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Western Beskids
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Western Beskids

 
Western Beskids

Page Type: Area/Bike Park

Location: Czech Republic/Poland/Slovakia, Europe

Lat/Lon: 49.52164°N / 18.84155°E

Trail Type: Cross Country, Downhill, Mountain, Cyclocross, BMX/Stunt, Trials, Paved, Touring

Season: Spring, Summer, Fall

 

Page By: Visentin

Created/Edited: Aug 11, 2010 / Jun 15, 2012

Object ID: 278251

Hits: 7325 

Page Score: 74.92%  - 5 Votes 

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Overview

 
After heavy rain
Beskid Makowski (Sebasn)
 
Szlak Graniczny ( Boarder Path )
Wielka Racza (Sebasn)
 
Singletrack traverse near Wielka Racza
Wielka Racza (Sebasn)
 
Borkowski Path
"Borkowski" trail (Sebasn)
 
Rowan
Rowan
 
Trail on Kněhyně
Trail on Kněhyně
 
Babia Gora in the distance
Babia Góra sunset

What we call the Beskids (Beskidy in Polish, Beskydy in Czech, Slovak or Ukrainian) covers a huge mountainous area of low rounded mountains, which forms the outside part of the northern Carpathians (overview on SP).

The Carpathians. Just evokating this name makes one dream ! Since the fall of the iron curtain and the apparition of mountain-biking in this part of Europe, it has become an evidence the Beskids are exceptionally beautiful to ride.
For the challenging nature of the terrain, the quality of the trail marking, and their undeniable beauty. Wilder and more raw, hosting pastoral activity that sometimes seems from decades ago, as well as an incredible wildlife, they are much more authentic than the Sudetes, and riding them fulfills the nostrils with the smell of adventure !

The Beskids are usually divided by regions, from West to East:
- Moravskoslezské Beskydy (Moravian Beskids, CZ)
- Beskid Śląski (Silesian Beskids, PL&CZ)
- Beskid Żywiecki - Oravské Beskidy (Beskids of Żywiec and Orava, PL&SK)
- Beskid Mały & Makowski (Small & Medium Beskids, PL)
- Beskid Wyspowy (Island Beskids, PL), which include the Pieniny (MBPost area).
- Beskid Sądecki (Beskids of Sącz county, PL)
Other regions not called "Beskids" are also part of it, like Gorce (currently an area on MBPost) and the Bieszczady, Poland's easternmost range.
Remember only that the Tatras are not a part of it, since their structure is usually considered as different by geologs.
Pilsko sunset
Pilsko sunset

For practical regions (there are too few trails and photos yet), this area encapsulates all "Beskids" located West, which means the Moravian, Silesian, Żywiec and Small Beskids, around the convergence of the three borders of Poland, Slovakia and Czech Republic.

This is the reason why I named it "Western Beskids". If other objects are submited in quantity in the future (but against all expectations currently...), subdividing it could be considered. Some time ago, another contributor from Poland, Sebasn, submited few very interesting photos of the region, which encouraged me to make this page.

Here is a map that shows roughly the area that the "Western Beskids" are meant to cover :


View Beskids in a larger map


Rainy morning on Rycerzowa
Rainy morning on Rycerzowa
Trail on Kněhyně
Kněhyně trail


Main cycleable summits

River in the Pilsko region
River in the Pilsko area
Babia Góra
Babia Góra

 
Czech Beskids
Muddy trail
 
Trail on Kněhyně
Kněhyně trail
 
On Babia Góra
Babia Góra
 
On Babia Góra
Romanka
 
Near Rycerzowa
Rycerzowa
 
On Babia Góra
Babia Góra
 
Forests on Pilsko
Autumn on Pilsko
 
Forests of Pilsko
Autumn on Pilsko
 
Descent of Pilsko
Pilsko summit
 
Forests of Pilsko
Forests of the Beskids
 
Pasque Flowers
Pasque flowers
 
Gorce
Babia Góra in spring

Not all parts of the Beskids can be cycled. Some peaks, despite small, are just too steep to avoid too much bike-and-hike. Some other areas are protected, like Babia Góra in Poland, Beskids highest.

On the other hand, some are served with more-than convenient tracks till the top, where are sometimes located mountain huts, radio transmitters, ski resorts, or outlook towers.

Some, less famous, own genuine singletrack jewels that need to be discovered and tested. Mountainbiking is quite recent in this corner of Europe, and there is pleinty of fresh terrain to explore !

I am pretty sure I can state the trails of the Beskids are wilder in average than those I abundantly described in the Sudetes. There is also more to see, with more clearings, more sherpering, more huts, more agriculture anf cattle.

Finally, some will prefer cycling the tiny and tortuous alphalted roads. It's steep, full of challenging mountain passes, worth the stages of Tour de France. Only beware of the dangerous driving of most cars.

Descent from Pilsko
Pilsko descent


Here are few famous cycling goals :

- Lysá Hora, highest in the Czech Beskids. Served by an asphalted road, but great descents on singletracks on every side of the mountain.

- Radhošť, another emblematic mountain of the Czech Beskids, spiritual ride with lots of cultural objects on the way. Other parts of the massif such as Kněhyně can also be reached, but more "wildly".

- Stożek Wielki/ Velký Stožek, on the border, with the ski station. The emblematic mountain of Jablunkov can be cycled up from this place.

