General information about the trail
June 14, 2017The Green Velo Trail - 2000 kilometres long and more than 2000 reasons to visit
The Green Velo East of Poland Cycling Trail is the longest consistently marked cycle trail in Poland. It leads through picturesque areas of eastern Poland and along quiet asphalt roads. Many measures have been introduced along the trail to improve cyclist safety. The main route is 1885 kilometres long. Additional liaison trails are about 200 kilometres in length, and have similar markings to the main route.
New and rebuilt cycle paths, and pedestrian and bicycle trails account for about 300 kilometres of the route, and unpaved roads for around 150 kilometres. More than 30 bridges and footbridges have been created or renovated for the Green Velo Trail, and more than 20 key junctions have been rebuilt. 230 Cyclist Service Points have been constructed, each equipped with bicycle racks, sheds and benches, as well as with rubbish bins and information boards.
There are an additional 10,000 kilometres of other marked cycle routes along the trail, as well as hundreds of noteworthy tourist attractions. The route leads through five national parks and numerous landscape parks and nature reserves. Along the northern part of the trail, long sections have been laid on the embankments of former railway lines.
1885 kilometres of the main route
Almost 200 kilometres of liaison trails
300 kilometres of new and rebuilt cycle routes
More than 30 new and rebuilt bridges and footbridges
230 Cyclist Service Points
The trail has been divided into 12 so-called ‘bike kingdoms’. These are attractive regions where longer visits are the norm. Visitors can take advantage of over 100 one-day, weekend (or longer) cycling tours around the kingdoms of Eastern Poland - arguably the most beautiful parts of our country.
History of the trail
The investment „Cycle Routes in Eastern Poland” which involved the creation of the Green Velo trail was financed by the European Regional Development Fund under the Operational Programme Development of Eastern Poland 2007-2013, Priority Axis 5: V: Balanced development of tourist potential based on natural conditions, Activity V.2 Cycle routes.
The course of the trail was marked out in the years 2008-2009 within the framework of the corridor study, and the investment started on the basis of a feasibility study whose preparation was completed in 2012. The construction of the route lasted from 2013 until the end of 2015.
Co-financing of the whole project was 274 million Polish zlotys and the investors were the local authorities of the five voivodeships of eastern Poland through which the route passes: Lubelskie voivodeship, Podlaskie voivodeship, Podkarpackie voivodeship, Świętokrzyskie voivodeship and Warmińsko-Mazurskie voivodeship.
A promotional campaign financed by the Świętokrzyskie Voivodeship Local Authority and the Świętokrzyskie Voivodship’s Regional Tourist Organization (an executive partner of the project with the support of the five voivodeships of Eastern Poland) and constituting the complimenting investment was undertaken during 2014 and 2015.
Construction of the route 2013–2015
Co-financing 274 million Polish zlotys
Marking of the Green Velo trail
The Green Velo - East of Poland Cycling Trail is marked along its length by metal signboards displaying a coloured trail logo on an orange background. These signs were introduced into the Highway Code in 2013 in time for the completion of this project. Along the entire length of the trail there are a few thousand signboards of five different types.
The basic square R4 sign measuring 20 x 20 cm marks the trail route and also confirms its continuance at crossroads. The R4b is an arrow showing the direction of the trail at crossroads. The R4c, R4d and R4e are all additional markings demonstrating distances to the most important towns along the trail, and indicating the course of any other cycle lanes which cross the Green Velo route.
Characteristic Green Velo branded green boards are situated at Cyclist Service Points, transport connections, cycle lane junctions, and major tourist attractions. Each Cyclist Service Point is also marked by a plate with the name of any visible locations, towns or attractions in the vicinity.
Additionally, dozens of liaison routes have been created which allow cyclists to link to junctions and major tourist attractions near the main trail. They are also marked with R4 signs with a black trail logo and a specific route number. The first digit of the number corresponds to the voivodeship where the route begins, and the next two digits correspond to the identification of the route. For example:
Warmińsko-Mazurskie voivodeship: 101 etc.
Podlaskie voivodeship: 201 etc.
Lubelskie voivodeship: 301 etc.
Podkarpackie voivodeship: 401 etc.
Świętokrzyskie voivodeship: 501 etc.
This system allows for the creation of further branches and connections in the future and guarantees the legibility of trail markings as well as making for a more pleasurable cycling experience.
Cyclist Service Points and Cyclist-Friendly Places
The Green Velo - East of Poland Cycling Trail is noteworthy due to the recreational infrastructure, which lines the route. Some of these places, providing a similar service to that of service stations on motorways, have been named Cyclist Service Points. There are about 230 Cyclist Service Points on the route from Elbląg to Końskie and they are situated - usually at tourist attractions and interesting towns - every 8-10 kilometres. Cyclist Service Point locations are shown on the interactive trail map (found at www.greenvelo.pl) and also on specific route maps along the trail.
All Cyclist Service Points are uniformly marked and equipped with sheds, benches, U-shaped bicycle racks, information boards and rubbish bins. A number of them are also equipped with portable toilets and water containers.
Cyclist Service Points enable cyclists to rest and take shelter to find out about nearby attractions. Visiting Cyclist Service Points is free but please remember that CSPs are only for resting, and not camping.
The system of Cyclist-Friendly Places constitutes a supplement to the Cyclist Service Points. At the portal (www.greenvelo.pl) there is a search facility for accommodation, dining facilities, tourist attractions, tourist information centres, and other services that may be of interest to cyclists. These places are remarkable due to their warm welcomes, and because riders can eat, sleep and sightsee without worrying about bike security.