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Wspominając Mistrza Twardowskiego, czyli Beskid Makowski inaczej

Remembering Master Twardowski, or the Makowski Beskid in a different way

Widok na ścieżkę leśną. Po lewej drzewa. W oddali widok na wzniesienia pokryte roślinnością oraz góry.
Sucha Beskidzka Tourist region: Beskid Mały i Makowski
The inn from which the Devil kidnapped Master Twardowski, a rope bridge and places connected with the winner of six Oscars, Billy Wilder, await those who decide to set off on the trails between Sucha Beskidzka and Maków Podhalański. This long but not-too-strenuous walk also provides plenty of scenic views, and there is a place to light a campfire and roast a sausage along the way. The necessary equipment – an axe, matches and a grate on which to cook – awaits you at the site.


Practical information

Pictogram with trail starting pointthe centre of Sucha Beskidzka. You can choose the car park at Piłsudskiego Street (near the Market Square, on the small cul-de-sac, free of charge) or the one between the Rzym Inn and the railway tracks (payable every day). Alternatively, there is an extensive car park next to the Suski Castle, approx. 400 metres from the centre.

Pictogram with important trail information the area between the railway tracks has the status of a municipal market and parking is officially prohibited there, except for those using the railway stop.

Pictogram with access to the trail starting point along National Road No. 28 between Wadowice and Skomielna Biała or, from the west, along road No. 946 from Żywiec.

Pictogram with trail walking time approximately 7 hours.

Pictogram showing the difficulty of the route as 'easy' insignificant; the only difficulty may be the hiking time.

Pictogram with route map information

Additional information: the area around Sucha Beskidzka is an excellent place for a few days' excursion. In nearby Stryszawa, it is worth visiting the Beskid Wooden Toy Centre and at Lake Mucharskie, situated a little to the north.

From Stryszawa, a picturesque trail leads to Jałowiec, on which we will meet traces of the presence of Cardinal Stefan Wyszyński and Father Karol Wojtyła, later to become Pope John Paul II. Places associated with our great fellow countryman are also on the trail to Leskowiec.

The following are 'must-see' points of interest in this area: A walk from Palenica Białczańska over Morskie Oko in the Tatra Mountains, in the Gorce, climbing Mt Turbacz from Nowy Targ or Mt Sokolica and Mt Trzy Korony in the Pieniny. These beautiful trails are always bustling with tourists. This is why we encourage you to discover the charms of Małopolska by choosing hikes on the less heavily travelled routes.

The following proposal is aimed at those who are not afraid of minor navigational difficulties along the route, who can appreciate the various shades of green in spring and the colourfulsplendours of autumn, and who can appreciate the primitive beauty of folk shrines. The route, although quite long, is not overly demanding. In fact, it is only the initial approach that requires more effort.

Sucha Beskidzka from a bird's eye view

We start our hike at the Market Square in Sucha Beskidzka, leaving a visit to the Rzym Inn and tasting the delicacies served there for later. Following the blue signs, head north towards the railway tracks, and immediately after crossing them turn right onto the footpath running along the Stryszawka River. It will lead us to a crossing under the railway link built so that trains do not have to enter the station in Sucha Beskidzka, where they have been diverting for many years. Then we pass below  National Road No. 28, the Skawa River (Along the Vistula Trail, is an opportunity to taste the Pope's favourite cream cakes and meet... dinosaurs) and cross the Skawa River using a rope bridge. Information boards prohibit swinging the bridge, using it in windy conditions, and having too many people on it. However, the crossing provides an interesting experience, especially when in the middle and the surface ripples underfoot.

Crossing the river marks the start of the approach to the viewing platform, which is is a thrilling sight, visible almost from the first minutes of the walk. The approach takes about 30 minutes and poses some navigational difficulties due to the upgrade of one of the facilities.

After entering between the buildings, turn right and follow the signs to the viewing platform.

Important information about the trail to Jałowiec the attached map shows the old course of the trail. You now must follow the road marked in white on the map, shortening the approach by a few minutes.

