Leśnica is a village in North Slovakia, and the only locality situated in the heart of a mountain range called Pieniny. Leśnica is located in Leśny Potok valley. It is a border locality that may be reached on foot from Szczawnica (35-minute walk).
Leśnica is a village in North Slovakia. Its short history dates back to the end of XIII century. Three centuries later, it became a property of the monks from the Red Monastery, but for following centuries it was almost completely isolated from the rest of the world. The first connection with the civilized world was Droga Pienińska (Pieniny Route) from Szczawnica, built in 1870-1875 (the so called Droga Pienińska). Thanks to this route, in XIX, Leśnica became famous among resort patients who hiked between Śmierdzonka (Smerdžonka, currently a part of the Red Monastery), and Szczawnica. The citizens of Leśnica had to wait for a road from the side of Wielki Lipinek until 1967! However, many centuries of isolation had also its positive outcome, since it contributed to preservation of traditional customs and buildings for such a long time. After World War I, the reborn Poland and Czechoslovakia started to fight over Leśnica. As a result, the village was within the borders of our southern neighbor, but in 1938 Poland incorporated Leśnica into its own territory again. This state of affairs remained until another war broke out, as a result of which the border was finally shaped as it is today.
There is a large tourism base in Leśnica (restaurants, guesthouses, shelter, ski lift), but the most important attraction is a Gorge of Leśnicki Potok, in the valley of which the village is located. The gorge itself is 500 m long and it is located directly near the mouth of the creek that falls into Dunajec. Here, he valley is particularly narrow and creates a deep cove, which is interposed between steep walls of Sama Jedna and Bystrzyk and Wylizana rocks. Sama Jedna (also called Stara Panna (The Old Maiden)) rises 95 m above the valley bottom.
Bystrzycka wall is 70 m tall – 130 m with Wylizana. There used to be a hiking trail through the ridge of Bystrzycka and Wylizana. Wylizana itself was named after characteristic basins washed (according to the slang of mountain men – “licked out”) by water. In 1987, the gorge of Leśnicki Potok became a strict nature reserve. The most protected are Epilithic plants – namely Tamariscifolia, Saxifraga paniculata, Dianthus Plumarius, and also relic pines.