Bicycle kingdoms

Northen Mazury

Northen Mazury
Trails in kingdom:
Places in kingdom:

The name of the Kingdom - Northern Mazury – can be confusing, especially to cyclists following this section of the Green Velo trail that expect to see lakes and sailing boats. In fact, riders may be surprised by the natural wilderness, secluded places and the diverse landscapes, through which the trail leads. The route circumnavigates the best-known part of Masuria, i.e. the mass tourism destinations of Mikołajki and Giżycko, only stopping off in the northernmost town of the area, Węgorzewo. Visitors wanting to explore the Great Masurian Lakes further can stay in one of the best-located BSPs (Bike Service Points), lying on the shores of Lake Mamry, near Węgorzewo.

From Srokowo the trail follows a specially designated cycle route in which fields, lakes and forests prevail, and which runs along the main road making travelling through such a hilly landscape less exhausting.. Just outside Srokowo cyclists should expect an arduous uphill section, but will be rewarded with the breathtaking panorama of Diabla Góra at the top. More relaxing is the long downhill section to Leśniewo, where visitors can see the giant unfinished locks of the Masurian Canal.

Lovers of sailing can extend their stay in the fore-mentioned Węgorzewo. There is an assortment of bike trails in the area reaching many of the interesting places around the Great Masurian Lakes. Węgorzewo and the surrounding area is very well setup for cyclists. There are specialist firms providing bike rental and a wide variety of accommodation and services choices. Visitors may well be tempted to spend a bit longer than planned in order to have time to explore the fantastic network of bike routes in the Węgorzewo region.

About 20 kilometres south of the trail, in the direction of Kętrzyn (which can be reached using new cycle roads) is the ‘Wolf’s Lair’ – Hitler’s wartime headquarters. Not far from here, in Wolisko, is a European Bison (usually seen in the wild living in Borecka Forest) show farm.

The Prussian Boyen Fortress is situated nearby in Giżycko. The sailing and outdoor activities of this wooded lake land are well known, but more great cycling adventures await further down the Green Velo trail.

East of Węgorzewo, the trail follows former railway lines. The region of Hilly Masuria, also called Wild Masuria, spreads from around the village of Banie Mazurskie to the East. The section between Węgorzewo and the border with Podlaskie Voivodeship consists of long up and downhill sections which as cyclists say, are a “leg killer”. This is a reason why it is important to be reasonably fit before setting off, and to have good equipment, a food supply and most importantly, a good sense of humour. The former railway lines lead cyclists to the second most important place along this part of the trail – the Gołdap Health Resort. This interesting town with its graduation towers and Health Resort park is located near the Russian border. It has a market square with an impressive fountain, numerous historical sites including the remains of the German World War II experimental missile development centre, and an  excellent network of bicycle roads.

East of Gołdap a mysterious Rominty Forest spreads across the land. The eastern section of this dense forest complex consists of Scandinavian taiga spruce and is unique in Poland. The central part of the forest is marshy and barely accessible, but the region of the village of Żytkiejmy, to the east, consists of vast meadows and is sometimes called the Polish prairie. It is not uncommon to encounter elks, wolves, lynx, wild boars, martens, many bird species and almost all types of Polish forest dwellers with the exception of bears. One of the highest railway bridges in Poland can be found in the village of Stańczyki and is an unusual attraction in this eastern part of the forest.

Past Stańczyki, the Green Velo trail takes cyclists along the border to the tripoint of the borders of Poland, Lithuania and Russia not far from the village of Bolcie, before it enters the next magical kingdom of the Suwałki Lakeland and the Augustów Plains.

Rozwój Polski Wschodniej Europejski Fundusz Rozwoju Regionalnego

Projekt współfinansowany przez Unię Europejską ze środków Europejskiego Funduszu Rozwoju Regionalnego w ramach Programu Operacyjnego Rozwój Polski Wschodniej 2007-2013