Along the Ślęza river in WrocławŚlęza the river is not to be confused with the almost identically spelled mountain Ślęża (ż is to be pronounced as a "g"), where it takes its source.
This little river merges into the Odra after crossing all the western suburbs of the city of Wrocław. As the surrounding terrains often are unbuildable floodplains, most of the shores are in green areas. Both sides are elevated by dikes whose trails that run across are of variable quality, from unfrequented bumpy singletracks used by the only fishermen, to friendly dedicated bike path.
Going across bridges is sometimes problematic, especially a couple of railway lines that do not allow circumventing anywhere apart from crossing on the rails themselves... All together it makes a fine ride. Some portions are good for riding with a baby, some for flat mountain-biking...
View Along the Ślęza river in Wrocław in a larger map
From the A4 motorway to Most PartynickiNot ridden yet. On Google maps, the southernmost part looks raw. From the surrounding of the Partynice hippodrome, the east bank appears to have a track, there are private gardens nearby so probably a nice part.
From Most Partynicki to Most KlecińskiPassed the couple of residences, we enter the magnificent but short Park Kleciński, in which the ride is more than OK. The West bank is still unrideable.
From Most Kleciński to Kładka OporowskaA long and pleasing part, rideable on both sides. However the East dyke seems to be the best as it is made of a large track until the rusty pipeline halfway. Note that there is a project of new bridge at this spot linking Unila Racławicka to Aleja Piastów. Kładka Oporowska is a pedestrian footbridge.
From Kładka Oporowska to Most OporowskiOne of the best parts of the river, with good cycling tracks on both sides, due to the neighborhood of the nice Park Grabiszyński and the memorial hill.
From Most Oporowski to Most MuchoborskiA nice secret part of the river full of bends and in the shadow of trees. The tracks become narrow again and for the first time the West bank is slightly better.
From Most Muchoborski to Most StrzegomskiNot ridden yet. A very long open section with singletracks on both side, which starts with a technical difficulty, the railway bridge is annoying to cross. The East bank may be nicer to ride due to the proximity of private gardens. Ending on one of the largest bridges with intense road traffic.
From Most Strzegomski to Most ŻernickiA pleasant part as Park Tysiąclecia is on the west bank. But only after circumventing the railway bridge, possibly via the "Faktory" shopping centre car park. A large cycling track below the dyke. Note however that this park isn't as wide as before since the construction of the AOW (city motorway bypass)... It ends with a nice newly built cycling-dedicated bridge close to Most Żernicki.
From Most Żernicki to Most PilczyckiThe footbridge allows switching to the opposite shore, which turns to be eventually better as we ride along the Las Kuznicki, a little forest with a small park. In the summer, grass tends to grow very densely so it makes the ride totally impossible. The alternative consists in circumventing via the next street on the east side, that eventually merges Las Kuznicki. Unfortunately the end is getting bad: two railway bridges, the small bridge of Most Pilczycki, followed by the huge one of Lotniczka... Very bike-unfriendly. Most bikers will prefer to end the ride.
From Most Pilczycki to Most MaślickiSince the construction of the EURO 2012 Stadium, the left (west) bank is very nicely featured with a friendly track. It later becomes a bike path that follows a street (turning right) until it crosses the river over a bridge. Don't attempt to use the tramway bridge, following the street bike path leads to a little passageway under the road and tram rails, providing easy access to the forest of Las Maślicki
From Most Maślicki to AOWThe trail running into Las Maślicki (forest of Maslice, protected area) is very nice and easy to ride by bike, with some nice views to the river. We can continue until the firth where the Ślęza merges into the Odra. Wild place appreciated by fishermen...
The only inconvenient is that the stairs leading to Most Rędziński, the new bridge over the Odra (under whose motorway we ride at the very end), are located on the other bank, which makes it impossible from here to go across and extend the ride along the Widawa, whose firth is almost located opposite on the north bank of the Odra.
I haven't explored yet the possibilities to ride the opposite bank of Las Maślicki.