This is a small 25km loop only on small roads or large flat tracks (Dunajec canyon), that can be done with a road-bicycle and small tyres.
Also a good trip do do with the wife, despite the pass Lesnické Sedlo requires a minimum of condition ! The loop is very scenerical, visiting not only the very famous canyon of the Dunajec, but also visiting some charming places of the Slovak countryside, in the heart of the Pieniny Slovak National Park, and a very nice viewpoint on top of the pass Lesnické Sedlo, to the range of the Tatras but also the rest of the Polish Pieniny, especially what is commonly called "low Pieniny".
The trail will be described as Dorota and me did it, from Červený Kláštor, and clockwise.
However, it can be done in both directions, with equal effort to climb the pass Lesnické Sedlo from each side. But, assuming that the part in the Dunajec canyon is in the shaddow and flat, you can decide the sense wether you are doing it in the morning (Dunajec last) or in the afternoon (Dunajec first).
From Červený Kláštor, where is located a famous monastery from the 14th century, take the direction of the canyon (red marked trail), that goes first along the campsite.
Cycling the canyon is about 12km, with 7 bends, including 2 of them where the visibility is open, and splendid panoramic views.
You will often see raftmen taking tourists down the river, especially during the middle of the day.
More rarely, if you are lucky (ideally by rainy weather, early morning or late evening), you'll meet the black stork, endemic and emblematic sub-specie of the area.
Generally the canyon trail is flat, except few easy slopes here and there.
Just before the end of the canyon in Szczawnica, the trail becomes asphalt again, and there is a junction into "Prielom Lesnického Potoka", a secondary canyon ("gorge of the Lesnica stream"). Take this road, that passes along the cliffs of Lesnické Skály, and then open fields with nice views.
Soon, we reach the pretty village of Lesnica, quiet town. The road starts climbing slightly, and so it will, until the foot of the pass. Out of Lesnica, we are in open fields, again with beautiful views and charming countryside. Then come the laces climbing to the pass Lesnické Sedlo. The slope increases dramatically, but reaching the pass is not very long, just A small "S".
On top of Lesnické Sedlo are located picnic tables, a little hut where during the high season they sell drinks and postcards, and a little cross a bit higher. This is also an intersection of several hiking trails, including those I took eventually for riding the ridge of the "Low Pieniny".
The descent from Lesnické Sedlo is about similar concerning the inclination of the slope, and takes us straight in the small town of Veľký Lipník. The town is not really a nice one as there is an indistrial district nearby, but along the main road are only houses, and we can cycle quietly on the walkside for a while.
After Veľký Lipník, the slope is slightlty descending until the end of the loop. We cross open fields again with nice views, and in the end we cycle along the huge and impressive cliffs of Haligovské Skaly.
Then, we reach back Červený Kláštor via the road behind the monastery.
It is also possible to extend a bit the visit of the area by crossing the pedestrian bridge to Sromowce Niżne, admiring on the way the panorama to the peak of the Three crowns, and the traditional houses in the street ul. Flisacka, as well as the old wooden church (17th century).
It is possible to reach this loop both from Poland or from Slovakia:
* From Slovakia, 2 possible starting points equally far from Poprad: Červený Kláštor (via the road 542) or Veľký Lipník (via the road 77 then direction of Haligovce)
* From Poland : despite the whole circuit is located in Slovakia, one part of it lie on the border, and a pedestrian bridge allows reaching by bike the slovak shore in Červený Kláštor. One can also start the loop in Szczawnica. Both are reachable from Cracow, Nowy Targ, then Niedzica for the first or Krościenko for the other.
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