There isn’t a plenitude of tourist trails around my home town. Those few of them I’ve already bagged but one; something classified as a nordic walk, marked with red signs. Only recently I’ve discovered that the trail I’d rather despised is actually pretty long (30 km) and by its sheer length demanding enough. I decided to give it a go on the last unplanned day of my holidays. The forecast was favourable, so in the morning I packed my rucksack and head out.
The trail was circular (though not very round as you can see on the map) so it started and finished at the same spot, just by the building of the Polish Tourist and Sightseeing Society (PTTK) at the junction of Szprotawska and Żelazna streets. I headed eastward towards the neighbouring village of Bożnów, or more precisely, its part called Mały (Little) Bożnów. I walked along a tarmac road with former hospital buildings, now closed down and hopelessly decaying. About 10 minutes later I turned south, crossed a gorge via a bridge and followed another tarmac road, leading to the remotest and separate part of the village. In the process I overtook a moving tractor; to do the driver’s justice I have to admit he was mowing the road’s shoulder, raising a lot of dust into the air. I was pretty happy to leave the vehicle behind.
On the far end of the settlement the tarmac road turned into a dirt one, initially running between the fields and under two railways. After the second railway the trail entered forestry and ran through it for quite a long while. It was mostly a pine forest with occasional patches of more mixed set of trees. The trail ran quite parallel to the river Bóbr (Beaver), but rich vegetation effectively made it invisible even in near proximity. Part of the appeal of this trail is a ‘dramatic turn’ of the river and its high and steep bank called Krammler Hill, but in fact it fell short of ‘dramatic’.
Eventually the trail left the forestry for a while and run between two fields: the one on my left was a meadow, while the other was being cultivated. Two agricultural vehicles were working, and the wind was blowing enormous amount of dust off the field just into the track I was walking on. It had become hot in the meantime and the mixture of dirt and sweat was hardly apreferable state of affairs. Thankfully soon I left the field behind me, just to be attacked by a stray dog, as its owner claimed. Fortunately the dog gave up after one attempt and I could continue through a small village. At the far end the trail left it and went through the woods for a while, and eventually led me to the village of Bobrzany. From there the trail ran along the tarmac road, as it turned out leading to the town of Małomice. After leaving the village it ran through the forest giving nice shadows, though the traffic was a bit too heavy for my liking. A couple of times I had to wait on the grassy uneven shoulder to allow vehicles from both directions to get past each other.
Eventually I reached a bridge over the river Bóbr, where my current trail joined the green trail I covered last year. Both crossed the river and led to the town of Małomice, but unlike the green one, mine passed by the town centre, going round an artificial lake on my right, and allotments on the left. About 15 minutes later I stepped onto another tarmac road that led me out of the town.
The traffic there was next to nothing: just one car from the opposite direction at the beginning of that stretch, and a couple of noisily talking women on bikes overtaking me midway through. After quite a long walk I reached the village of Żelisław. It initially looked like a small settlement with a few houses; but the further I went the more I realised its surprisingly greater size. On the far side of the village the secret of little traffic on the road was solved: the road accessible to cars finished there. It turned into a dirt track that crossed a railway and entered woodlands. The deeper into the forest the more damaged and uneven the road was. It led through the forest, coming closer and closer to the river Kwisa until it virtually ran upstream along its bank. Soon I reached a busy road and a bridge over the river. There my trail met the green one again. I crossed it and headed north-west towards the village of Trzebów, went through it, crossed the busy road (a lot of military vehicles – even one armoured infantry car) and entered woodlands on the other side.
The trail ran nicely through the forest until I reached a railway. There was a passage made, but a big sign read: No Trespassing. It was confusing: there wasn’t any information who had issued the ban, it was on the other side of the track and a good few meters away, and could have applied to the forest as well as the railway. I decided to ignore it regardless its intended meaning; to be honest, I was in the middle of nowhere, and had very little choice. I double checked if there was any oncoming train, and crossed the track. From there the walk was pretty nice through the forest sheltering me from the scorching sun. In a few openings I felt its overwhelming heat, and was always glad to be back among the trees. Unfortunately at one point my trail ran along the railway, and I was exposed constantly to the sun. Thankfully I had taken suncream with me and could apply it. I didn’t get burnt, but the heat itself was draining my strength.
When I was quite close to a remote part of the town of Żagań called Moczyń my trail surprisingly left the green one, turned sharp to the left, crossed the railway (no confusing signs this time) and ran along it on the other side. It turned out to be pretty fortunate as about 10 minutes later it ran along the edge of woodlands giving respite in its shadows; otherwise I’d have walked along a very long street with no shelter at all. Some time later I reached Żelazna Street, I think the longest one in Żagań, and followed it all the way to the finishing line. When I got there it turned out I’d clocked almost 30 km.
The trail didn’t provide any photo opportunities as it led either through woodlands (trees obscuring views), or open-space flat plains with uninspiring fields, or residential areas without any interesting objects. Despite that the walk was very nice and worth doing.