There are no signs in the forest; after negotiating a rather steep section, we enter a forest road running almost flat, to the right, which after a while will lead us to the base of the viewing platform, from where, following the stone steps, you will reach the entrance to it (approximately 30 minutes from the Market Square).

It is worth stopping here for a moment to look at the Stryszawka valley, where Sucha Beskidzka extends. The triangle-shaped layout of the tracks is perfectly visible, as is the Skawa Valley with the characteristic yellow  bridge span in Zembrzyce.

Sausage from the campfire on Mt Mioduszyna

Moving on, you must concentrate on choosing the right direction, as blue signs are visible on both sides of the platform entrance. Standing with our backs to it, we take the path leading to the left, slightly downwards (going right would return us to the bank of the Skawa). For several minutes the route winds through scrub and eventually brings us out onto a tarmac road. You will see several chapels in the hamlet you pass, the first one is dedicated to Our Lady of the Rosary. After about 10 minutes of walking between houses, you will reach another chapel, from the vicinity of which there is a picturesque view to the south.

Here, we turn left towards the summit of Mt Mioduszyna (633 masl), the highest point on the way to Maków Podhalański, which we reach after another 20 minutes or so (almost 1 ½ hour walk from the Market Square in Sucha Beskidzka). In the past, successive triangulation towers (points of elevation) stood here, and today visitors are greeted by the  ‘Obserwator’ hut erected by a group of community members. The facilities include a thermometer, axe, matches/lighters and a cooking grate over the stone circle. So, you might be tempted to light a campfire and roast some sausages. This idea will be of particular interest to those hiking in the opposite direction, as their descent to Sucha Beskidzka will take them no more than an hour or so.

On the way to Maków Podhalański

Next comes a leisurely 25-minute walkthrough the woods, after which you emerge into a clearing. This is another place that causes a bit of navigational trouble. The farmhouse standing here has to be walked around on three sides, all the way on the left, to re-enter the woods by the next building.

The route then leads gently uphill and is very muddy most of the year, so much so that at one point, a wooden surface was even laid down to allow a few tens of metres to be walked in relative peace. The time taken to complete this section depends not only on the pace of the walk but also on the number and size of the floodplains that must be avoided by walking between the trees.

About an hour after setting off from Mioduszyna, we reach the monument commemorating the estate of the inhabitants of Zagórze (Za Górą)executed by the Nazis on 4 April 1944. A birch cross standing right next to it commemorates a 17-year-old killed by officers of the Security Office on 5 June 1951.

Benches invite you to take a moment to rest and admire more views, this time of the slopes of the Beskid Makowski to the north. For the next 10 minutes, follow the almost flat asphalt road towards the crossroads, where you will meet the green signs leading from Maków Podhalański to Mt Makowska and further to Kalwaria Zebrzydowska.

The descent to the town centre follows one of the streets; it is pretty steep in places and the trail crosses the twisting roads..  It would help if you remembered to take the path to the right at the cottage chapel and, after descending to the asphalt road and negotiating another curve, turn onto the steps leading downwards. As a result, after about 20 minutes of walking, following the two-coloured signs, we pass the parish cemetery and stop at the Church of the Transfiguration of Our Lord, which has housed the venerated image of Our Lady of Maków since 1590. The temple has the status of the Sanctuary of Our Lady the Guardian and Queen of Families. Also notable in the interior are the 17th-century crucifix on the side altar of the Brotherhood of the Crown of Thorns and the choir supported by three arcades.

If you are tired of wandering along the street, the short distance from the church to the Market Square in Maków can be covered using a flight of stairs at the foot of the church. The square with its interesting fountain with ’makówki’ and a girl's figure, and the numerous refreshment points around it, are places frequented by locals and tourists. A moment's relaxation wouldn't hurt, as we're  approaching the halfway point of the hike.

We are on our way back

In and around the Market Square, the sign for the trail is just one of the numerous signs typical in an urban area. So, it's worth knowing that you should stick to the left frontage and turn left as you come out onto the main street. We will be hiking through Maków Podhalański for the next several minutes. First, along 3 Maja Street to the east, then along Kolejowa Street to the south, and then, passing the railway station, in front of which stands the original monument commemorating the XXV International Street Run in the Makowska Land, along Partyzantów and Władysława Orkana Streets to the west.

