Kampinoski National Park

 

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Zegrzynski Lake
Kampinoski National Park is called “lungs of Warsaw”. It is because it begins at Warsaw’s city limits (toward west direction from Warsaw) and in terms of area ranks among the biggest forests in Poland. It is a primeval forest inhabited by such denizens as red deer, elk, cranes and black storks. A dense network of hiking trails and the roundabout Kampinos Cycle Path are responsible for the fact that the forest is filled with lots of people on each sunny weekend.


Contributing to the park’s beauty are its diversified landscapes and water systems which influence its vegetation. This includes single-species pine forest, lush, leafy mixed-species woodlands and swampy alder groves. A European rarity are groups of inland dunes, built up since the last glaciations by prevailing westerly winds. Their two main ridges measure 21 and 35 kilometers in length. Those dry, sandy elevations with a low water table are dissected by swampy depressions. A convenient point of departure for stroll through the park from the east is Izabelin, where the park’s offices are found together with an Education Centre which features a permanent exhibition on the history and nature of Kampinos Virgin Forest. On the western end, the village of Granica is home to the Kampinos Forest Museum and the starting point of an Educational Trail. It runs along the edge of a reserve set aside to protect the old pines growing in the sand dunes together with an admixture of oaks, larches and aspens. From Granica it is little more than a stone’s throw to the town of Sochaczew lying outside the park’s boundary.



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