Kociewie is an ethnically and cultural land. It lies on the left bank of the Vistula River in the basin of the two smaller rivers. It stretches from Gdańsk to Chojnice, from Tczew through Starogard Gdański to Świecie. Its area covers about 3100 km2 mostly situated in the Pomeranian Province (28% is in the Kujawsko-Pomorskie Province). The capital of the region is Starogard Gdański. The Kociewie inhabitants still cultivate their native traditions: Kocievian dialect, embroidery and local cuisine. Kociewie is a region with vast natural spaces – the landscape shaped by the Vistula River and the Scandinavian glacier, at any time of the year attracts the eye with its richness of colours and has many treasures to offer, including the wild valleys of the Wierzyca, Wda and Lower Vistula Rivers, the area of the Tuchola Forest (Bory Tucholskie), picturesque lakes, Teutonic Order’s fortifications, old towns and monuments of industrial architecture.
In Kociewie, within the administrative borders of the districts of Tczew, Starogardzkie and Świecie, a total of 838 km of bicycle trails were marked. Of this number of 637 creates the network of Cycling Routes of Kociewie. They are managed, renewed and promoted by the Local Tourist Organization Kociewie you can find their office in Tczew.
Attractions of Kociewie:
Bridge in Tczew (Most Tczewski) | Shipwreck Conservation Centre (Centrum Konserwacji Wraków Statków w Tczewie) | Pepelin Abbey (Bazylika Katedralna w Pelplinie) | Gniew Castle (Zamek krzyżacki w Gniewie) | Skaryszewy | Owidz Gord (Grodzisko Owidz) | Tourist route in Starogard Gdański (Trasa turystyczna „Korona i krzyż” w Starogardzie Gdańskim) | Museum in Starogard Gdański (Muzeum Ziemi Kociewskiej w Starogardzie Gdańskim) | Tuchola Forest (Bory Tucholskie) | Wda Landscape Park (Wdecki Park Krajobrazowy) | Wierzyca River (Dolina rzeki Wierzycy) | Kashubian Lake District (Pojezierze Kaszubskie) | Embroidery of Kociewo (Haft kociewski) | Dendrological Garden Arboretum Wirty (Ogród dendrologiczny Arboretum Wirty) | Żuławy Gdańskie | Vistula Landscape Park (Nadwiślański Park Krajobrazowy) | Świecie Castle (Zamek krzyżacki w Świeciu) | Mennonites Heritage (Dziedzictwo mennonickie) | Kałębie Lake (Jezioro Kałębie) | Waterway Rybaki (Węzeł wodny Rybaki) | Hydroelectric power stations in Owidz, Kolincz, Stocki Młyn, Czarnocińskie Piece (Elektrownie wodne w Owidzu, Kolinczu, Stockim Młynie, Czarnocińskich Piecach)
Trail marked on: red | Difficulty level: easy | Start: Tczew | End: Nowe
The longest and at the same time the most fascinating of the over 800 km long network of Cycling Routes of Kociewie is Grzymisław Route. We encourage you to spend two days on the trail (with an overnight stay in Gniew or its surroundings) to fully experience all the attractions along the route. The name of this trail comes from the medieval ruler of these lands, Prince Grzymisław and the main theme is the cultural heritage of Kociewie. Along the way, you can see the monuments of Tczew, the priceless cathedral complex in Pelplin, the charming town of Gniew with its monumental Teutonic Order castle and Nowe town on the high Vistula escarpment. The route runs local roads with low traffic density or forest and unpaved roads. Sometimes the sandy surface in the woods can be tiresome, so it is better to choose a bicycle with thicker tyres. The trail is quite long and a bit difficult, for more experienced cyclists, but worthy of attention because of the magnificent monuments and alluring landscapes of Kociewie – “Land of peacefulness”.
