Bieszczady National Park

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Bieszezady National Park is located in the southernmost part of eastern Poland.  It is situated along the borders of Slovakia and Ukraine.  The park covers an area of 112.75 square miles (292.02 sq km).

The national park is part of the larger UNESCO East Carpathian Biosphere Reserve, which encompasses an area of 823.21 square miles (2,132.11 sq km).

The heart of the park is found in the extensive wild mountains of the Carpathians.  The park encompasses the tallest portion of the Polish part of the East Carpathians.  One of the fascinating features is the stunning pastures that occur above the tree line.

All but about 20% of the park areas are blanketed with forests, which serves as an excellent habitat and protective ecosystem for the array of wildlife found in the area.  The mountain areas above tree line account for the majority of the park that is not forested.

Some of the more popular species include bison, dear, moose, bear, lynx, grey wolf, wild boar, and the European wildcat.  The herd of bison is the second largest in Poland and possibly holding the same status globally.

The park is also well known for the historical and cultural facets like old wooden Greek Orthodox churches and remnants of settlements that existed before World War II.  These can be enjoyed by engaging the Podkarpackie Wooden Architecture Trail.

Bieszczady Highlights

The most common activity in the park is hiking, followed by mountain biking.  People love the pristine wilderness afforded to visitors who explore this part of the Carpathians. 

Those who value historical experiences will find it intriguing to explore the old remnants of settlements that were here before World War II that were abandoned following the war. You very well may find one of the old wooden Orthodox churches to be one of your cultural highlights.

Tarnica

Tarnica is the highest point in the park, reaching a height of 4,416 feet (1,346 m).  The mountain has the distinction of being one of the Polish Crown Peaks.

The mountain features two individual peaks creating a unique shape compared to neighboring mountains.  The mountain looks out over the Wolosatka Valley.

The E8 European long-distance trail passes through this part of the park and includes portions of Tarnica.

Trails of Bieszczady National Park

Almost three-quarters of the park is designated as a strict preserve, which restricts hiking to identified trails only.  Multiple trails meander around and up into the national park terrain. 

Hiking is one of the most popular activities of the national park. Because of the elevation gains and terrain, most of the trails are rated between moderate to difficult.

Tarnica Trail: This trail is rated moderate and covers a distance of 6.4 miles (10.3 km) while ascending 2,024 feet (616.91 m) before reaching the end and returning down.  The trail provides chances to see wildlife and wildflowers; however, the panoramic views are the highlight of the excursion.

Polinina Carynska Trail: This is a 5.4-mile (8.69 km) trek that meanders through the forest and up into the Carpathians.  The trail ascends 1,916 feet (584 m) before returning down the trail.  There are chances to see wildlife which roams amongst the forested area.

Bieszczady Ustryki Gorne Trail: This is a rated moderate trek ascending 2,493 feet (759.87 m) around a loop covering 11.3 miles (18.19 km).  The trail treks through forest and above treeline, providing astounding panoramic views of the area.  There are chances to see wildlife.

Tarnica-Halicz Trail: This hike is a more challenging approach of Tarnica.  The loop trail includes the summits of Tarnica and Halicz while traveling over a distance of 13.5 miles (21.72 km).  There is an elevation gain of 2,962 feet (902.82 m).  You will meander through forests before advancing above treeline to experience amazing panoramic views.  There are chances to see wildflowers and wildlife.

Podkarpackie Wooden Architecture Trail: This trail takes hikers through a historical journey past old wooden Greek orthodox churches and other remnants from settlements that were abandoned after World War II.

Park Protection

The national park was established to protect the pristine wilderness of the Carpathian Mountains and the astounding ecosystem supporting the wildlife of the park.

The park also protects the second largest herd of bison in the country as well as other wildlife species that call the park home.  The park also protects an area that is part of the Polish Crown Peaks.

The unique pastures that are nestled amongst the mountains add to the splendor of the park and rationale for protecting the area for future generations.

Bieszczady Highlights

  • Tarnica
  • Historical Remnants

Map

Photo Gallery

Sources