Location: Podlaskie Voivodeship Map
Area: 592 sq km (229 sq mi)
Biebrza National Park is a nature reserve in Podlaskie
Voivodeship in North- East Poland. It covers a biosphere of wetlands
and marches with an area of 592 sq km (229 sq mi) along a Biebrza
river. It was established in 1993 and it is the largest national
park in the country. The park contains a network of hiking trails
that reach a total length of over 500 km. Additionally there are 60
km of trails especially designed for biking. Biebrza river is also
open for exploration by kayaking and canoeing that can be rented
locally. It is inhabited by wolves, bears, foxes, roe deer, elks,
moose, beavers, otters and many others. However one of the most
dangerous mammals here are wild boars. Keep a distance from these
animals. Despite their cute appearance, these animals might be quiet
aggressive if humans decide to approach a group. Additionally there
are about 276 species of birds that nest here.
Don't forget to visit Osowiec Fortress. It was constructed by the Russian army in the end of the 19th century. Poland at the time was part of the Russian Empire. It was heavily shelled by the Kaiser German Army that reduced it to a pile of concrete blocks. Its ruins now contain a museum of weapons that date back to World War II. Additionally there is a population of bats that live in the underground structures.
It covers the Biebrza valley from the estuary of Niedźwiedzica to the Biebrza and ending at the estuary of the Biebrza to the Narew. Almost the entire Biebrza run is located within the park (approx. 155 km). The protection of this area began in the interwar years, creating two reserves: Red Marsh (existing to this day with changed borders) and Grzędy.
1989 - Thanks to the efforts of the Biebrza Society, the Biebrza Landscape Park is established, covering the areas of the Biebrza basins - lower and middle.
1993 - Transformation of the landscape park into a national park.
1995 - The Park was entered on the list of wetlands protected by the Ramsar Convention.
2010 - The Park is included in its entirety in the IBA bird refuge list kept by BirdLife International.
19–26 April 2020 - The fire consumed approx. 5,280 hectares of the Park, which is approx. 9.5% of its area. It covered a number of valuable natural areas, incl. in the vicinity of the Red Swamp; the cause - drought and burning of grasses. For over a week, almost two thousand firefighters, WOT soldiers and rescuers fought the fire. Six fire-fighting planes and two helicopters were used, which carried out nearly a thousand water drops. The entire firefighting operation was financed from the state budget, including the funds of the Ministry of the Environment and the State Forests. Almost PLN 8 million was allocated for this purpose. According to experts, arson was the cause of the fire. The prosecutor's office discontinued the investigation due to the failure to detect the perpetrators. Studies carried out after the fire show significant declines in the population of 14 species of birds, incl. aquatic warbler, buzzard, cricket.
In the Biebrza National Park there are water, marsh, peat bog, rushes, as well as forest communities (alder, birch, riparian forests). Particularly valuable is a large group of moss communities containing numerous rare and relict species (low birch, Lapland willow, royal gnidosz), disappearing in other parts of the country.
The plant cover is characterized by a great variety, a high degree of naturalness and the presence of many rare species, such as orchids (red orchid, common slipper, white thornbone, red helleborine, broadleaf helleborine, one-sided taiga), sundew (roundleaf sundew, long-leaved sundew), club moss (juniper sundew) , clove, wroniec).
In the Biebrza National Park there are 49 species of mammals, 271 species of birds, 36 - fish, 12 - amphibians, 5 - reptiles. Invertebrates are represented by over 700 species of butterflies, 448 species of spiders, over 500 species of beetles, 19 species of leeches and 42 species of birdworms.
Many bird species associated with the marsh environment nest in the Biebrza Marshes. There are isolated breeding sites of boreal species, as well as species whose geographical range center is in the taiga and tundra zones. Moreover, the Biebrza Basin is of great importance for many species of feeding and resting birds during their annual migrations. Biebrza is one of the most important refuges in Central Europe for waders requiring vast, wetlands.
The most characteristic breeding bird species are: ruff (visible in the park emblem), aquatic warbler, snipe, great snipe, snipe, curlew, daffodil, crane, white-winged and white-tailed tern, eagle owl, lesser spotted eagle and mud owl.
The most characteristic mammal of the Biebrza National Park is the moose, for which the park is the largest refuge in Poland. Their number here is about 400.
Rafting on the Biebrza River
bicycle routes (103.7 km), including the Podlaski Stork Trail and Green Velo
historical and natural path "Góra Skobla"
nature path "Footbridge"
nature-historical path "Around Fort IV Osowiec Fortress"
"Barwik" nature path
nature path "Grobla Honczarowska"
"Długa Luka" nature path
"Biały Grąd" nature path
nature path "Brzeziny Kapickie"
"Red Swamp" nature path
natural path "Borek honey"
"Dunes" nature path
"Forest" nature path
nature path "Szuszalewo"
nature path "Szuszalewo - Nowy Lipsk"
Other tourist attractions:
Goniądz - the market square
Osowiec Fortress located in the area of Osowiec-Twierdza.