Hundreds of kilometres of marked cycling routes and a dense network or wood roads are the cyclists’ dream land. The cycling public including less ambitious sportsmen and families with children may choose from numerous scenic routes found in the Železná Ruda district, while the sturdy mountain-bikers may test their fitness negotiating the tracks leading to the top of Pancíř, Poledník, Falkenstein or event the highest peak in the Šumava and Bayerischer Wald, Grosser Arber.
For the real or would-be champions there is the demanding event of the Šumava marathon. And those who get tired of pedalling to get around, may use the numerous bus and train lines or the cableways to the tops of Pancíř or Špičák. The pedestrian tourists may either visit the popular destinations or follow any of the marked paths criss-crossing the wooded ranges of the forest land. No one will stop you if you prefer riding across the countryside to reach places rarely visited or tendered by man.
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Altogether 16 km. A nice trip also suitable for families with children. Start in Špičák under the chairlift. It will take you up to the top of Pancíř, where you can refresh yourselves before another hike or, according to the weather, use a lookout tower. The red signage will lead you to the Tomandl Cross and then through the ridge to the top of Můstek. It, with its height above sea level 1234 m, creates the highest peak of the Pancíř Ridge. One of the oldest Czech trade roads to Bavaria used to lead this way and there also used to stand a tourist cottage, today unfortunately destroeyd by fire.
From Můstek keep yourselves leading along the red signage, to just a few kilometres far Prenet, where there is a possibility to sit in the Prenet boarding house and have a rest before a 4 kilometres‘ long way along the green signage. It will lead you through a bit steeper descent to the railway station in Zelená Lhota.
The nature trail; Length: 36 km. The way searching after the remnants of glass making operations and step by step disappering footprints of glass making in the area of Železnorudsko.
Height difference: 850 m.
Difficulty: the whole route middle hard, the individual legs from easy ones to middle hard ones.
How to go through the route: the whole one by bike/on foot, individual legs by bike, on foot, Leg number 1 is also suitable for families with small children (even for prams) and the wheel-chair users.
The trail could be also gone through in legs:
1. Železná Ruda – the Alžbětín customs house: 7 stopovers, the Debrník Circle of the natural trail The Secret Defence of the Iron Curtain is also situated on the same trail; length: 6 km.
2. Alžbětín – Svarožná – Špičák: 5 stopovers, Length: 13 km (it is possible to come back behind the stopover number 11 along the River Svarožná and back to Alžbětín, ca. 6 km).
3. Špičák – Gerlova Huť: 2 stopovers; Length: 10.5 km. 4. Gerlova Huť – Železná Ruda: 3 stopovers; Length: 6.5 km.
The trail signage : the trail is marked with a glassmaker in a yellow square along its entire length, it also uses the marked tourist tracks, except for the 3 legs (ca. 9 km). The crossways are especially marked through, the marks are situated after longer distances on the roads.!!!Be careful with the crossroads when going down the hill.
From the starting place in the centre of Železná Ruda the trail descends in Sklářská Street along the yellow and green tourist signages to the River Řezná (S2). It turns left behind the railway, it goes up along the green signage along the cemetery (S3) toward Debrník (S4) and from here to Ferdinand’s Valley (S5) and back to Debrník. It continues to the left along the red signage toward Alžbětín, after 200 m S6 and from here further under the viaduct, it crosses the River Řezná and turns along the yellow signage onto the bike track.
In the middle of the track it crosses the road,the yellow signage leads to the railway station, but the track goes on along the bike track with its own signage to the former customs house in Alžbětín (S7). The Glass Making Nature Trail crosses the customs house and goes on up stream the River Svarožná (S8), where only the alleys of grown trees remind us of the former settlement. In the Valley of the River Svarožná there are stopovers S8 –S11.
In front of S10 and S11 the way is passable more badly(in the length of ca. 500 m), in this part of the way we recommend the bikers to sit off their bikes and walk.
