Through the ridge of the Magura Wątkowska Range

Through the ridge of the Magura Wątkowska Range

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Distance: 14.0 km
Time to complete: 4:45 h
Degree of difficulty: Medium

Through the ridge of the Magura Wątkowska Range

Routing: Bartne – Kornuty – Kornuty Reserve – Wątkowa – Majdan Pass – Polish Tourist and Sightseeing Society’s (PTTK) shepherd’s hut in Bartne – Bartne

The mountains of Beskid Niski seem gentle and small – and indeed, there are no long and steep climbs. Their peaks are not prominent and do not offer vast panoramas. However, you can explore picturesque valleys, interesting traces of the distant past in small villages hidden among the mountains, and vast wild forests. Finally, tourists are usually no more than occasional. All of these features perfectly describe the current route, leading to one of the greatest natural curiosities of Beskid Niski: sandstone rocks in the Kornuty Reserve. The reserve is situated on the border of the Magura National Park, which protects the wildest parts of these small mountains.

A trip to the reserve is not demanding. Just follow the marks of the trail. Some of them are faded, as being rarely renewed. We start our trip from a car park in Bartne, near a wooden Orthodox church, and go downhill through an asphalt road, following no trail. A small village in a valley at the foot of the Magura Wątkowska Range is known for its preserved wooden Lemko huts, called “chyże”. You should stop to see a wooden Greek Catholic Orthodox church, currently housing the Museum of Orthodox Art. Less than a kilometre away, we reach the yellow trail on the left – right after that, we turn right, following its marks. The trail runs to the forest through a dirt road. Before we go into the depths of the forest, it is worth looking back at the view of the Bartne Valley and surrounding mountains. Then, we take a long climb up through the forest until we reach the ridge of the Magura Wątkowska Range. The green trail runs this way. We head to the left: after over a kilometre, having passed the flattened peak of Kornuty (830 m above sea level), we encounter the information boards of the reserve. From here, a short path leads to the most interesting grouping of sandstone rocks. Then, we go back through a ridge to the yellow trail and continue a ridge road along the green trail. We get through the clearly elevated, but forested peak of Wątkowa (846 m above sea level) and soon we come to a small pass with a statue of Pope John Paul II and a viewpoint, from which you can even see the Tatra Mountains. From here, we go steeply downhill along the red trail until we reach the Majdan Pass. Then, going through meadows, groves and even wetland marshes, we head a Polish Tourist and Sightseeing Society’s (PTTK) shepherd’s hut in Bartne. Here, we find a road running along no trail, but leading to a car park near an Ortodox church. Getting there takes less than an hour.
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