Biking around Sobieszewska Island

Ostatnia aktualizacja: 11 kwietnia 2017 r.

Biking around Sobieszewska Island

Wincenty Pol cycling route (24 km, blue)

We invite all visiting picturesque land of Sobieszewska Island and its inhabitants, to spend free time cycling. Active rest on two Wheel, is not only a fashionable way of spending free time, but first of all the way for a healtht lifestyle and direct contact with a surrounding nature. The area of island is 35 km2, forests are 1/3 of its area and 11km beach is the longest among Gdańsk beaches.

Over 100 year history of the Island used to be and is still connected with the impact of man and nature forces. In the winter 1840, as a result of ice jam, which was created in Płonia, overflowing waters of Vistula river broke Vistula Bar nearby Górki village. In this way the new Vistula estuary was created, later named by Wincenty Pol – Bold Vistula. Therefore, peninsula was formed, which western part was the land of present Sobieszewska Island. The island gained its final shape in 1895. Wanting to solve the problem of every year floods on Żuławy, on the order of the emperor Wilhelm II, in 1889-1895 the channel of 7,1 km length was built, which was called The Vistula Cross-Cut, through which the main stream goes to the sea.

We start cycling on the Island at floating bridge in Sobieszewo. The first stage of our trip is Sanctuary of Lady Saletyńska, located in front of river crossing. Then the route leads to the centre of Sobieszewo, in which at Turystyczna 3, Wincenty Pol Commemoration Hall and Culture House “Treasury Island”. Going further, on the left side we pass Amber Centre Gallery located at Promienista 2, and on the right the building of Fire Brigade (OSP), after cycling 200m (from OSP) turn right Przegalińska street (it is a section of around 750 m of the whole route), which was built on flood bank, going along the bank of Dead Vistula.

One kilometer further, at Przegalińska Street, we will find a house dated from 1906, owned by Association for the care of he blind in Laski near Warsaw, in which during WWII, a field hospital was located. After biking few hundred meters we can go left to Wieniecka Street on Sobieszewska Pastwa (around 3 km from the beginning of the route), to find the eclectic manor house of a romantic block dated back from 19th century.

We go back to the route and we continue our trip along Dead Vistul. On the right we pass by a plenteous rushes society, where we may admire rare and protected plants. After biking another 2 km, we pass by one of the oldest building on the Island – a wooden house on the stony foundation from 1741. We cycle to the end of Przegalińska Street, where on the right, water gates, between Dead Vistula and The Vistula Cross-Cut, can be observed. In order to see them closely, you should turn right on the crossing of Świbnieńska (8,5km from the begining of the route).

Monumental northern sluice from 1895, started to function together with finishing The Vistula Cross-Cut. In the past, the wood was drifted here to Gdańsk. A descroption of sluice can be found in Günter Grass book, titled “The tin drum”. The original devices, dated back to 19th century, which used to drift a sluice, are placed in a neighbouring building. The second, southern sluice, put to use in 1980, is used to transport water units.

We go back to Świbnieńska Street, next to the port with basing flotilla of Vistula ice-breakers. Cycling along The Vistula Cross-Cut, on the left side we pass by well-kept and renovated fishers houses ( 68). It is one of this type settlement built on the bank. After cycling from the beginning of the route 11,5 km, we reach Świbno. At the height of ferry passage Świbno/Mikoszewo, we will find a monumental obelisk. It was solemnly unveiled on 31st of March 1995, on the occasion of Sobieszewska Island creation. Nearby the obelisk, a description on this hydrotechnical achievement, which is The Vistula Cross-Cut, is placed on a table.

At the mouth of The Vistula Cross-Cut (in a distance of around 3 km from port in Świbno) The Seagull Shoal reserve is located. It was created in 1991, and it owes its name to sandy lands, formed from materials brought by Vistula stream, which are the place of periodical stay of many thousands of birds (mainly gulls, terns and plovers). Since few years, on reservation territory, at both sides of stream, beavers naturalized, and on sandy islands Baltic seals lie in from time to time. The Seagull Shoal reservation, as well as Birds Paradise reservation in Wschodnie Górki, under the name of Special Protection Area of Birds Vistula Stream, is included in the European network of protected lands Natura 2000, functioning in all European Union countries.