- Czantoria Wielka/ Velká Cantoryje, another top on the border. There is an outlook tower on top, but the access by bike needs to be studied better...

- Skrzyczne is the emblematic mountain of the Żywiec surroundings. A radio transmitter on top and a local ski station, so the peak is served with a good trail described here.

- Wielka Racza, in the SW Polish corner near the 3 borders. User Sebasn mentions it as a fine singletrack.

- Rycerzowa, made on foot by Dorota and me few years ago, some tracks one can possibly ride with a bike.

- Romanka, in the Żywiec area, might have some access...

- Pilsko, second highest in the Beskids, owning a ski resort, is a very challenging destination, according to my friend Marcin who did it.

- Babia Góra, as mentionned earlier, is forbidden by bike according to its national park regulations. Besides, the main summit would be far too challenging.

- Polica, East from the Babia Góra protected area, is known as a local biking destination...








The summit of Pilsko
Summit of Pilsko
Babia Góra
Babia Góra

Getting there

The summit of Pilsko
Summit of Pilsko
The summit of Pilsko
Summit of Pilsko

 
Beautiful old vintage Škoda
Vintage Škoda
 
A beautiful cairn...
Summit cairn
 
A stange mushroom...
Local trail marker
 
Trail on Kněhyně
Singletrack
 
Forests of Pilsko
Autumn
 
Forests of Pilsko
Autumn
 
Beware, all kind of predators !
Red tape !


 
Forests on Pilsko
Singletrack


Many European metropoles around this region can be reached by plane :

- Cracow
-
Ostrava
- Poprad
- Brno
- Katowice

As for closer access, a "star map" will better describe all possibilities than a long chapter... Just be aware that the deepest you go in mountains, the tiniest are the roads...
Medium sized towns are usually served by bus or train, but carrying bikes in them (muddy bikes ?) is often a lot of hassle (in Poland, many trains are marked as "bikes welcome", but once you get on board you are told to f___ off...). Additionally remote trailheads are much more convenient to reach by car.
On popular destinations, you'll often find paying car park. Usually it's not too expensive. Just take them, your car will just be safer than left in a remote place of the country, where unfriendly locals could be interested in opening a foreign car to see what's in it...


View Larger Map









Czech Beskids
Moravian Beskids
Czech Beskids from Štramberk
Moravian Beskids

Accomodation & tips

Babia Gora from Pilsko
Summit of Pilsko
Żywiec lake
Żywiec lake


 
Lanckorona, pretty village
Lanckorona
 
Lanckorona, pretty village
Lanckorona
 
Window in the Beskides
Old window
 
Lanckorona, pretty village
Lanckorona
 
Chalet near Rycerzowa
Chalet on Rycerzowa
 
Lanckorona, pretty village
Lanckorona
 
Old farm on Rycerzowa
Rycerzowa
 
Nice old wooden house
Old house in Mutne
 
Czech Beskids from Štramberk
View from Štramberk
 
The mountain hut on Rycerzowa
Rycerzowa hut
 
Autumn light
Autumn light
 
Forests on Pilsko
Forests of the Beskids
 
Salamander
A local
 
Yellow Serinus
A local


The Beskids are highly touristic areas in all three countries they belong to. Since the sea is too remote, herds of tourist, both from Southern Poland or Central Europe rush to the green during sunny green week ends, or to the snowy ski resorts in winter.
Consequently, the tourist will be embarassed with choice concerning accomodations.

Areas located near ski resorts usually have a lot of modern accomodations in the valleys. As for more remote places, the density is lower, but one will find more genuine accomodations locally known as "agrotouristic" (green B&B's).
A lot of portals summarize all accomodations on internet, but unfortunately rarely in English or foreign languages. Since an inventary of all of them would be too much work, and the data is changing constantly, here are only a couple of tips to help to sort it out.

Let's start with a small lexicon:

- Accomodation = Noclegi (PL), Ubytovanie (CZ/SK)
- Hotel = Hotel/Hotel. "Hostels" often designate Youth hostels or motels.
- Green lodge = Agroturystyka (PL), Agroturistika (CZ/SK)
- Guesthouse = Pokoje gościnne (PL), Penzión (CZ/SK)
- Summer residence = Dom letniskowe (PL), Chalupa (CZ/SK)
- Flat for rent = Kwatery (PL), Privat (CZ/SK)
- Mountain hut = Schronisko (PL), Chata/Horsky Hotel (CZ/SK)
- Tavern = Chata (PL) => not to mix with the Czech homonym
- Restoracja (PL), Restaurace (CZ/SK)
- Campsite = Kemping (PL), or Kemp/Tábořiště/ATM (CZ/SK)
(however campsites are rare in these regions)

Chalet near Rycerzowa
Rycerzowa


Some portals:

* Poland:
- www.turystyka.beskidy.pl
- www.beskidy24.pl
- www.spanie.pl

* Czech Republic:
- www.beskydy.cz
- www.ubytovanivbeskydech.cz

* Slovakia
- www.beskydy.sk

Other tips :

Radegast beer !
Radegast (CZ)
Żywiec beer ! <a href= http://www.mbpost.com/area/278251/western-beskids.html >(where from ? :)</a>
Żywiec (PL)
Zlatý Bažant beer !
Zlatý Bažant (SK)


Lanckorona, pretty village
Lanckorona

Competitions





Beskidy Mountainbike Trophy 2011

Images