The Railway Route is one of the most popular bike trails in the Warmia region. It has a dirt pavement, runs on a former railway embankment, which operated until 1945. Thanks to this it is a route completely free of cars. The route runs through the heavily forested areas of the Ornecka Plain, far away from buildings, connecting two Medieval cities in the Warmia region – the city of Lidzbark Warmiński and the town of Orneta, separated by a distance of 30 kilometres from each other.
The route starts in the city of Lidzbark Warmiński. The city was granted town privileges in 1308. From the mid-14th century to the end of the 18th century it was the capital of Warmia region, an important economic, cultural and religious centre. The city centre still has a Medieval urban layout, city walls with a High Gate, historic buildings at the market square, including the 19th-century town hall. The most widely recognized monument of the city is the Castle of the Bishops of Warmia - one of the most valuable monuments of this type in Poland.
The trail starts about 2 km west of the city, at the fork of roads heading for Lubomino and Orneta. From here until the very end, the trails run on a railway embankment for nearly 30 kilometres. Due to the specific itinerary of the route it is easy to cover, the ascents do not exceed 0.1%. The route has stops with rest areas at former railway stations. On the way, there are several railway viaducts that have been partially damaged. Then the route runs at their foot, then back to the embankment. The trail alternates through excavations and embankments, making the road almost flat. In some places, waterlogged sections of the route occur, but in general it is quite comfortable to ride. On the route there are several small villages with preserved old, former German houses and brick farm buildings with red tile roofs, distinctive for the Warmia region. However, most of the trail runs through the forests of the Orneta Plain.
The trail ends in the city of Orneta. This is one of the better-preserved cities of former Warmia region. It was granted town privileges in 1313, and in the years 1341-51 it was the seat of the bishops of Warmia. The must-see list comprises the Medieval buildings at the market square with the 14th century town hall, topped with a tower with the oldest bell in Warmia, dating back to 1384. Near the market square there is a Gothic St. John the Baptist parish church. Side elevations of the temple are crowned by attic walls. Moreover, the building is decorated with friezes showing human figures and floral motifs. The church has a basilica design, which is rare in the Warmia region, with a nave much higher than the aisles. The richly decorated interior of the church has preserved monuments of religious art dating back to different eras, and an organ from 1609.
The return route runs along the same route, unless the cyclist chooses to cycle on one of the asphalt roads connecting the two cities. Then, however, you need to cover a longer distance and face the road traffic.
Points of interest along the trail:
- Lidzbark Warmiński - urban layout, monuments
- Lidzbark Warmiński - Orneta railway line – converted into a bike trail, with nice rest areas
- Orneta - urban layout, monuments
The entire trail is suitable for bicycles with panniers/bike trailers. The trail runs separated from traffic, only safe cycling through public roads, separate bike trails and roads excluded from car traffic, dirt roads, forest roads and others. The trail is especially recommended for families with children and children's trailers. A recreational trail.
Lidzbark Warmiński, the crossing of the road heading for Lubajna and Orneta, west of the city
Orneta, in the area of the railway station