We continue our biking trip” we are at the crossing of Świbnieńska and Boguckiego; from that place to Sobieszewo, a blue biking route will almost totally overlap with a green walking route of Sobieszewska Island, which is PTTK route. In some places this route is very sandy. We go to the end of Świbnieńska Street, we pass by a fishing harbour on the right. Then, we turn right from the asphalt road to the road leading to the forest. Now, we go according to a direction indicated on the signs painted on the trees. On Świbnieński forest section, there are few turns, after it we go into a middle road of the island forest. Going this way, around 4 km from ferry passage in Świbno and 16 km from the beginning of the route, we reach the place, in which walking and biking routes are separated. We are in Wieniec. A blue biking route leads through a middle road, and a green walking route turns left and leads to the highest hill on Sobieszewska Island – Góra Mew (32 m above sea level). Fort he eager cyclists, this mountiant can be also reached by bike. Continuing biking in the middle of forest, we turn right, in this place a walking and biking route are connected again. After cycling 6 km from Świbno and 18 km from the beginning of the blue router, we approach Olrinki. From the sea side, we will see a steel construction of the tower, on which a radar station was located in the past. Going a bit from the route in this place, at Lazurowa Street we will find “Forsterówka” . It is a larch manor house, built in 1930s on the order and according to partial plans of Adolf Hitler. It was used as a summer residence for the gauleiter of Gdańsk NSDAP district, Albert Forster. The buildings below manor house, primarily built on the order of Free Gdańsk City Senate, as a sanatorium for the children with tubrculosis, and in the period of gaultier Forster reign, they were the seat of the school for party activists, mainly youth, and in the last months of the war, a seat of field hospital.

From Orlinki, towards Sobieszewo, we will go in the middle of forest, by running down from a green PTTK route. After cycling around 3 km from Orlinki and 20 km from the beginning of the route, we approach Falowa Street (asphalt road) in Sobieszewo. We turn left, going further to the crossing with Radosna Street, on which we turn left, and then we approach the crossing of Radosna with Tęczowa Street. We are in Sobieszewo, nearby Primary School no 87. We may continue our trip to Górki Wschodnie and Birds Paradise reservation (2,4 km to reservation), by turning Tęczowa Street or finish the trip by Sobieszewska Island, going straight through Radosna Street tot the crossing with Turystyczna Street and then right to the pontoon bridge in Sobieszewo.

The area of Birds Paradise reservation, created in 1959, is 198ha. Reservation includes two sea lakes: smaller – Karaś – Crucian Carp and bigger –Birds Paradise Reservation and surrounding land consisting of cane rushes, a fragment of young pine forest and dunes. It is an important area for water and mud birds.Reservation and one of the lakes took its name from a big number of birds, which periodically stay here during their trips. In the region of Gdańsk Bay, cross migratory routes of birds, running from the northern and southern Europe and western Siberia to southern and western Europe, Africa and Black Sea.

Deciding to visit Birds Paradise reservation , we turn right in Tęczowa Street, we go to the crossing with Sobieszowska Street, here we turn right, and then left in the forest break-through and we go to the end of Wincenty Pol route (2,4km from the school in Sobieszewo and 24 km from the beginning of the route at pontoon bridge). However, we may use well-prepared Natural and Didactic Biking Path, both for cyclists and walkers, in Birds Paradise reservation. There are two viewing towers on its route, from which a beauty and nature of Crucian Carp and Bird Paradise lakes, Mierzeja Messyńska with sea side beach and Bold Vistula Stream with a dam, separating Vistula from the lake and Gdańsk Bay, can be observed.

We may come back to Sobieszewo through a biking route or going from this place through a Natural and Didactic Biking Path (marked with orange ducks), we will approach Górki Wschodnie, and from here we will go straight to the bridge in Sobieszewo.

Text was taken from Sobieszewska Island online service.