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Szlak pieszy: Na Jałowiec ze Stryszawy

Hiking trail: To Jałowiec from Stryszawa

Widok zielony na Beskid Żywiecki i stoki Babiej Góry
Stryszawa Tourist region: Beskid Mały i Makowski
The main peak of the Jałowiec Range is a peak with a height that everyone will remember as it consists of four ones. Reaching its summit is rewarded with an extensive mountain panorama – from Mędralowa through Polica to Barania Góra and Skrzyczne. As an addition to the scenic hike, you can visit the Beskid Wooden Toy Centre and learn about this long-standing regional tradition. A combination of culture and mountain activity? Anything is possible on the trails in this region!


Practical information

The starting point of the trail to Jałowiec. Bifurcation in the road above the youth shelter in Stryszawa (about 400 metres above), parking spaces at the side of the road.

Access to the starting point of the trail to Jałowiec. From road no. 946 Sucha Beskidzka – Żywiec, you need to turn in Stryszawa (near the petrol station) in the direction of Zawoja and drive along the main road for nearly 6 kilometres.

Time to complete the trail to Jałowiec. 4.5 hours

Difficulty level of the trail to Jałowiec. Medium; due to the demanding ascent to Jałowiec.

Most of the hills of Beskid Żywiecki are located in the Śląskie Voivodeship; only the area around Babia Góra, including the nearby Jałowiec Range, belongs to the Małopolska region.

Its highest peak, Jałowiec, located on the border between the two regions (during World War II, the border between the Third Reich and the General Government ran here), is sometimes underestimated by mountain hikers, many of whom have never been there. And that’s a pity, because you can use it to get a sneak peek at what’s going on with your neighbours. The magnificent panorama stretching from it is composed almost entirely of the Śląskie Voivodeship, with only a small part of the Małopolskie Voivodeship. Let’s find out what’s happening across the border.

Through Wsiórz to Krawcowa Polana

From the crossroads, follow the green trail signs along the main road, and after about 100 metres, turn right at a right angle. From the street, the path is almost invisible, and it’s questionable whether the marking is correct. As you enter the grass, you’ll notice a faint trace of the route, and after a while, you can clearly see it between the trees. The ascent isn’t overly demanding, but the increased effort can be a surprise to a body that has not had time to get into the rhythm of the hike. So, it’s better not to speed up but to take it easy over the next few metres.

As a result, after about three quarters of an hour, we’ll arrive at the hamlet of Wsiórz well warmed up but not yet tired. At least we shouldn’t be, because there’s a much more serious challenge ahead.

The village seems to have been transported from another era. Of course, there’s a tarmac road, and you can see poles with electric wires, but the wooden houses and surrounding orchards give the illusion that we have moved back in time.

In the hamlet, the blue trail joins us: we’ll follow it along a comfortable ridge path for about 20 minutes to a place called Lechówka. Here, the green signs turn right towards the Adamy student shelter (if you want to visit it, follow the green signs for about 15 minutes and then return to the main route following the red hut markings), and we take the blue trail to Krawcowa Polana. We’re about an hour’s hike away from it.

This pleasant march slightly downhill, in the course of which the aforementioned markings from the Adamy hut will join in, may raise concerns about the ascent to Jałowiec that awaits us. After a few minutes or so, however, the road begins to ascend, and we gradually regain altitude. At the point where the red tree huts diverge to the right into a clearing visible between the trees, the real climb begins, which gets steeper as the minutes pass.

Eventually, we reach the Krawcowa Glade. Here we meet the yellow trail and the first of the information boards on the Cardinal Stefan Wyszyński Nature Trail. They will accompany us to the end of the hike, introducing us to the fauna, flora and history of the area.

It’s obligatory to rest at the bench standing at the crossroads of the trails to replenish calories and hydrate the body, because we’re now heading to attack the summit of Jałowiec.

