Spanning 30 kilometres, the red bike trail called “On the Brusienka” in the municipality of Horyniec-Zdrój is a fairly difficult route. It passes by the most interesting places in the vicinity of this small spa resort, situated on the border with Ukraine, in the southern part of the Roztocze region. The trail has a strongly off-road character, using dirt roads in the forests, at times very sandy. Beautiful views, thick forests, old churches and shrines, and dozens of stone crosses on the old cemeteries and along the roads all create a fascinating atmosphere. However, the trail requires being in good physical shape and having the right equipment.
The general course of the trail is as follows: Horyniec-Zdrój, railway station (0.0 km) - Podemszczyzna (6.7 km) - Stare Brusno (11.8 km) - Nowe Brusno (13.6 km) - Polanka Horyniecka (14.1 km) - Nowiny Horynieckie (25.6 km) - Horyniec-Zdrój/Town centre, monastery (29.9 km).
The trail starts at the railway station in Horyniec-Zdrój. This small town has been a spa resort since the end of the 19th century. Legend has it that as early as the end of the 17th century King John III Sobieski and Queen Marysieńka stayed here for therapeutic purposes. Horyniec owes its notoriety to the healing mud deposits in the nearby village of Podemszczyzna, also used abroad. Those who come for treatments can also take a stroll in the park, founded before the war and recently restored. The town has enjoyed the status of a spa town since 1973. Currently, it has 3 sanatoriums and a number of guest houses, as well as numerous historical monuments. While here, you should see, among others, the former court theatre, the Poniński Palace, the church in the spa and the Baroque Franciscan Monastery. You should reserve the time to visit the monastery at the end of the trip. The trail heads to the north-west, in the direction of Podemszczyzna, passing by the spa area and a swimming pool. Then it delves into the forests and goes over the Świdnica River, in whose valley you’ll find the mighty complex of fortifications known as the Molotov Line. These are the old border fortifications and other shelters, built during World War II by the Soviets, hence the common name by which they are referred to. In the woods north of the village, there are quite a lot of them, so you might spend some time checking them out. In Podemszczyzna you can also see an old Greek Catholic cemetery and a belfry. The trail traverses a few hills and heads into another valley, this time of the Brusienka River, where it will remain for a while. In this area, there is a huge number of old religious monuments. The villages of Stare Brusno and Nowe Brusno, along with the neighbouring Polanka Horyniecka, are parts of the former settlement Brusno. Nowe Brusno has an eye-catching Orthodox church of St. Paraskevi, hailing from the turn of the 17th and 18th centuries. The wooden structure is divided into three sections, and each topped with a separate dome. The churchyard has a number of Protestant tombstones. They remind us today of the Germans who settled here at the time of the so-called Josephine colonisation. This German presence continued until 1942. Until World War II, Brusno was a highly renowned centre of stone masonry. The local craftsmen specialised in the production of roadside and tombstone crosses, called the “Brusno crosses”. You can see such crosses, perfectly preserved, in the cemetery in Brusno Stare. The nearby hill Hrebcianka is the site of more fortifications of the Molotov Line. One of the shelters had its cannon removed along with its armoured protection, using explosives. It is now displayed in the branch of the Polish Army Museum in Warsaw’s Czerniaków Fort. The village also has an early 20th century Roman Catholic church and a military cemetery from World War I. In Polanka Horyniecka, the trail meets with a Green Velo trail and both routes go together for several kilometres, heading to the north-easy on a dirt road through the woods. The red trail then turns to the east and south, in the direction of the village of Nowiny Horynieckie. This is yet another unusual and interesting portion of the trail. Nowiny Horynieckie has a wooden chapel and miraculous spring of the Holy Virgin. An archaeological curiosity, an ancient pagan “Temple of the Sun” can be found in the nearby forest. You might also want to see the juniper reserve called “Sołokija”. In the area, you can also run into more shelters of the Molotov Line. From the village of Polanka Horyniecka, the trail heads further to the south on its way back to Horyniec. The route comes to an end at the historic monastery in Horyniec-Zdrój.
Points of interest along the trail:
- Horyniec-Zdrój - spa park, monastery, church
- Molotov Line - concrete shelters
- Stare Brusno, Nowe Brusno, Polanka Horyniecka - churches, old Greek Catholic cemeteries
- Nowiny Horynieckie - miraculous spring, chapel of the Virgin Mary, “Temple of the Sun”
- Numerous Brusno crosses in cemeteries and along roads
Not all fragments of the trail are suitable for bicycles with panniers/bike trailers. The trail is separated from vehicle traffic and only uses only safe bicycle crossings on public roads, separated bike paths and roads with no car traffic, dirt roads, forest paths, etc. Trail for fans of mountain and off-road biking. Trail of outstanding cultural heritage value.
Horyniec-Zdrój, railway station
Horyniec-Zdrój/Town centre, monastery