Rodna National Park is located in the Rodna Mountains of northern Romania. The range is part of the larger Eastern Carpathian mountains. The national park encompasses an area of 179.92 square miles (465.99 sq km) making it the largest protected area in the Carpathians mountains.
The range accounts for the longest continuous mountain ridge within the country. It stretches over 31 miles (50 km) from east to west. Pietrosul Rodnei is the highest summit at 7,555.77 feet (2,303 m). Ineu is the second-highest summit with an elevation of 7,477 feet(2,279 m).
The area is also a UNESCO biosphere under the "Man and Biosphere" designation. There is a variety of ecosystems or habitats throughout the park. Habitats include alpine, subalpine, grasslands, mountain hayfields, beech forest, and mountain plateaus.
Rodna displays an abundance and array of natural features that include caves, cirques, crevasses, forests, moraines, mountains, springs, and valleys. Additionally, there is a diverse population of vegetation and wildlife protected within the park boundaries. Some of the popular wildlife predators include brown bears, gray wolves, lynx, and eagles. Other popular wildlife sightings include badger, chamois, deer, and wild pigs.
Some of the species are on the IUCN Red List as well as protected by Romanian law. Rare species include mammalian, reptilian, and amphibian. This is a special place for wildlife as well as providing remarkable landscapes.
Bird-watchers marvel at golden eagle sightings while also keeping eyes open for buzzards, pigeon hawk, sparrow hawk, and the peregrine falcon.
Horseback riding, cycling, and hiking are all common activities used to explore the splendor of the region.
The variety and abundance of wilderness encounter on display throughout the national park is the highlight. The Rodna Mountain range is the longest in Romania and serves as a backdrop for the majestic landscape throughout the park.
Rodna Massif or Mount Rodna is the highest summit in the eastern Carpathians of Romania. The summit reaches a height of 7,556 feet (2,303 m). The glaciers that were previously prevalent across the mountain have melted away creating fretted peaks and several small alpine lakes. Lake Lala is the largest and one of the most picturesque.
Trails of Rodna National Park
There are numerous hiking trails through the national park. Rodna provides trekkers with an abundance of hikes that deliver great escapes into the wilderness.
Big Lala and Little Lala: These glacial lakes may be accessed from various trails ranging from 3-hour to 7-hour hikes. There are different trails that each lead to the same destination of Lake Lala.
Horses Waterfall Trail: locally known as Cascada Cailor, this trek from the Borsa resort takes about 2 hours. It can be accessed with a chairlift and then hike back down which only takes about 20 minutes.
Glacial Cirques Buhaescu: This 6-hour trek gives hikes access to the summit of Buhaescu Mare at a height of 7,404 feet (2,257 m).
Ineu Peak: This hike up to the summit is about a 7-hour journey. This trek up the mountain is usually only attempted during the summer months.
Rodna Mountains Highlights
- Glacial Lakes Big Lala and Little Lala
- Horses Waterfall
- Rodna Mountain Range
- Pietrosul Rodnei (highest summit)
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