Karkonosze Region in winter
The Karkonosze, or Giant Mountains, are a mountain range located in south-western Poland and form part of the Sudety Mountain Range. The Czech-Polish border, which divides the historic regions of Bohemia and Lower Silesia, runs along the main ridge.
The peak, Mount Sniezka in Karpacz, is its highest point with an elevation of 1,603 metres (5,259 ft). A winter trip to the mountains for many people is associated only with madness on skis or on a snowboard. For those who do not appreciate this form of activity they can spend their time differently and the Giant Mountains offer many winter trails. When there is much snow in the area, these trails can be covered on foot, with snowshoes or on cross-country skis. In the Karkonosze region there are many hiking trails that can be easily conquered even in winter. They are of variable length and different degrees of difficulty. From gently sloped paths that are suitable for children to demanding black trails for the more determined walker. The Karkonosze are also the main centre for cross-country skiing in Poland with many runs available both for beginners or more experienced skiers. Whilst the use of snowshoes, which enables walking, even in deep snow, is becoming more and more popular. The city of Jelenia Gora in winter offers visitors a starting point for trails into the Karkonosze Mountains. One starts near the main railway station and takes walkers via Krzywousty Hill, along a historical nature trail, up to the town of Dwor Czarne. From the town of Piechowice there is a trail to Szklarska Poreba and the village of Jagniatkow. Whilst walking this route hikers can reach Sniezne Kotly, Labski Szczyt, Wielki Szyszak, Szrenica as well as other Karkonosze Mountain peaks. More seasoned tourists can hike from Piechowice up Mount Sniezka and Okraj Pass to cross over into the Czech Republic. Along the way, the panoramic views of the Giant Mountains from the village of Michalowice are unique. On a trail to the imposing Jizera Mountains walkers pass through the villages of Swieradow, Kopaniec and Stara Kamienica, take in the panoramic views from the rocky escarpment, “Bobrowe Skaly" (Beaver Cliffs) or from the infamous "Zakret Smierci" (Bend of Death) on the road to Szklarska Poreba. There are two trails that pass through the village of Piechowice Dolne. The first is the yellow route through Cicha Dolina (Silent Valley), which leads to Jagniatkow and further into the Giant Mountains. Points of interest along the way include a 700-year-old yew tree and mine shafts from the Second World War. The second is along the main road (No. 366), or the forest path above it, towards the town of Sobieszow where one of the largest historical monuments in this region is located, Chojnik Castle.