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The tradition of walking trails in Sopot goes as far as the days of Jean Haffner (a doctor from the Napoleon army, who settled down in Sopot), the founder of the health resort in Sopot, which started to take shape around 1820. The visitors could either take baths or enjoy boat trips around the gulf which allowed the inhalation of iodine. Although iodine was just discovered in 1811 by Bernard Courtois and its medical use was unknown at this time, through scientific observation it was know that breathing over sea water was beneficial for relieving many symptoms. Trips to the forest were also one of the favourite activities as they are still today. A restaurant was situated on King's Hill (today junction of 23 Marca Street and Armii Krajowej Street ) , which was also a well known sightseeing spot. The entirety of 23 Marca Street was a walking trail with benches and rest places, with later horse trams being introduced. Today it is just another busy street connecting various suburbs.
The first marked trails in Sopot started to appear in 1920's due to the involvement of Otto Gerike, who was a member of the city council and later president of the Sopot Renovation Association established in 1881. Along the trails there were countless sightseeing spots, benches, and information tables with maps. Again, trails were restored and marked 40 years later. It wouldn't be until another 40 years at the end of 20th century when the trails were restored again to their previous conditions from the 1960's. This time the task had been accomplished by the Polish Tourist and Sightseeing Association branch together with the City Hall council. Preserving old names and the making of six new trails were established, with five situated in surrounding woods and one along the shore line.
And here are the names all are marked and easy to follow to take you through most interesting places;
See-Gull Trail (marked yellow background with green stripes). Starts at the border of Sopot and Gdynia and takes you along the coast line, about 5 km
Fox Trail (marked yellow background with green stripes). Starts at Sopot Brodwino district, (from the railway station) and takes you along the outskirts of city and the forest, about 9.5 km.
Rabbit Trail (marked yellow background with red stripes). Starts at the Brodwino district and takes you through a deep forest to another district of the town of Stawowe , about 9.5 km.
Wild Boar Trail (marked yellow background with black stripes). This trail connects two districts of 23 Marca and Brodwino, and takes you through the forest, about 5.7 km.
Deer Trail (marked yellow background with blue stripes). It starts at the forest outskirts and takes you to towards the border with Gdansk , about 4 km.
Squirrels Trail (marked yellow background with white stripes). Starts at the Lesnik Hospital located at the outskirts of the city and forest and takes you through the forest with many breathtaking sights to Forest Stadium, about 4 km.
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