parish in Kraków’s Podgórze. Five years later, the Stations of the Cross were consecrated here, and after a further two years, a shrine to Our Lady of Częstochowa was installed. On the walls, there are numerous memorial notes dedicated to people who have helped others learn about the mountains, loved hiking and left us for good.

We return to the main hiking route via the same path and continue walking along the red trail. After about 10 minutes, we leave Hala Kucałowa and head to the trail junction (straight ahead) or directly to the PTTK Kazimierz Sosnowski shelter. During the season, especially on sunny days, there’s a lot of traffic. The modest kitchen can barely keep up with serving meals, with waiting times of up to several dozens of minutes. During this time – if the weather is good – you can enjoy the view of the Tatras, visible from here in all their glory: from the Slovak Tatras (left) to the Western Tatras (right).

Time to go back

Only black signs lead from the shelter to the trail junction. From Hala Krupowa, they’ll accompany us for about a quarter of an hour, but we’re mainly interested in the green trail, which will take us down to the starting point. It’ll take us just over an hour.

A few minutes after parting with the black signs, we’ll come out onto the vast Hala Krupowa, from where we can once again enjoy the vast panorama with the Tatras in the distance. From here on, the descent begins to be quite steep at times. At some point, Babia Góra will briefly emerge on our right from behind a nearby ridge. In many places, one has to watch out for loose stones, often hidden under a layer of leaves, which ‘like’ to remove themselves from under the feet at the least expected moment, causing the hiker to lose their balance.

When we get over the next steep section and emerge into a small clearing where the trail enters a level forest road turning right, it’ll be a sign that we still have about 500 metres to go. The surface is conducive to relaxing the muscles and doesn’t require you to focus on taking each step. Just before the car park, we’ll pass a small chapel where field Masses are held.

After the hike, on the way back, you can visit the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Sidzina, where an image of Mary painted in Dubrovnik at the turn of the 14th and 15th centuries is venerated. According to legend, the painting was created by an unknown Greek painter in the 17th century and is thought to have come to Poland through Dąbrówka, wife of Mieszko I.

If you want to enter the sanctuary, you have to turn right when you reach a T-shaped junction after a long straight stretch of the road.

Pictogram with the parking information Parking is located right next to the church.

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