Hala Gąsienicowa (Gąsienicowa Glade) – Czarny Staw Gąsienicowy Lake, time to walk 6 h
This is half a day trip, relatively difficult, with altitude difference at 600 metres. The tour is one of the classics and takes you right into the heart of the Tatras, where the nicest trails into the highest parts of the mountains start. It offers outstanding views over the peaks of the middle part of the Tatras.
The furthest you can go with your own car is Czecha street near John Paul II's roundabout. Then we continue to Kuźnice on Aleja Przewodników Tatrzańskich street. Otherwise we can take a bus or a mini bus from the town to Kuźnice.
From outside the restaurant we head east, go over the bridge on the Bystry stream and follow blue and green trail up the hill. Next, green trail goes to Mount Nosal, right goes the path to Mount Nieborak, next to the drinking water reservoir. Where the trail bends, beautiful views over Kalatówki and Mount Giewont spread. We continue through the woods on the slopes of Mount Boczań, then to Skupniów Upłaz open ridge. On the left we can see Olczyska Clearing, over to the right Jaworzynki Valley. Between the slopes of Mała and Wielka Kopa Królowej is the Karczmisko Valley. Over to the right is a path to Jaworzynki Valley. At the food of Kopa Magury we continue to see the peaks surrounding Gąsienicowa Glade, with majestic pyramid of Zółta Turnia in the centre and spiky Kościelec over to the right. The path continues among small spruce trees and then goes downhill at this point to Gąsienicowa Glade. We continue past the Polish Alpinism Society BETLEJEMKA shelter and a few buildings being the property of Tatra National Park and other scientific institutions to finally reach Murowaniec mountain shelter (1500 m asl).
The shelter was built in 1925, and its first official guest was then President of Poland - Stanisław Wojciechowski. The shelter has got around 100 beds, buffet bar and a spacious dinning room. Gąsienicowa Glade is one of the most popular places in the Polish Tatra mountains and is a good starting point for hiking trips of various difficulty. There are a lot of climbing walls and routes in the area. In winter time the place becomes a real skiing centre.
The real amenity of the area are numerous mountain lakes, the biggest of those being Czarny Staw Gąsienicowy and Zielony Staw Gąsienicowy. The highest peak in this part of the mountains is Mount Świnica (2301 m asl).
Blue trail takes you from the shelter up to Czarny Staw Gąsienicowy lake. The lake itself is situated 1620 m asl, it has got the area of 18 hectares and is 51 metres deep. This is fourth largest lake in the Polish Tatras. In the south-eastern part of the lake is a small island that reminds a bison in its shape when looked upon from above. Trails to Kościelec and Orla Perć start here.
We return to Kuźnice the same way or to Między Kopami Pass and then take yellow trail to Jaworzynki Valley.