Trail marked on: red | Difficulty level: easy | Start: Gdańsk | End: Tczew
One of the most popular trails of the Tri-City (Gdańsk, Gdynia and Sopot) and its surroundings is the one connecting Gdańsk with Tczew – Motławski Route (Szlak Motławski). It is marked in red and leads along the Motława River. There are several worth-seeing Gothic churches and examples of regional construction along the way. The landscape of the Żuławy region may seem monotonous, but right after entering the trail, it becomes extremely intriguing. The Motława River makes a remarkable impression here when it traverses through flat and wide stretches of Żuławy meadows. This river has a calm current, and it runs through lovely and beautiful villages of medieval origin. In the spring, in some places tulip fields extend into the horizon. The route is easy and flat. It runs rarely used roads, field and unpaved paths, and for the section near Gdańsk concrete slabs. It is perfect for a few hours trip, and together with visiting the recommended monuments and attractions in Tczew, it can be extended even to the whole day. You can start your ride in Tczew the city is well-connected with the Tri-City.
Trail marked on: red | Difficulty level: easy | Start: Starogard Gdański | End: Pelplin
Matern Brothers’ Trail stretches from the unofficial capital of Kociewie – Starogard Gdański to the so-called spiritual capital – Pelplin. This area has a lot of valuable memorials of the past. The name of the trail connects to historical events that took place back in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. Back then two Matern brothers were hiding for 25 years at the head of the armed forces in a ravine – hence it was named Matern Brothers Ravine (Wąwóz Maternów) – near Brzeźno. In the surrounding forests, and from there they attacked merchants from Gdańsk who travelled along the old trade route Gdańsk – Tczew – Subkowy – Brzeźno – Starogard and further south of Poland carrying treasures of the seaside – the amber.
Trail marked on: black | Difficulty level: easy | Start: Pogódki| End: Pelplin
The Cistercian Order managed the Pelplin Land for almost six centuries. In the 13th century, the whole monastery was moved from Pogórki to Pelplin by the Cistercians. Legend says that the place for the construction of the monastery was chosen by a donkey. During the monastery was moving from the transitory residence of the Cistercians from Pogódki. When he arrived in Pelplin, he roared and did not intend to go on. The monks enchanted by the landscape of the beautiful Wierzyca River Valley decided to stay there. Abbot Werner said then: “Bonum Est nos hic esse” or “It’s good for us to be here.” The trail leads from the first Cistercian headquarters on Kociewie land to Pelplin.
Trail marked on: black | Difficulty level: difficult | Start: Skarszewy| End: Wędkowy
The name of this part of the trail comes from the Joanits – a Catholic knightly order, which at the turn of the 12th and 13th centuries had his residence in Skarszewy. They were brought there by the Prince Grzymisław. He gave them the villages of Równino (later Skarszewy), Kamierowo, Czarocin and Szczodrowo. The prince also granted them with the right to fish and hunt beavers on Wietciska and Wierzyca Rivers which was quite a privilege. In return, the knights undertook to protect the region from Prussia.
Trail marked on: red | Difficulty level: easy | Start: Dzierżążno | End: Skórcz
Camomile Route is not the only sign of colourful flora in the Morzeszczyn Municipality. The most beautiful species kept as a pattern in the embroidery. It is a region’s heritage. Today, it blossoms into rural areas passed by a bicycle. The patterns flicker in the sunlight in the windows of common-rooms by the road. Those ordinary plants allow tourists to experience the extraordinary history of the Skórcz Municipality. This city has a long, ancient legacy, noted on a Ptolemy’s map (take a look on the image).
Trail marked on: blue | Difficulty level: easy | Start: Tczew | End: Góra
From east to west or vice versa – 80 km of the northern borderland of Kociewie region is waiting for a detailed check. This pleasant task brings with it the possibility of proper recognition of centuries-old cultural monuments. These include: built entirely of stone, made only of wood, constructed from an overwhelming amount of iron. A lot of Kociewie water has passed since they were built. This water still flows around them, and even right below them. That is the Tczewski Route.
Trail marked on: yellow | Difficulty level: easy | Start: Osiek | End: Starogard Gdański
The trail connects Starogard Gdański with Osiek on Kałębie Lake. The yellow trail is 39 km long and leads through Starogard County. On the route, there are historic churches in Bobowo, Grabowo, Pączew, Czarnolas and Skórcz. The trail ends in Osiek over the Kałębie Lake. In the village, there are examples of regional construction in Kociewie.
