Tag: Kampinos National Park

Tag: Kampinos National Park

Masovia (Mazowieckie)

Masovia (Mazowieckie) is located in mid-north eastern Poland and has the city of Warsaw as its unofficial capital. It has an area of around 35,000 square kilometres and a population of just over 5 million.

The province has a lowland landscape with forests (mainly pine and oak) that cover 20% of the entire area. The primary forests are Kampinos Forest, Puszcza Biała and Puszcza Zielona. Nearly 30% of Masovia is classified as protected land comprising of Kampinos National Park, 171 nature reserves and 62 protected landscape sites.

These areas attract many thousands of visitors from within Poland and from abroad. The region is home to Warsaw Chopin Airport, the busiest airport in Poland and many tourists stay in the province for a few days prior to exploring the other regions in the country.

Kampinos National Park is one of the largest national parks in Poland and is popular with tourists making day trips from Warsaw to hike and cycle among the park's primeval forests, sand dunes, and marshland. The park has 300km of marked walking and cycling trails to enjoy and has been designated as a UNESCO biosphere reserve.

Masovia is the centre of infrastructure, industry, education, research & science in the country. It is ranked first in the country according to Gross Domestic Product, due entirely to Warsaw; which is the financial centre of East-Central Europe. The area has the lowest unemployment rate in Poland and is classified as a very high income province.

Warsaw is home to many theatres and well-known institutions such as the National Philharmonic, the National Opera House & the National Library and is also home to many monuments and impressive historical buildings. Warsaw Old Town was almost completely demolished during World War II but was restored back to its former glory and was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

There are plenty of interesting things to see outside of Warsaw. You can find impressive cathedrals in Płock and Łowicz, the manor house where Frédéric Chopin was born in Żelazowa Wola.

There are many castles to explore in the region such as Czersk, Pułtusk, Ciechanów, Opinogóra, Rawa Mazowiecka, Sochaczew and Liw, you’re also find interesting churches, palaces and parks.

Kampinos National Park

Kampinos National Park begins just outside Warsaw’s northwestern administrative boundary and is known locally as Puszcza Kampinoska. It stretches west for around 40km and is one of the largest National parks in Poland.

Created in 1959, Kampinos National Park covers just over 385 km² of which 46.38 km² is strictly protected and it was added to UNESCO’s list of biosphere reserves in January 2000.

Forests account for around 70% of the park’s area, and the most common tree is the pine followed by oak.

Kampinos is very popular with Warsaw’s hikers and cyclists, who take advantage of its 300km of marked walking and cycling trails. The eastern part of the park is favoured by walkers as it’s accessible by public transport; the western part is less visited. The park is visited by 1 million tourists each year.

There’s around 1245 species of plants within the park, of which 69 are protected.

The park includes Europe’s largest area of inland sand dunes, mostly pine tree covered and up to 30m high. Other parts of the park are barely accessible peat bogs that shelter much of its animal life. According to biologists, there are 16,000 species of animals, of which the most numerous are insects and birds. Numerous animals have been reintroduced into the park including moose, beaver and lynx and today, 83 species of animal in the park are regarded as endangered.

Tourists are welcome on the Park’s walking, cycling, horseback and skiing trails. In addition to  half day and one day hikes, there are two long trails that traverse the entire length of the park, both starting from Dziekanów Leśny on the eastern edge of the park. The red trail (54km) ends in Brochów, and the green one (51km) in Żelazowa Wola.

Bivouac sites designated for camping are the only accommodation options within the park’s boundaries, but there are hotels close by in Czosnów, Laski, Leszno, Tułowice and Zaborów.

Many important events have taken place in Kampinos National Park and reminders of Poland’s turbulent past are numerous including tombs of insurrectionists from the 1863 anti-Russian uprising, war cemeteries from Polish German war of 1939 and tombs of members of anti-German resistance (1944–45).

A great way to explore Kampinos is on a bicycle. Check out this cycle tour of the park via Tripadvisor – Click here.