The trail is signposted in green, running from Górowo Iławeckie to the stork village of Żywkowo, almost to the very border with Russia. The route is just over 30 kilometres long. It is perfectly signposted marked, but quite cumbersome due to the holes in asphalt roads.
The general course of the trail is as follows: Górowo Iławeckie (0.0 km) - Kamińsk (4.1 km) - Dęby (11.4 km) - Żywkowo (21.5 km) - Gałajny (25.8 km) - Górowo Iławeckie (33.4 km).
Due to the proximity of the border, you should expect a meeting with border guards and take your documents with you.
The trail starts and ends in the locality of Górowo Iławeckie. This little town, having a long history and numerous monuments, was founded in the 14th century by the Teutonic Knights after the extermination of the Nattangians - the original population in these lands. After World War II, as a result of "Operation Vistula ", the Ukrainian population was moved to Górowo Iławeckie and the environs. It was decisive for today's character of the town. The former Protestant church, built in the 14th century, now plays the role of a Greek Catholic church. The richly decorated interior of this Gothic temple is noteworthy. Another valuable monument is the town hall, standing in the middle of the market square. The urban layout of Górowo, typical of small, Medieval towns, has perfectly survived. There are two interesting museums here, the City Museum and the unique Gas Engineering Museum, housed in the surviving complex of the historic municipal gasworks.
The route runs in the first part along asphalt roads through farmland and meadows to the village of Kamińsk (pre-war Stabławki). This is a town located on the site of the former German military training ground, set up here in the 1930s. The vast military complex stretched out to the north, beyond the current Polish border. During World War II, the POW camp Stalag I A Stablack was there. Today, the former military barracks in Kamińsk house a prison. This section can also be covered by the Green Velo trail, which runs parallel to the road via a railway line. This part has a gravel pavement and is free of road traffic.
The rest of the route runs on usually poor quality asphalt roads, free of cars, through meadows and fields at the foot of the Górowo Hills. It is a moraine belt, that clearly separates from the surrounding lowland, with an average elevation exceeding 150 m above sea level. The Górowo Hills are crossed by the valley of the Wałsza river, creating a picturesque, deep ravine.
The biggest attraction on the trail is the village Żywkowo, also dubbed the “stork village”, located at the very border with Russia, inhabited mostly by people of Ukrainian origin. It is estimated that about 160 storks reside here in the summer season. Dozens of stork nests can be seen on the roofs of houses and trees. Some of them can be seen directly from a special vantage point located on a farm run by the Polish Society for Protection of Birds. There are also didactic and educational paths that allow you to get to know better the habits and biology of storks, which are quite popular birds.
A few hundred meters past the village of Żywkowo the trail reaches the asphalt road. On its opposite side there is a high vantage point. Once there was a route to the village of Iławka (Pruska Iława, today Bagrationowska), a town located about 1 km from the border. During the Napoleonic campaign, on 7-8 February 1807, at Iławka, a battle took place between French troops and the combined armies of Russia and Prussia. In 1945, the town belonged to Poland for several months, later it was incorporated into the USSR. The last section of the route runs along a rarely frequented local road running back to the town of Górowo Iławeckie.
Points of interest along the trail:
- Górowo Iławeckie - Gas Engineering Museum, monuments
- Kamińsk - former training grounds and POW camp
- The Górowo Hills
- Żywkowo – Storks Village
The entire trail is suitable for bicycles with panniers/bike trailers. The trail uses solely roads with no motor vehicle traffic allowed, or local roads with a low and very low vehicle traffic; no dangerous intersections. A recreational trail.
Górowo Iławeckie - intersection of Przemysłowa and Sikorski streets
Górowo Iławeckie – the intersection of the Armii Czerwonej street and provincial road no. 512