At the food market, the signs disappear again, so cutting through the car park, you need to head south towards the railway tracks. After crossing them and taking the bridge over the Skawa River, we enter Grzechynia. The 10-minute walk through this village is varied by more chapels, after which you turn right (take the road just before the shop). We begin the approach to the highest point on our route – Carchla. We deliberately do not use the word summit, as we will ascend to a spot a mere 693 metres above sea level.

At first, the road rises gently between successive buildings, and an ever-widening view of Maków Podhalański and Mt Makowska towering above it appears. Take the road on the right at the fork by the chapel, which you reach about half an hour after leaving the main road in Grzechynia. A fairly steep ascent begins from here, which only eases a little when you turn off thepaved road onto a forest road. After a few minutes, however, it becomes almost flat, and the hike becomes much more pleasant. Eventually, we emerge into a vast clearing on the northern slope, from which we can see the bridge in Zembrzyceas well as Lake Mucharskie looming in the distance. From here, the road leads slightly downhill to another clearing with a view of Sucha Beskidzka, and a castle and a church are also visible.

Soon we come out onto the paved road, pass some buildings soon find ourselves on a steep climb again. The end of the asphalt surface is a good excuse to take a breather for a while, to look east towards  now-distant Maków Podhalański.

After a quarter of an hour or so, the approach eases and soon we reach the trail junction at Carchla (about 2 ¾ hours from the Market Square in Maków Podhalański). This is where the blue trail ends; further on we will be accompanied by the red trail running from Zawoja to Sucha Beskidzka.

Billy Wilder and Master Twardowski are on our way

We still have about an hour of hiking ahead of us. After several minutes of walking through the forest, we reach the first houses, rejoin the paved road and, a little further on, unexpectedly, signs tell us to turn left and go uphill. After a few tens of metres, the trail turns right, and a comfortable path leads to John's Glade, with another chapel (in a tree on the left, somewhat invisible from the direction we came). It offers a view of the centre of Sucha Beskidzka and Mt Mioduszyna, which we hiked to in the morning.

From here on, the route leads very steeply downhill. First, along a path through scrubland to another chapel, then along a tarmac road (Wiosenna Street), from which it deviates after a while into the woods (near a modern semi-detached house). We cross a forest road and find ourselves in an open area, from where we descend to the town along the edge of the forest via a faint path, again steep and uncomfortable. Soon, we reach another interesting site – a cholera cemetery commemorating about 2,000 dead during the epidemic of 1847.

As we are already on the edge of the village, it is possible to rest a little on the benches here to prepare for the march through the town centre.

A few metres lower, we enter onto the asphalt, turn left and continue walking somewhat intuitively, as the signs are again not densely spaced – turn right and after 150 metres, turn left again onto the curving Nad Stawami Street and then onto Spółdzielców Street, which will lead us to the road leading to Żywiec. Head right to cross the road and stand at the start of the red trail in front of the railway station building. Today, only the façade is a reminder of the building's heyday, where years ago, the parents of Sucha Beskidzka-born Billy Wilder, winner of 6 Oscars, creator of ‘Half A Joke, Half Seriously’ with Marilyn Monroe, ran a resturant.

From the station, head east. Initially without signs, after about 10 minutes at the bus station, we will meet the blue signs that led us from the Market Square in the morning on the initial section of the hike. Approaching the starting point, you will pass a stately natural monument with a modest chapel with the figure of the Sorrowful Christ hanging on it, and soon afterwards you will stand on the Market Square in Sucha Beskidzka.

The time has come to take a look at the Rzym Inn, from where the Devil kidnapped Master Twardowski to the moon, and taste the many regional dishes served here. It is also worth going north a little farther and taking a closer look at the castle in Sucha Beskidzka, which, due to its architecture, is sometimes called  Little Wawel ), or head in the opposite direction to visit two churches located next to each other – the ‘old’ one from the early 17th century with interesting Renaissance elements, and the ‘new’ one, built at the turn of the 20th century according to the design of Teodor Talowski, one of the most outstanding Polish architects of that period, called the 'Polish Gaudi'.

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