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Szlak pieszy: Wędrówka przez przełęcze Beskidu Małego

Hiking trail: Hiking through the mountain passes of Beskid Mały

wejście frontowe do drewnianej karczmy na Kocierzu
Targanice Tourist region: Beskid Mały i Makowski
As it turns out, Beskid Mały isn’t so small after all! You can embark on an interesting day hike there. The Way of the Cross to Łysina, interesting rock formations and numerous passes (including one associated with the story of a lost cow) are the things and places you’ll encounter on the proposed route. Although you’ll need six hours to complete it, it’s manageable for anyone who isn’t intimidated by long walks over undulating terrain. Are you coming with us?

Practical information


Pictogram with the starting point of the trail Kocierska Pass.

Pictogram with access to the starting point of the trail Road no. 781 connecting Andrychów with Łękawica located on route no. 946 Żywiec – Sucha Beskidzka.

Piktogram parking You can leave your car in the area serving this function on the pass itself. Driving from Andrychów, you have to turn right after the bend just after the sign saying that you’re entering the Śląskie Voivodeship.

Coming from the south, turn left after passing the Kocierz hotel complex (before the first sharp bend). The hike can also start at the car park by the cemetery in Kocierz Rychwałdzki. To get there, you need to turn right after less than 6 kilometres after turning off route no. 946. Choosing this option, the final stage of the hike will be the descent from the Kocierska Pass described below as the start of the route.

Pictogram with the trail time 6 hours 45 minutes

Pictogram with information about an easy trail Easy

Pictogram with information about the route map 

Although the name suggests that Beskid Mały is a small mountain group, there are many interesting trails in its area. Below we offer you another proposal for a hike in the area. The route runs close to the place described in the article ‘Along the Trails of Beskid Mały’, which allows you to plan a two-day excursion. You can plan it as follows: start from the Kocierska Pass (route described in this text) or from Krzeszów (indications in the above-mentioned description), reach Rozstaje pod Mladą Horą (Anula Pass) or the Przełęcz pod Smrekowica pass (starting from Krzeszów), cross to the second of the indicated passes, which will take about 10 minutes, and go to the area of Krzeszów or the Kocierska Pass for the night. On the second day, we reach the Przełęcz pod Smrekowicą pass or Rozstaje pod Mladą Horą, hike to the second of the passes and march to the car park where we left the car. In this way, we’ll walk the length and breadth of Beskid Mały in two days.

Along the green trail without signs

Let’s return to the description of the hike from the Kocierska Pass.

In the place where we leave the car, it’s difficult to find signs of the black or red trail, which we should follow. It isn’t worth looking for them, but simply follow the dirt road running out of the car park slightly uphill. After less than 10 minutes, you’ll find yourself in the area of the Kocierz hotel complex. The car parks located here are for hotel guests and restaurant customers only, hence the recommendation to park in the location described above.

Before entering the resort, we meet the black and red signs, following them along the tarmac road towards the highest point in the area, where the green trail will appear. It’s along this route that we’ll hike for the next 3.5 hours through Ściszków Groń (Łysina) to Rozstaje pod Mladą Horą (Anula Pass) near Łamana Skała.

At the trail junction, we turn left, and for a few dozen metres, we’re still accompanied by the red trail, but at the nearest bifurcation, we take the left path and follow the green signs. Slightly below, the signs indicate another turn to the left and... further on, you have find the way on your own. In 2022, the section to Kocierz Rychwałdzki could confidently claim the title of ‘the worst-marked trail in the Beskids’.

Fortunately, it’s not that difficult to find your way in this area. Follow the forest road, having the private property fences on the left and the forest on the right. When you see more buildings ahead, pass under the electricity cables and turn left, continuing downhill. On the right, we have more buildings, and on the left, we hear the noise from the road leading from Andrychów through the Kocierska Pass to Łękawica, which we reach after about 15 minutes from leaving the Kocierz complex.

Curiosity pictogram The road linking Andrychów and Łękawica is part of the Gościniec Kocierski route running further towards Żywiec. It’s the oldest trade route in Poland, which was built between 1784 and 1789. Merchants travelled along this extremely scenic route to Hungary with salt and returned with wine.

Let’s cross to the other side of the road and head downhill. After a while, we pass chapels on the right, and on the left, we see first ropes and then energy barriers appear. An arrow was placed on the road to indicate the need to turn left where a slight left turn begins and there’s a concrete culvert. Yes, there’s no mistake – you have to cross the barriers and descend by a steep slope into the forest. The path running there will lead us to a wider road, which we follow to the right towards the buildings of Kocierz Rychwałdzki visible in the distance.

Along the Stations of the Cross to the peak of Łysina

We arrive at the village less than an hour after setting off from the car park. Turn right and walk left towards the Chapel of the Immaculate Heart of the Virgin Mary. The foundation stone for its construction was consecrated in 1978 by Cardinal Karol Wojtyła, later Pope John Paul II.

You can walk around the original temple by walking along the road, taking the opportunity to read information about its history on several plaques, or head up the hill along the cemetery fence.

We begin the ascent to Ściszków Groń, also known as Łysina. We’ll be accompanied on our walk by the stone boulders of the Way of the Cross, on which granite plaques have been placed with the name of the stations and short thoughts by the Polish Pope. The local community designated the Way of the Cross on the 100th anniversary of Poland’s independence and 40 years after the election of Karol Wojtyła as Pope as a votive offering of gratitude for freedom and the ministry of John Paul II in the Holy See.

For about a quarter of an hour, the ascent is quite steep, but for the next 15 minutes, we follow a much gentler slope. After reaching the ridge (a little over an hour and a half from the car park on the Kocierska Pass), it’s time to decide whether we turn right and, after about 5 minutes, reach the viewing platform to look west at Beskid Żywiecki (including Pilsko) or rather turn left and immediately continue along the trail.

