The Wdzydze Landscape Park

It was established to protect the outstanding flora and fauna, the picturesque landscape, as well as the significant cultural and historical assets.

The park is dominated by a natural landscape formed by glacier action, mostly comprising outwash plains cut by the ribbons of lakes, river valleys and kettle-holes.

The natural environment of the Wdzydze Landscape Park is largely covered by forest ecosystems. The local coniferous forests rich in the fruit of the undergrowth are a paradise for mushroom, herb and berry pickers. The remaining areas are covered by water bodies, grasslands, farmland and peat bogs. The great biodiversity of the park’s fauna and flora can be seen by visiting the nature reserve, ecological sites, areas of protected landscape, as well as its natural monuments, and by getting to know the protected plant, animal and mushroom species.

The distinctive representative of the Park’s fauna is the endemic species of lake trout called wdzydzka. It is a native, relic form created as a result of geographical isolation connected with the last glaciation.

The park and the buffer zone feature more than 100 lakes and 150 kettle-lakes, of which particularly interesting is the complex of Wdzydze Lakes (with a total area of 1455 ha), composed of four lakes (Radolne, Jelenie, Gołuń, and Wdzydze) stretching in two directions – meridian and parallel, with a wingspan of 9 to 12 kilometres. Their combined shape resembles a cross. It is the largest lake complex in this part of Kashubia, and Lake Wdzydze ranks sixth in terms of depth among all of Poland’s lakes. The feature that is unique on a national, and even European scale is the numerous natural islands dotting the lake system. Ostrów Wielki, Glonek, Ostrów Mały, Sorka, Sidły, Mielnica, Przerośla and Ceronek are the islands within Lake Wdzydze, while Lake Gołuń features the island of Trzepcyn, and Lake Jelenie has Ostrówek. The largest of the islands – Ostrów Wielki, with an area of 90.66 ha and length of 3 km is the second largest lake island in Poland. The smallest is just a bunch of reeds growing above water level. Regardless of size, they all have a great significance as a habitat and breeding ground for rare and protected species of water and marsh birds. The area is covered by a Natura 2000 protection zone, and is included in the Bory Tucholskie Biosphere Reserve.

Aside from its flora and fauna and its landscape, the Park boasts significant cultural and historical values. The most recognised ones include the Kashubian Ethnographical Park in Wdzydze, Kalwaria Wielewska in Wiele, and old mills, blacksmith’s shops, and wayside shrines and crosses, as well as the traces of Neolithic settlements (3-2 thousand years B.C.) that can be found in Szwedzki Ostrów.

For those who value leisure in the open, the Park has six hiking and six cycling nature and educational trails with a total length of 185.5 km, as well as a canoeing route on the Wda and the Trzebiocha. Besides hiking and cycling, the trails are also used by Nordic walking and cross-country skiing enthusiasts. Observation points in the Park are also its important attractions. When visiting Wdzydze Kiszewskie, you have to climb the observation tower which overlooks the Cross of the Wdzydze Lakes.

The area of the park is a perfect space not just for nature lovers, but also for those who want to rest in a healthy and clean environment, taking advantage of the existing educational and tourist infrastructure and the potential offered by active leisure in the open air.

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