The Cycling Route around the Tatras

Historical-cultural-natural trail around Tatras

If you are wondering how to combine active and healthy rest with discovering unknown places and unique monuments, admiring magnificent landscapes and natural diversity, then we invite you to the Historical-cultural-natural trail around Tatras. Already today, thanks to the realization of over 160 km of bicycle paths with infrastructure for cyclists, residents and tourists can visit the Polish-Slovak border region on bicycles, learning about unusual places and unique values of this area.

The idea of the Historical-cultural-natural trail around Tatras originated in 2004, when this project was initiated by the "Tatry" Euroregion. The implementation is carried out in stages. The complete project involves the creation of a 250 km loop around the Tatras with cycling, ski and cross-country routes. They lead around the charming areas of Tatras, which offer unique attractions, including 15 historic buildings inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List, wooden buildings, folk art, live folklore, old town complexes, castles and strongholds, wooden churches and churches as well as places of natural and landscape importance.

In 2014-2015, the first stage of investment was carried out as part of the PL-SK Cross-Border Cooperation Programme 2007–2013. 13 local governments from Poland and Slovakia were involved in the project (Czarny Dunajec commune  as leading partner, the town of Nowy Targ, the commune of Nowy Targ, the commune of Szaflary, the town of Trstená, the commune of  Suchá Hora, the commune of  Hladovka, the commune of  Liesek, the commune of  Nižná, the town of Liptovský Mikuláš, the town of Kežmarok, the commune of  Huncovce and the commune of  Vrbov). Nearly 100 km of bicycle paths were created, including a 35-km cross-border section built on the embankment of the former railway line from the time of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Historic railway bridges have been renovated, which now serve cyclists along the Trail. 15 rest places for cyclists were created, and in Czarny Dunajec, next to the intersection of provincial roads No 958 and 957, a free "park and ride" parking was created.

The second stage of the investment was carried out in 2016-2018 as the flagship project of the Interreg VA PL-SK 2014–2020 Programme. 10 partners from Poland and Slovakia participated in this project, i.e. the European Grouping of Territorial Cooperation TATRA, the town of Nowy Targ, the commune of Szaflary, the commune of Nowy Targ, the commune of Łapsze Niżne, the town of Kežmarok, the town of Spišská Belá, the town of Stará Ľubovňa, the town of Liptovský Mikuláš, the town of Trstená. Another 60 km of bicycle paths, 14 new resting places for cyclists and a free P&R car park were built. On the Polish side, the continuation of the Trail leads from the town of Nowy Targ eastwards through the Szaflary commune, Nowy Targ commune, and Łapsze Niżne commune to the Kacwin-Wielka Frankowa border crossing. Thus, a complete main section of the Trail around the Tatras, over 70 km long, has been created in Poland, leading from the border with Slovakia in Chochołów to the border in Kacwin. On the Slovak side, the partners built new sections of bicycle paths from Zdziar towards Tatranská Kotlina and Spišská Belá and further to Kežmarok, in Liptovský Mikuláš, Trstena and the Hniezdne-Stara Lubovla section. They complement nearly 100 km of bicycle paths built as part of the first stage of the project. In total, therefore, over 160 km of independent bicycle paths with infrastructure are available to residents and tourists, which will lead cyclists to attractive and little-known cultural values on both sides of Tatras.

In the years 2019–2020, the third stage of the investment is being implemented, with funding obtained from the Interreg VA Poland-Slovakia Programme. Another 26 km of bicycle paths will be built, including new sections leading to tourist attractions on the Polish side (e.g. towards Gorce in Obidowa), but the biggest emphasis is put on the development of infrastructure for cyclists, including renovation of historic buildings such as the former railway station along the path route in the Czarny Dunajec commune, which will now become a cyclist service centre, multifunctional rest areas for cyclists, etc.

Bicycle paths around the Tatras provide safe sightseeing and ecological spending of free time for entire families with children. They are used not only by cyclists, but also by roller skaters, roller skiers runners, and in winter they are used as cross-country skiing routes. In addition to the main asphalt loop around the Tatra Mountains, additional routes, connections and thematic loops are created, e.g. a loop on the Czarny Dunajec peat bogs, a connection leading towards the Gorce range, which all diversify bicycle trips. Cycle the Tatras! Cycle the Trail around the Tatra Mountains!

