This cycling trip will lead you along the eastern part of the Tree Trail through Hrádek nad Nisou and its surroundings. This trail includes seven educational stops, each of them providing interesting facts about the trees that grow both in and outside our towns.
The trip is approximately 26 kilometres long and its altitude is about 400 metres. You should not forget to take some snacks with you because the trail offers only limited refreshment possibilities. Also, as some parts of the trail follow regular roads, it is not fully suitable for little cyclists.
You can leave your car in any of the parkings in the town centre. The trips begins at the park which is close to the primary school situated between Smetanova and Školní streets. There are 11 tree species in the park. Most of them bloom in May and June and it is therefore the best time for feasting for eyes.
After leaving the park, cycle to Horní náměstí (Upper Square) and follow 1.máje street to the south until you get to the town park. Like the previous park, this one offers a variety of exotic species. These trees were brought to parks and gardens for their significant characteristics such as large size, attractive blossoms and multicoloured autumn hues. Many of them have acclimatized and are to be seen in the open, too.
Pass through the park down to Dolní náměstí (Lower Square) and continue along Tovární street to Chotyně. Go 300 more metres and you can spend a moment in a park which belongs to local organization of Czech Fishermen Union. The fishermen´s stone placed here dates back to 1565 and was repositioned to the park from the stream Bílý potok at the Czech-German border. The fishermen had their private fishing spots marked by these stones.
Now you cycle upstream the Nisa River along Dlouhá Mez to Chotyně. Then take the left and continue upstream the Václavice Stream. Your next stop is to be found under the Grabštejn Castle at the tourist turning point. You find interesting facts about trees in winter on the information panel and if you happen to be here in winter or autumn, you can also guess the trees nearby. The photographs might help you.
Stick to the tiny road all the way to Václavice. You pass the Grabštejn Pond and Václavice dam. You can admire the statue of St John of Nepomuk which stands near the house Nr. 235 in the right bend. Cycle through the valley and then turn towards Uhelná. There you can see another tourist panel informing about the giant willow tree growing a few steps from here. You can also study different willow species and species preferring wet areas.
Keep the same direction along the walnut tree park up to the Burnt Linden Tree. This tree was struck by lightning and devastated by fire more than 30 years ago but was able to survive, regenerate and grow almost full new treetop.
At the Burnt Linden Tree you need to turn right southeast and soon you approach two giant linden trees providing shadow for the School Cross. Then follow the cycling path along the wind farm until you see the green tourist colour at the crossroads Pod Výhledy. Cycle up on the left side to the woods and then take the meadow path towards the border. The upper part of the flat ridge offers a wide view of Jizera and Lužické mountains, Ještěd and Žitava basin. If you desire more spectacular view, you can then turn to the Výhledy hill.
Cycle on across the Polish border and go down the wood path to WWI victims memorial in the village of Jasna Góra and continue down the valley to the village centre. There you can find the bus stop and a small geological exhibition right on the spot.
Your trips takes you west through Sportowa street. The little road leads you to Opolno – Zdrój, where you can admire a small park with an interesting marsh in the middle. Take the main road left and then left again after 4 kilometres in the direction to Kopaczów. You may want to stop for a while at the turning and have a look at the surface coal mine and the thermal plant station Turów.
On the arrival to Kopaczów you cross the border once again, this time back to the Czech village Oldřichov na Hranicích. The last information panel is situated near the bus stop and it deals with the age-long connection between trees and human dwellings. It explains why our predecessors planted the trees in the vicinity of their homes and why we plant trees in the cities until now. The reasons explained have become more urgent as the climate is changing.
At this point you are a little less than 3 kilometres far from the park where the trip began. You only go through Oldřichov na Hranicích to the roundabout on the road Nr. 35. You leave the roundabout towards Oldřichovská street, then take Husova street and you are back in the town centre. At the Church of Peace (Chrám Pokoje) turn left and you are at the park where you started.
Try to notice the trees where you live even after you get back home. Has this Tree Trail changed your view?