Trail marked on: green | Difficulty level: easy | Start: Skarszewy | End: Osiek
The Lake Route is one of the most fascinating natural and cultural trails of Cycling Routes of Kociewie. The leitmotif of this 69 km long trail is the numerous lakes along the route. The trail starts in Osiek over the Kałębie Lake, which, due to its size, is commonly called the Kociewski Sea (Morze Kociewskie). Then it leads through the magnificent woods of the Tuchola Forest and runs through the charming Kasparus village. Numerous examples of regional wooden architecture (cottages, parsonage, church, farm buildings) have been preserved here. There are also cities with a rich history abounding in monuments in Starogard Gdański and Skarszewy. The trail ends in Skarszewy. It is marked in green.
Trail marked on: red| Difficulty level: easy | Start: Smętowo Graniczne | End: Czarna Woda
Borowiacki Route (Szlak Borowiacki) is a trail leading through Tuchola Forest (Bory Tucholskie) which is one of the largest forest complexes in Poland. Among the prevailing pine trees, there are oaks, hornbeams, aspens, birches, yews, and in the rich undergrowth an abundance of mushrooms and berries. In the Tuchola Forest there are also preserved the primaeval forest, sites of relict plants, bird and animal species already rare in Poland (white-tailed eagle, capercaillie, crane, grey heron, otter).
Trail marked on: blue | Difficulty level: easy | Start: Lubichowo | End: Śliwice
No matter from which side your bike brings you here – it’s crucial that you spend time in a resort of Kociewie. It is a breathtaking landscape of the Tuchola Forest, and all that surrounds it on both sides of the route. It is a pearl of the region. After a short time, from the longest lakeside beach in this region, you will find yourself in the mushroom basin of Kociewie – the Osieczna area at the right time of year is full of mushrooms. The Trail is called Połomska Route (Szlak Droga Połomska), and it is marked on blue.
Trail marked on: red | Difficulty level: easy | Start: Sumin | End: Stara Kiszewa
Although the name of the route refers to the residence of the starosts (administer of the assets) on the island on the Borzechowskie Lake, it could be called the second part of Jeziorna. Five adorable lakes create a string of water ponds like beads or pearls. If you are not a fan of the lakes, it is worth to let the road leads you to the sacred monuments of Kociewie. You can cycle to the endless beauty of nature co-shaped by human hands. Water, buildings and aromas – one way, one Kociewie region and three states of matter.
Trail marked on: blue | Difficulty level: medium | Start: Starogard Gdański | End: Łąg
Starogradzki Route is a part of the Cycling Routes of Kociewie. It connects Starogard Gdański with Czarna Woda. The main attraction of the route is the capital of Kociewie – Starogard Gdański. The trail runs along national road 22 called Berlinka. During the trip, you can visit many charming towns. It starts in Starogard and ends in the Łąg village near Czarna Woda. There are plans to extend the route to Chersk. The length of the trail is 48 km, and it is marked in blue.
Trail marked on: green | Difficulty level: easy | Start: Osieczna | End: Kaliska
The green line of the Kaliski Route crosses the blue ribbon of the river, or to be more precise the Wda River known as the Black Water. That sums up to three colours of Kociewie. You will see the rest of the while cycling this last stage of this picturesque region. This extraordinary excursion will start and end in small towns of Kociewie, but between them, you will run the contrasting vastness of the Tuchola Forest. From Kaliska to Osieczna, don’t forget your bike.
Trail marked on: black | Difficulty level: difficult | Start: Cierpice (Toruń) | End: Zamek Bierzgłowski
The Trail Through the Vistula Valley starts on the left bank of the Vistula River in Cierpice near Toruń and leads near the Lower Vistula Valley to Tczew. There the trail crosses the Vistula River and returns on the right bank to the Bierzgłowski Castle near Toruń. The route presents the landscape, and cultural values of the Lower Vistula Valley Landscape Park and a part of Żuławy runs through picturesque corners and is perfect for family trips of several days.