More information

Bicycle path along the former embankment of the railway line

Nowy Targ parking lot by the railway station (0.8 km) – Bór Kombinacki – Ludźmierz (3 km) – Rogoźnik (6 km) – bifurcation with Chochołów-Wierch route in Stare Bystre (8 km) – Czarny Dunajec (11 km) – Podczerwone (17 km) – state border (20.6 km) Trzciana (37 km)

The Podhale section of the bike trail around the Tatra Mountains begins in Nowy Targ. The main route leads along the embankment of the former Nowy Targ – Sucha Góra railway line. The asphalt road, three meters wide, 21 km long, runs through Ludźmierz, Rogoźnik, Stare Bystre, Czarny Dunajec and Podczerwone to the state border and then 16 km on the Slovak side to Trzciana. The route is great for recreational cycling and roller skating.
The trip starts at a free car park for motorized users of the Trail, next to the train station. Before we set off on the Trail, it is worth visiting the restored water tower, a monument of engineering art, once used to service the steam railway from Nowy Targ to Sucha Góra.

From the station we head straight for the bike path on Wojsk Ochrony Pogranicza Street, then we pass the Józef Piłsudski Municipal Stadium and further along the fence we go by asphalt bicycle road to the bifurcation, where driving straight along Krakowska Street we get to the intersection of the Zakopane-Kraków road with Podtatrzańska Street (0.8 km). We do not cross the Zakopane-Kraków road, we turn right. Passing the fence of the "Skalny Dworek" hotel (7a Krakowska Street) and the car showroom (on the left), we enter the street, which after 200 m ends with a railway crossing. After crossing the tracks (we should get off the bicycle) the bicycle path begins its course along the former embankment of the railway line. The Nowy Targ section of the trail leads through the Kombinacki Forest, a flat, wetland, peat spruce and pine forest, with a Podhale pine, having slightly shorter needles and a beautiful, rounded crown. After a kilometre and a half, we pass the building of the former Nowy Targ Fabryczny railway station and the complex of buildings of the former Leather Industry Factory. The administrative border of the town also ends here.
After 500 meters the forest ends and the trail crosses the local road that leads south to Zaskale and Szaflary. After crossing the former railway bridge over the Rogoźnik stream, we enter the open, plain Nowy Targ Basin. At the parking spot in Ludźmierz, we can turn right and take the short connecting route to the village centre and Marian sanctuary (2.5 km) or further along the bicycle path through Krauszów, Morawczyna, Pyzówka up to Klikuszowa and Obidowa (12 km). From the trail, we can admire views of the Tatra Mountains with the hills of the Gubałówka Foothills in the south and the Oravian Divisions range, Babia Góra, the Żeleźnica and Gorce ranges in the north. After passing the village of Rogoźnik, we get to Stare Bystre, in front of the Sośnina Forest (8 km), where the trail branches off – going left we can enter the Chochołów-Wierchowa route leading to Chochołów, which after 14.2 km connects with the main route near the Polish-Slovak border. Going straight, we will pass on the right the connecting route to Wróblówka, and then the building of the former railway station in Czarny Dunajec (11 km), next to the parking space we can turn right to get to the short connecting section and reach Czarny Dunajec. The main route reflects towards the Tatra Mountains and for another 4 km leads along the right bank of the Czarny Dunajec River, in the middle of the section the bike trail crosses the local road, which is an alternative connection between the car park for the users of the trail in Czarny Dunajec and the main route Chochołów – Wierchowa. At the historic, former railway bridge, on the banks of Dunajec (15 km), there is a perfect place to relax and have a picnic by the fire. Having passed the bridge, the trail crosses road No 957 from Chochołów to Czarny Dunajec and turns left to Podczerwone. After 700 m the main route connects to the side section of the trail, along Chodnikowa Road, which leads to the car park for users of the trail in Czarny Dunajec (3.8 km). The main route of the trail passes Podczerwone, a former railway station (17 km), leads through the Orawa-Nowy Targ peat bogs, and in the vicinity of the Przybojec peat bog, a kilometre before the border, it connects with the side section of the trail running to Koniówka (1.6 km), and 500 m further with the Borowa road leading from Chochołów. After crossing the border, the route leads through Slovakia for another 16 km and ends in Trzciana.

Based on: Anna Majorczyk, „Szlak wokół Tatr. Przewodnik”, Czarny Dunajec 2015