Captivating panoramas

A signpost shows that we’re a 40-minute hike from the summit. The first few are a leisurely walk, but around the bend, it gets really steep. The ascent is demanding, but the level and soft ground makes it easy to maintain a walking rhythm, and so we slowly gain metres. The reward for the effort is the opportunity to rest on the vast Trzebuńska Hala and enjoy the panorama from the summit. On the left, slightly hidden behind the trees, is our Małopolska Babia Góra, and to the right are the peaks of the Śląskie Voivodship: Mędralowa with Pilsko in front, and further to the right, Skrzyczne and Klimczok, i.e. the area around Szczyrk and Bielsko-Biała. A panoramic photo on the information board makes it easier to recognise the individual peaks.

Important information about the trail to JałowiecFrom the top of Jałowiec, we’ll hike the yellow trail. The blue colour visible on the elevation profile refers to the aforementioned nature trail, which isn’t marked in the field, and there are only information boards.

We take the yellow trail towards the Kolędówka Pass. From time to time, views of the Beskid Mały and Beskid Makowski will appear on our left. After about 25–30 minutes (depending on the pace of the walk), in a place where the trail turns right and after a dozen or so metres, turns left. We will come out to the Opaczne Glade, and our eyes will then see Babia Góra, also called Diablak, in all its majesty.

Slightly lower down, the view is much more extensive: from the Polica Range in the east (left), across the Krowiarki Pass, Babia Góra, the Brona Pass and up to Mała Babia Góra in the west. We’ll look at these hills from different perspectives several more times as we continue our hike.

Approximately 50 minutes after setting off from Jałowiec, we’ll pass through the hamlet of Kolędówki, at the end of which, green signs will join from the right. After a while, we say goodbye to the yellow trail and turn left following the signs of the green trail, which will take us to Stryszawa. When it’s dry, the descent along the level road is very pleasant. After the rains, the surface turns into a muddy slush on which it’s easy to slip, so it’s worth stepping between the trees. Admittedly, you have to meander between the two, but at least you come down more safely.

Where Cardinal Wyszyński once walked

At the end of the descent, you’ll walk along a fence, and the trail turns right towards the buildings visible below. Here, visible to hikers from below, there’s an arrow pointing to the shrine of Our Lady of Fatima, located 250 metres away between two trees. It’s worth going the little way to see it.

After returning from the chapel, we continue along the green trail, and after a few dozen metres, we’ll see the Monument of Sincere Gratitude to the Holy Father John Paul II and the Primate of the Millennium Cardinal Stefan Wyszyński, who, in the years 1960–67, met on the paths of the Jałowiec Range discussing matters of the Homeland and the Polish Church.

After a while, we emerge onto the tarmac road and march quietly through the hamlet of Siwcówka. We soon reach the building where Cardinal Wyszyński spent his holidays in the years mentioned above. He was cared for by the Resurrectionist Sisters from a nearby convent. The Primate was called ‘Uncle’ by the nuns and ‘Dear Father’ by the locals.

Interesting fact about the trail to JałowiecSiwcówka is the village of origin of Kunegunda Siwiec (1876–1955), known as Kundusia, a lay Carmelite nun who dedicated herself to helping children, young people and adults prepare for the holy sacraments and to learn about God. From 1942, Fr. Bronisław Bartkowski, Kundusia’s spiritual director, began to take notes of her supernatural conversations with the Lord Jesus, the Mother of God and the Saints. Kundusia, who was considered saint when se was still alive, died after a serious illness

The the glorification process of the servant of God Kunegunda Siwiec is currently underway in Rome.

From Siwcówka, it’s still a 10-minute walk to the car park. Along the way, you’ll pass several carefully maintained chapels testifying to the piety of the locals. At the bifurcation of the roads, where we left our car, stands the last of the information boards of the nature trail, informing us about the tradition of making wooden folk toys in Stryszawa. If you want to find out more about them, visit the Beskid Wooden Toy Centre in Stryszawa. It’s very easy to reach: driving down towards the centre of Stryszawa, you’ll see it straight ahead (you can see the colourful toys from a distance) when you’re by the church in the village. It’s best to park at the temple and walk about 100 metres, as the car park by the Centre is very small.

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