Old tower Old hut
"Blueberries mountain", as we could translate it, is the tallest of the small range
that we call Rychlebské Hory in Czech and Góry Złote in Polish, on a border that curiously places the northern country on the southern hillside and vice-versa, inside one of the most remote corners of Czech republic.
Bílá Voda, located at the far end of this "peninsula" and owning the only religious convent in the country perfectly illustrates these strange geographic borders, like the village of Horní Hoštice/Gościce, cut in two...
Geographical considerations apart, Borówkowa Góra / Borůvková Hora (formerly "Heidelkoppe" bf WW2) is a fantastic viewpoint, on the fore-range of the Sudetes, that allows breathtaking views all around. One can see the main ridge of the Bardo and Owl mountains
, stretching NW, as well as the eastern giants of the Jeseníky region
in the south.
The summit reaches exactly 900m and despite a small meadow, is entirely covered by trees. But the 25m high outlook tower overcome this drawback and makes it a fine goal for all sorts of excursions, on foot, on a mountain bike
, or by skis or snowshoes in winter. The tower replaces a former mountain hut called "Schutzhaus Heidelkoppe" that appeared in 1929 and lasted till the war. Prior to that existed other huts, and not less than three former outlook towers that all collapsed in 1882, 1900, and 1922 ! This historical touristic background inspired nowaday's brand new tower, built in 2006.
Outlook towers aren't the only historical background. Borówkowa Góra / Borůvková Hora rather evokes the strong Czech/Polish friendship
, born during the communist era. Both Solidarity parties of each oppressed country started to hold secret meetings in this remote place from the middle of the eighties, following the establishing of the martial law in Poland. Vaclav Havel, recently deceased, used to be one of the most eminent members of these conspiracy meetings. Lech Wałęsa, despite hot having been physically present at this place, was a member of the polish organization. The neighboring localities of Lądek-Zdrój, Javornik, and their surrounding villages on the path to the mountain, were the theater of epic clandestine mail carrying expeditions across the forbidden border in mountains. Several informative signs
on the top relate anecdotes from this period.
On skis Polish marks Czech marks
Three cities form a triangle of communication axis around which are located all possible trailheads: Złoty Stok and Lądek-Zdrój in Poland, and Javorník. in Czech Republic.
While Złoty Stok is located at the top end of the range of Góry Złote, Lądek-Zdrój and Javorník are located on each hillside, but are linked by a road pass, Ladecké sedlo (CZ) / Przełęcz Lądecka (PL). This pass, not taken into consideration by Google Maps, is open since 2008 and the Schengen space.
Similarly, Bílá Voda is linked to Złoty Stok, as well as Horní Hoštice with Gościce, and a crowd of others nowadays open to cars that most maps still do not show. The only one to avoid is between Jasienica Górna and Horní Heřmanice, unless you own a land-rover...
Coming from Wrocław, it is not necessary to drive through Kłodzko. At the south end of Ząbkowice Śląskie (sharp turn at the petrol station), take the direction of Nysa and Złoty Stok, which leads you to a very scenic road that shows all the forehills of the Góry Złote. Scenic also is the adjective for the one that links Złoty Stok to Lądek-Zdrój, via mountain forests and a little pass. If going to Javorník, you cross beautiful green meadows overlooked by the mountains on the right.
The region is much more complicated to reach from central Czech Republic. When coming from Olomouc, take the road to Šumperk, Jesenik and Javorník. Otherwise, from Praha, many Czech people prefer crossing the Polish enclave of the Kłodzko valley via Náchod and reach Złoty Stok this way.
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Płonica church with Góry Złote in background
There are as many possible ways to reach the top than there are forestry tracks inside the network of the dense forests. We are going to describe only few of them, the most usual.
* From Złoty Stok, when heading into the gorge known as Złoty Jar (See album here
), we progressively get out the forest and reach the summit by following the main ridge of the range on the green marked trail. A similar start can be done in Bílá Voda following the red trail on the Czech side of the border.
* From Lądek-Zdrój, the educative sign marked with a red and white bicolor square makes a very interesting loop, crossing a various landscape made of forests and meadows. We see on the way the picturesque settlement of Wrzosówka with its chapel, and cross a short but impressive rocky gorge.
* From Javorník and its renaissance castle one cannot miss, an interesting loop via the red trail that visits Vysoký Kámen (high rock) and the green trail for the return.
* But the easiest hike, ideal with young children, is certainly while starting from the pass Ladecké sedlo (CZ) / Przełęcz Lądecka (PL), 668m high, which places the top less than a hour of walk.
* There are no mountain huts in this part of the Sudetes. The buildings near the outlook tower aren't for this purpose despite they can look like.
* Wildcamping : there is not evident restriction like that in the whole area, but try to avoid doing it on the meadow near the outlook tower.
* Lots of accomodations, from agrotouristic farms to hotels, in the areas of Złoty Stok, Lądek-Zdrój and Javorník.
Just look into google for a location name followed by one of the words as follows :
- Accomodation = Noclegi (PL), Ubytovanie (CZ)
- Hotel = Hotel/Hotel. "Hostels" often designate Youth hostels or motels.
- Green lodge = Agroturystyka (PL), Agroturistika (CZ)
- Guesthouse = Pokoje gościnne (PL), Penzión (CZ)
- Summer residence = Dom letniskowe (PL), Chalupa (CZ)
- Flat for rent = Kwatery (PL), Privat (CZ)
- Mountain hut = Schronisko (PL), Chata/Horsky Hotel (CZ)
- Tavern = Chata (PL) => not to mix with the Czech homonym
- Restoracja (PL), Restaurace (CZ)
Some examples :
- Green lodge
- Mountain hotel of Złoty Jar
Złoty Jar hotel