Sanok is an excellent base for hiking and the starting point (or at least en route) for several long-distance themetic hikes. The best known of these is the Icon Trail (Szlak Ikon), which takes you past tiny villages and their old Orthodox or Uniat churches. The most popular stretch is a 70km-long loop that begins and ends in Sanok and wends along the San River valley north of the city. The net walking time is about 15 hours.

Another fascinating long-distance trail that passes through Sanok is sure to appeal to literature fans. The Švejk Trail, usually marked on maps in yellow, passes through town as it traces the comical journey across several countries of the 'Good Soldier Švejk' in Czech writer Jaroslav Hašek's WWI novel of the same name.

Both trails, as well as several others, are designated on hiking maps of the Bieszczady available for purchase at the tourist information or PTTK offices. The tourist information office also hands out a free photocopied, simplified trail map (though not detailed enough to hike with), showing the main villages and churches.

Sanok is a good base for cycling, both for mountain biking in the hills and for less strenuous, though still rewarding rides along the San River. The better hiking maps usually also designate cycling trails. The helpful staff of the Sanok tourist information centre can help plan out a ride. To get started, buy a copy of the Atlas Szlaków Rowerowych Podkarpackie from the tourist office (50zł), which has all of the paths marked out.

Bicycles can be hired from Camp Biała Góra for 8/35zł per hour/day.