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Eagle’s Path: A Spectacular Hike in the Polish Tatra Mountains

Eagle’s Path is a spectacular hike. A tough one. And very rewarding. Eagle’s Path – because that’s the one I’m talking about – is probably one of the most famous hikes in the Polish Tatra Mountains. This mountain range is very small but very special not only to the Polish people but also for their southern neighbors – Slovakians – as it is located at their common border. Large parts of the national parks – both Polish and Slovakian – were declared a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve.

What is so special about this hike? It’s challenging, beautiful and simply epic!

"Beautiful views from the Eagle's Path"

Beautiful views from the Eagle’s Path

Challenging

This is a rather challenging path: it leads through all major peaks and mainly follows the exposed ridges. It’s also long and – in my opinion – if you wish to walk it you should divide it into two, one day hikes. But many people walk it in one day and having completed it, they claim it was one of the most challenging hikes in their lives.

Beautiful

Poland has so little high mountains that Tatra range is treated as a national treasure. On the one hand it is deeply appreciated for its beauty and well connected with the local and national history. On the other, however, countless school trips filled its paths every year making it crowded and hard to walk.

"Beautiful lakes in the Tatras Mountains"

Beautiful lakes in the Tatras Mountains

Epic

It is stated that from the moment the path was established, over 110 years ago, more than a hundred people died attempting to cross it. The main cause of these accidents is related to weather rapid changes and overcrowding. Seven years ago it was decided that the most dangerous part was avid tourists passing each other when attached to the chains. But even today to cross this path you should be well prepared. It is definitely not for faint-hearted.

"Scenes from the Eagle's Nest in Poland"

Scenes from the Eagle’s Nest

My story hiking the Eagle’s Path

I walked a part of Eagle’s Path ten years ago, starting in the west with a cable railway ride. I followed the path towards the east and went down to the mountain hut somewhere in the middle. I’m not sure to what extent it is useful to write here all Polish names of peaks and saddles but the general itinerary was as follows: KUŹNICE – KASPROWY WIERCH – ŚWINICA – PRZEŁĘCZ ZAWRAT – KOZIA PRZEŁĘCZ – KOZI WIERCH – ZAMARZŁY STAW – CZARNY STAW GĄSIENICOWY – SCHRONISKO MUROWANIEC – KUŻNICE.

As I walked it over a decade ago, the most challenging part was related to passing too many people who went in the opposite direction when standing on the ledge and holding the chains. And believe me, some people were RUNNING just like mountain goats here and there. While to some it might be scary, to me it was annoying. And although the views were spectacular and very rewarding I couldn’t fully enjoy it. I think that climbing high should give you a feeling of isolation and remoteness and although this is really high there is no isolation at all.

"Craggy peaks of the Tatra Mountains in Poland"

Craggy peaks of the Tatra Mountains

In terms of physical condition I think it is rather demanding. Mainly because steep climbs up and down but also focus on the path as in both sides there are deep valleys which increases the sense of being exposed to the power of elements. If you suffer agoraphobia you should avid this path and focus on some other treks in Tatra Mountains – which are numerous and spectacular!

Have you ever done any hiking in Poland?

This is a guest post kindly provided by travel blogger Agata Mleczko. from the blog NullnFull. You can also reach her on the following social media platforms – Twitter, Facebook &Instagram

 

Join the discussion 25 Comments

  • Amy Putkonen says:

    Looks like a great hike. Wow. I was just watching Mile, Mile & a Half on Netflix last night. Nature hiking is good stuff!

  • I spent a week in Poland about 10 years ago also, but I focused more on historical things than outdoor adventure. I remember a few Polish people telling me I had to come back and visit the Tatra Mountains. It looks beautiful, but I don’t think I would like climbing on chains. I will settle with hiking the lower part and hanging out at the beautiful lakes.

    • @Ted I do love the sound of the hike – minus the people. I never like to be rushed in an area with exposure. I have yet to visit Poland but I think I’d want to include the Tatra Mountains when I finally get there.

  • Desiree Ricks says:

    “Great, thank you for sharing this short article post.Really looking forward to read more. Fantastic.”

  • Mette says:

    I’ve heard of people skiing in the Tatra Mountains, but I’ve never considered going to Poland for a hike. Even though it is right in my backyard.

    • @Mette Maybe you’d want to give the hike with chains a pass but the countryside looks outstanding.

    • Joanna says:

      Hi guys,
      I going to climb a bit tomorrow. I am Polish, I live in Krakow and well I am in the bus to Zakopane.
      Although it is so close and I adore Tatra mountains it took me a while to get there. I am sitting wright oposite to the boys who… I could bet they will be running like in a gym ASAP. No doubts. I heir Then talking. And I just cought myself thinking about the isolation and Eagle’s Path. I have not been there YET. One thing – good to see someone. Behind od in front od you. A distant hiker. I like the feeling that I am not alone. High on the mountain. But sad tru is what the author said. Unfortunatelly Tatras are overcrowded…
      Tomorrow I hope to hike on Red Pics. Czerwone Wierchy. Wish me good weather!
      Best
      Joanna

  • I’m rather embarrassed to admit that I hadn’t realized that there were mountains in Poland. It looks like quite a beautiful place to hike and easy to understand why it’s considered a national treasure!

  • Looks like an amazing place to hike. Such beautiful scenery. It definitely sounds challenging — not sure if I’m brave enough or not. Oh, sure — I’ll do it!! I love that photo of the “craggy peaks”.

  • Such a spectacular journey! I can certainly see why you endured all the physical challenges, it’s well worth it in the end. Gorgeous scenery and pics too!!

  • NullNFull says:

    Yes Jeff it is rather challenging in terms of physical preparations. But very, very rewarding! Cathy, there are also some treks that are much less challenging but also beautiful. Lisa – I bet I don’t know half of the most beautiful mountain ranges in your country. But that’s the beauty of blogging, isn’t it? To know a place that you haven’t heard before. So happy I could share it with all of you!

  • Marcia says:

    I’m surprised that so many people make this hike given it’s remoteness. It does look absolutely spectacular. Thanks for the virtual tour, Leigh/Agata.

  • Henrik Stryhn says:

    Amazing trail! Anyone knows if the safety harness you wear, is something you rent before you are sent out or if it is something you bring yourself?

  • Maja says:

    I was two times on Eagle’s Path. Here I described my trips: majatravels.com/orla-perc-most-difficult-trail-in-tatras/
    I was there without harness, as almost everyone. If you prefer to have harness, in Zakopane you can find some place to rent it.

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