One of the best known places in Polish Bieszczady is Wetlińska Polonyna and Chatka Puchatka (eng. The House at Pooh Corner) – the highest mountain hut in this mountain range. Hiking trails to these places are easy, suitable also for children and elderly. If you like to soak up views at low altitudes, come to Poland and see this part of Bieszczady :)
I’ve read in internet that Wetlińska Polonyna (Połonina Wetlińska) in summer is very crowded. I was there with my friends on the beginning of June, during long weekend and it was rather empty, although great weather. Probably in July and August there are more tourists so if you enjoy peace I suggest not going there in these months.
Here is our route. I marked it also at mapa-turystyczna.pl.
The route starts in Smerek village but we spent a night on a campsite in Ustrzyki Górne. There are many private buses which offer transport to nearby villages, and also hitchhiking is pretty easy in this region of Poland.
First 5 km of trail are the most demanding. You have to climb 600 m higher but when you do it, the rest of trip will be only pleasure. You will go 7 km without big ascents and descent, and with beautiful open surrounding.
On the end of trail, at 1232 m a.s.l. there’s well known Chatka Puchatka, which in English is The House at Pooh Corner.
It was built after II World War as military observation point. Soon after it was taken by PTTK (Polish Tourist and Sightseeing Society) but in first years nobody wanted to take care of it. There wasn’t any asphalt road in Bieszczady and it required over a dozen hours of walk to get to the hut. It was devastating and people were often burning boards from the floor or door to heat or cook. After few years scouts and students involved in renovation of building. Since 1967 it’s year-round open but even now there’s no water and no electricity. For nearly 50 years it’s hosted by the same man, who was also very involved in renovation.
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