After walking east for a short while, another dilemma appears: whether to follow the green signs or to deviate 100 metres to reach Zamczysko and the Lodowa Cave. The distance isn’t that impressive, so you can go off the trail to see the rock formations appearing unexpectedly with vertical walls several metres high (an ascending route was marked on one of them) and try to find the entrance to the small Lodowa Cave (59 metres long), which isn’t marked in any way in the area.

Through several passes

The green trail continues along the ridge, once descending slightly and then regaining altitude, passing several more or less visible passes along the way. On the initial section, panoramas of the Beskid Żywiecki will open up to our right a few times, then we’ll be hiking all the way through the forest.

After about 1.5 hours from Łysina (3 hours after setting out on the trail), we’ll reach a place called the Czarny Dział, from which an arrow points the way down to the caves located on a steep slope. They’re not indicated by precise directions, the entrances to them aren’t marked either, so finding them isn’t easy. This is more of a task for true lovers of such places. For others, we suggest just going down a bit to look at the rocks, a cleft running across the slope.

After 15 minutes from Czarny Dział, we come to a cross-country road and turn right heading for the Gibasy settlement. On the left is a view of the massif of Łamana Skała, and going a little further back, we shall see Potrójna, i.e. the places through which we’re about to hike.

Having passed the Gibasówka hut, we turn left. After several minutes of walking, the trail bends sharply to the right, and we begin a steep, unpleasant ascent (shifting stones). Fortunately, after a few minutes the slope mellows, and after about 25 minutes from the Gibasy estate, we’re at a road junction where we turn left and at the next bifurcation also turn left. Hiking along the border of the Madohora nature reserve, we soon reach another pass: Rozstaje pod Mladą Horą, also known as Anula pod Łamaną Skałą (4.5 hours after setting off from the car park).

Curiosity pictogramAnula is the name of one of the cows belonging to Józef from Snokówka, who, before World War I, gave his consent for his elder daughter to marry Krzysiek from Kuków. The young couple were to live in a comfortable cottage, which was to be built with money from the sale of Józef’s cows. So, Józef rushed them over the mountains to Wadowice because of the the quartermaster’s of the 56th Imperial-Royal Troops stationed there. The Galician Infantry Regiment offered a significantly better price than what could be obtained at the market in Ślemień.

Anula quickly realised that this would be her last journey, so she stopped often, tossing her head, until somewhere near Wędrujące Kamienie, she broke free from her post and rushed into the forest. The search was unsuccessful. Józef went to Wadowice with only Krasula, sold her favourably to the army and, on his return home, searched for Anula for many days until he finally gave up and granted the young couple a lavish wedding and built a slightly more modest cottage than he had planned.

For months, stories circulated in the area that, when wandering through the clefts below Łamana Skała, one could encounter a very skittish cow that wouldn’t let you come close to it. Henceforth, the name Rozstaje Anuli (Anula’s Bifurcation) has been attached to the site.

Time to go back

Rozstaje Anuli is the easternmost point on our route. Time to go back. The way to the car will be shown to us mainly by the red trail, but at some point, we’ll leave it for a moment to look at Zbójnickie Okno. Let’s hit the road, as we have 2 hours and 15 minutes of walking ahead.

From the pass, we set off slightly uphill, and after about 10 minutes, we pass the modest summit of Łamana Skała. After a quarter of an hour, we reach the upper part of Czarny Groń ski station, and after another 5 minutes, we find ourselves at a signpost with a plaque: Przełęcz na Przykrej.

From here, we can continue along the red trail directly to Potrójna (the route just ascends gently, and the walking time is reduced by about a quarter of an hour) or follow the yellow signs. Following them, and after about 10 minutes, you’ll reach the student hut Pod Potrójną, where you can have a rest and a snack. It features the Peanut Gallery, the Throne and even... the Forest Opera House. It’s well worth getting to know the place.

After a 10-minute walk from the hut, the trail bends sharply to the right, and you’ll unexpectedly see a large rock formation called the Zbójnickie Okno (Robber’s Window) because of its shape. Soon, on the Zakocierska Pass, we’ll meet the red signs again and, together with them, start the ascent to Potrójna, which we’ll reach after about 20 minutes.

View from Potrójna

At the crossroads by the chapel, it’s time for another decision: whether to turn left immediately after the red signs or perhaps head right after the yellow signs to walk 5 minutes to the highest point in the area and look at the panorama in a north-westerly direction. In good weather, we suggest choosing the second option. The view may not be impressive, as finding the peaks marked on the plaque in the viewing area is made difficult by trees that have grown considerably all around, but it’s still worth a look. We’ll see Beskid Śląski (including Klimczok and Skrzyczne) and the northern slopes of the Beskid Mały.

If you missed the Pod Potrójną hut or didn’t take advantage of its gastronomic offer, there’s another one: Na Potrójnej hut near the trail (you have to go down about 200 metres after the signs), whose hosts serve various delicacies.

From the junction with the chapel to the car park, we still have about an hour’s walk left. The arrival time can be much longer if you stop just after the crossroads in a clearing full of blueberries.

The route initially leads downhill, but after about half an hour, it begins a roughly 10-minute ascent to Kiczora. After passing it, the trail continues to ascend gently for a while, but soon the descent to the Kocierska Pass begins. Reaching it, we cross the tarmac road and are already in the area where we left the car.

Those who set off from the car park at the cemetery in Kocierz Rychwałdzki still have about 45 minutes of walking left: 15 minutes along the red trail to the Kocierz hotel complex and then half an hour downhill following the green signs as described in the introduction.

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