Poland – Cross-Country Skiing in the Jizerske Mountains
Jakuszyce village is situated in the Jizerske Mountains but in Poland, mere six kilometers by E65 road from Harrachov to Szklarska Poreba. People who love historic landmarks will be probably disappointed but people who love relax and sport will love it there. In the summer season, bikers can make a use of a vast network of trails as well as walkers. In the winter season, high altittude and climate make the area around Jakuszyce a great place for cross-country skiers. They can ride on 100 kilometers of ski trails of varied difficulties. These cross-country tracks in Poland are connected to tracks in the Czech Republic.
It is really easy to ge to Jakuszyce. Well, if not going on your own than you can get here by car through Harrachov. For a small charge you can park your car right at the biatlon stadium, Jakuszyce. You may also travel by public transport - bus or train. In winter, there operate free-of-charge skibuses departing from Harrachov.
In case you travel to Jakuszyce for the first time and you are not aware of the environment you need not to worry. The main routes are very well marked and interconnected. Therefore, anyone can plan his or her route according to his or her abilities or adjust it along the way. I recommend to make a break at Orle historical settlement formerly known as Karlsthal. Between the years 1754–1888 there operated even glassworks. At the present, there are only remains of the original buildings as well as buildings at the borderline. The most well preserved and the most interesting structure regarding aesthetics is picturesque gamekeeper's cabin. It is made of stone and has been partially renovated.
It is here where you can get warm and eat something. Usually, it is crowded. However, a a buffe operates on the ground as well as the first floor. Staff is very friendly and fast. Moreover, you can pay here with Czech crowns. Even though it is a historic buidling, the restroom is modern and what matters the most - clean. Who doesn't need to get herself warm can buy home-made sausages.
About 1 kilometer down the road to Orle village, there is a border crossing to the Czech Republic. The Jizera River makes the borderline here. If you don't want to get your feet wet you can make the crossing across a wooden bridge (the Karlovsky bridge). It was built for tourists and replaced in 2005 the original 1901 bridge made of reinforced concrete (demolished in 1979).
A marked tourist trail leads to the border crossing from Orle. On the other side of the bridge, it either can take you to Jizerka village (Czechia), a parking lot below Bukovec, or you can go along the right bank of the River Jizera to Martinske valley and then to Korenov or Harrachov. If the weather conditions are favorable, there is nothing better than to sit for a while at Jizera's riverbank covered in large stones, put your feet inside icy water and enjoy almost wild nature. Children would especially love a breakt on the water.
When you return back to Jakuszyc or if you intend to I recommend you to avoid a buffet to get something good to eat. Instead visit a restaurant/hotel on the other side of the road. The prices are bit higher yet the environment is much better. My last visit truly overall enhanced my experience there.
GPS: 50°49'07.5"N 15°26'15.9"E
Text: Veronika Schubertová, Martina Schubertová
Photos: Veronika Schubertová
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