Karkonosze National Park
Karkonosze National Park was created on 16 January 1959. Its purview embraces northen slopes of Karkonosze, among Okraj Pass, and Mumlawski Wierch. Chojnik Mountain and Szklarka Waterfall are part of park. Its surface in total is 5580 hectare. The majority of it is covered with forests. The beauty of Karkonosze nature was already appreciated in 1933. At the beginning an area between Śnieżne Glacial Cirques and Large Pond Glacial Cirque was initially protected. Since 1986, Karkonosze with Izerskie Mountains have created an Area of Protected Environment, and in 1993, Karkonoski National Park became a part of UNESCO Karkonosze Biosphere Sanctuary. About 2.000.000 tourists visit Karkonosze National Park every year! There are over 120 trails prepared for them. Bike trails were set down as well. Mountain’s Ultramarathon „3 x Śnieżka= 1 x Mont Blanc” takes place here every year. Participants of the marathon have three distances to choose among the beauty of Karkonosze! It is worth to know, Karkonosze National Park is one of the oldest in Poland.
An amazing nature
Karkonosze National Park is divided in two parts. The majority part of lower mountain range is covered with the forests that are partially protected. Upper part of mountain range is an area strictly protected, where the tourists can find subalpine and alpine plants. An uniqueness of Karkonosze is indicated with postglacial relief – glacial cirques, numerous end moraines arisen in the Pleistocene. Karkonosze National Park is also called „ Skandinavian Nature in the heart of Europe”. Within this area, the plants ( relicts ) typical for Scandinavia region occure that’s why it was called this way. There are remains of Ice Age as well. On the Czech Republic area, there are subarctic peatlands protected by Ramsar International Convention. Some unique animals and plants can be met there. There are about 40 species of mammals, for example: beavers, roe-deers, foxes, bats. Only few persons know, mouflons live there. They were brought here from Corsica and Sardinia. At present, they occur in Sudeten only. Besides, over 90 birds as owlet, grouse, capercaillie or alpine accentor live there. While being in Karkonosze National Park, the enthusiasts of herbiculture had to call at Wilczy Potok Valley absolutely. They will find there unique herbs existing in Karkonosze only. It is worth to visit Owl Valley as well, where the first traces of mining can be found. Its wealth is a red granite. Karkonosze, that’s not only fauna and flora, that is an opportunity to use an imagination. Fairy tale figures and heros of the legends can be found in its rocky structure. The most popular are: Pielgrzymy, Słonecznik, Trzy Świnki. In the western part of park, the beauty of Karkonosze from Śnieżne Kotły can be admired. There are some vantage points along their edge, underneath rocky walls fall down even in 120 m gulf.
Land of waterfalls
Two of the most famous waterfalls in Karkonosze are located in the western region: Szklarki and Kamieńczyk. They are decisively one of the most important attractions in Karkonosze National Park. Szklarka is situated at the altitude of 520 m a.s.l. and its height is 13,3 m. Because of its location and relatively easy trail, it is one of the most frequently visited waterfall in Karkonosze. Kamieńczyk Waterfall is one of the highest waterfall in Sudety with the height – 27 m. To admire of its beauty, it is necessary to use previously prepared stairs and go down towards rock cleft.
The Queen is only one
Śnieżka – Queen of Karkonosze, is located at the area of Karkonosze National Park. It attracts the biggest number of tourists every year. While being in Karkonosze, you need to go to the Śnieżka Summit. There are specific atmospheric conditions and amazing views that spread from its top. Śnieżka is often called Lady of Winds as befits the Queen is very moody. Tourists who are going to climb the top should wear suitable outfit because the weather changes very quickly. People should be prepared for the winter blowing very strong. There are few routes towards Śnieżka Summit. One of them leads through Łomniczka Glacial Cirque, Owl Valley and Black Ridge or Równia at the foot of Śnieżka. You can make your trip easier if you choose a cableway from Karpacz to Kopa.
Karkonosze National Park trails
The colour of trail doesn’t define difficulty level. Mountains’ trails cross over very often. Each trail doesn’t have to reach the goal. To achieve it, it is necessary to choose few trails sometimes.
RED TRAIL - That’s a main touristic trail. It leads through the most beautiful mountains’ corners.