Behind S11 it crosses the bridge aross the River Svarožná, from here it goes to the right along the road in front of the former company and turns left up to the former Rendl’s Yard and from here it keeps leading along forest roads onto the red signage, where it turns left to Devil’s Lake. It passes the A. Kašpar headstone, near the former Bridgeway it turns steeply down among the trees to the lake (!!! sit off the bike and walk here). By Devil’s Lake it leaves the marking again and leads along a little road down to Špičák (S12) past the Devil’s Mill Farm and Boarding House to the main road.
From here it keeps leading with its own marking, it rises steeply uphill (back views) and step by step across a romantic meadow with a little cottage and a view of Gr. Arber, it rises to the Belveder way. On it to the left along the blue signage to the crossroads Hofmanky, from here to the right along the green signage via Zadní hájovna and Nový Brunst (S13) with a building, a former glass-making village with about 20 houses used to be here some time ago (a photo on the back side). In Gerlova Hutˇit crosses the main road, there is S14 in a new parking lot. From the parking lot along the green signage again toward Železná Ruda.
It comes to S15, about 200 m behind it turns right (to S16 sit off the bike and walk) and it descends an old road with its own parking again to the petrol station in Pamferova Huť (S16). !!!The trail crosses frequently used roads in Alžbětín, in Špičák and in Gerlova Huť. You have to go for about 500 m along the main road from the petrol station in Pamferova Huť to the turning to Engadin.
The leg along the road is not marked and it is possible to leave it alone behind the stopover 16 and from the stopover 15 along the green tourist signage to Železná Ruda or along the green to the Gradl Hotel and from here to the road to Klatovy. Cross the road in an aslant way to go along the signage over again to Engadin and across the slopes to Železná Ruda.
Length: 21 km, a middle hard trail
Špičák Saddle – Black Lake – White Gorge Waterfall – Stateček – Hamry – the Hamry Mountain Cottage – Špičák Saddle .
Note: from the Hamry Mountain Cottage possible 1km to the railway station Hojsova Stráž and back to Špičák by train.
Length: 33 km, a middle hard trail
We start the journey in Špičák – if we like challenges , we will climb up Špičák Saddle and further along the tarmac road to the peak of Pancíř. It is about 7 km of quite a steep rise. If we do not want to weak ourselves at the very beginning of our journey, we will let us take out to the peak of Pancíř by chairlift, with our bikes as well.
From Pancíř we go on along quite a comfortable road along the ridges via Můstek to Prenet. From the Šumava Mountain ridges we will descent into the Valley of the River Úhlava – via Zelená Lhota (Be careful on the crossroads with the 1st class road.) to the nearly vanisked village of Hamry. Whereas we admired a view of the ridges to the valley in the first part of our journey, now we admire an opossite view – from the valley to the ridges.
In Hamry we recommend to climb up the St. Mary’s Painful and to the ruins of the cemetery with the monument Common Way. The ruins of a demolished paper mill are worth our attention in Hamry (do not trespass on this estate, danger of injury). After passing the last little houses of Hamry, we climb up almost toward Špičák Saddle. We will connect to the road Klatovy – Železná Ruda and climb up to Špičák Saddle and go down to Špičák.
Note: from the Hamry Mountain Cottage it is possible to climb up 1 km to the railway station Hamry – Hojsova Stráž and come back to Špičák by train.
Along the green signage from Železná Ruda past the cemetery to Debrník, through Ferdinand’s Valley to the tourist border crossing (altogether 2.7 km). Cross the bridge and the border here and go on 2 more km to the fork. From here less than 2 km of a very nice walk along the navigation channel.
Altogether 30 km, a middle hard trail
Železná Ruda – Debrník – a water canal – former Hůrka – Laka Lake – former Hůrka – Ascherlack – Gerlova Huť – Nad Pošťákem – Železná Ruda
Length: 15 km, an easy difficulty
Ride out of Železná Ruda toward Špičák. Let yourselves take out there by chairlift that will pick your bike up, too, to the peak of Pancíř. From this place follow the red signage to the Tomandl Cross, where you can turn right along the yellow one onto the paved path towards Šmauzy. Go down here via Stará Hájenka to Nový Brunst and Gerlova Huť.
Continue shortly in the direction to Prášily and turn onto a bike track right away – along the so-called motorway you descend toward Debrník and from it then to Železná Ruda.