The main trail is named: Mieczysław Orłowicz Sudecki Trail.
It leads from Świerardów Zdrój till Prudnik through Sudeten (length 440 km).
Routing: Izerskie Mountains – Karkonosze – Kamienne Mountains – Black Mountains – Sowie Mountains – Bardzkie Mountains – Stołowe Mounatains – Orlickie Mountains – Bystrzyckie Mountains – Krowiarki – Złote Mountains – Opatowskie Mountains.
Routing of Main Sudeten Trail through Izerskie Mountains and Karkonosze: Izerskie Mountains (Wysoka Kopa, Wysoki Kamień) towards Szklarska Poręba through Karkonosze (Kamieńczyk Waterfall – Hala Szerenicka – Karkonoska Pass – Śląski Dom – Łomniczka Glacial Cirque) – Karpacz (main Karkonosze Main Ridge).
Route of Czech-Polish Frendship (about 30 km): Hala Szrenicka – Szrenica – Śnieżne Clacial Cirques – Łabski Summit – Śmielec – Karkonosze Pass – Mały Szyszak – Smogornia – Równia at foot of Śnieżka – Śląski House – Śnieżka – Okraj Pass – Path trough the Montane (about 20 km): Hala Szrenicka – Trzy Świnki – Mokra Pass – Śnieżne Glacial Cirques – Śmielec Slope – Jagniątkowski Black Glacial Cirque – Hutniczy Grzbiet – Karkonosze Pass – Pilgrims.
GREEN AND YELLOW TRAIL – Two short trails.
Green Trail – Słonecznik – Polana – Karpacz Biały Jar – Wilcza Poręba – Budniki – Okraj Pass – Kowarskie Crossroads
Green Trail – Upper Szklarska Poręba – Lower Szklarska Poręba – Michałowice – Grzybowiec – Różyckiego Pass – Przesieka – Podgórna Waterfall – Borowice – Upper Karpacz – Karpacz PKP – Krucze Skały – Jedlinki – Uroczysko – Kowary
Yellow Trail – Wysoki Kamień – Bend of Death – Piechowice – Jagniątków – Przesieka – Borowice – Karpacz Górny – Polana – Słonecznik
Yellow Trail – Sosnówka – Sainte Ann Chapel – Upper Karpacz
Yellow Trail - Karpacz Biały Jar – Strzecha Akademicka – Biały Jar
Yellow Trail – Karpacz PKP – Wilcza Poręba – Shelter by Łomniczka
Yellow Trail – Kowary – Jedlinki – Skaly Stół
Yellow Trail – Uroczysko – Okraj Pass – Kowarka Pass
Yellow Trail – Upper Szklarska Poręba – Shelter at the foot of Łabski Summit – Relay Station
BLUE TRAIL – This is a long trail. Choosing it, you have to prepare for a long journey.
Karpacz Biały Jar – Upper Karpacz – Samotnia – Strzecha Akademicka Shelter – Strażnica – Śląski Dom Shelter – Sowia Pass – Skalny Stół – Okraj Pass – Kowarska Pass – PKP Kowary – Karkonosze Pass – Podgórzyn – Zachełmie – Jagniątków – Śmielec Crossroads – Czarna Pass (red trail) - Śmielec Pass – Wlk . Szyszak Crossroads – Wysoki Most (black trail) - Trzy Jawory – Piechowice.
BLACK TRAIL – This is a short trail.
Karpacz Biały Jar – Kopa (at the foot of Śnieżka) - Śnieżka – Sowia Pass (from Śnieżka to Sowia Pass the colour/signage of the trail has changed from black one to red and blue ones) - Szeroki Most – Karpacz – Lower Karpacz Sosnówka – Podgórna Waterfall – Podgórzyn (from Przesieka to Podgórzyn the colour/singature of the trail has changed to blue one) - Zachełmie – Żarska Pass – Chojnik Castle – Sobieszów – Shelter at the foot of Łabski Summit – Trzy Jawory – Jagniątków – Hutniczy Grzbiet – Szklarki Waterfall – Szklarska Poręba – Bend of Death – Lower Szklarska Poręba – Szklarki Waterfall.