Feb 28

Slowinski National Park (Parcul National Slowinski)

Slowinski National Park is located in the northern part of Poland and it is one of the touristic attractions that this country has to offer. The park situates itself between Leba and Rowy and the reason for which the park occupies such an important position among the Polish must-see sights is that it offers a unique combination of lanscapes which is not available extensively in other national parks. And I refer here to the moving sand dunes which are actually located in close vicinity of the Baltic Sea.

Slowinski National Park

This interesting picturesque scenery is what draws people to this specific location. The park came into being in the second half of the 20th century, more precisely in 1967, even if the idea to transform Slowinski into a protected area had emerged more than twenty years earlier (in 1946).

At present, the national park stretches over 186 square kilometers, the majority of which (more than 100 square kilometers) consists of waters, whereas the remaining area is made up of forests. The way in which the area has evolved in the course of time is easily explained if we are to take a look at the geographical changes which had occurred. Initially, what now we call the Slowinski National Park was in fact the bay formed at the Baltic Sea. But due to the constant movement of the sea, the bay was pushed inland further and further, and sand dunes were created in between.

Slowinsky Park – Sand Dunes

This process has evolved steadily, the sand taking possession of more land on a yearly basis due to the activity of the winds and waves. In fact, it is precisely due to this natural phenomenon that the area has become renowned. The so-called “moving dunes” are seen as some sort of natural oddity as this occurrence is not something which one can see every so often. The speed with which the sand is carried varies between 3 and 10 meters on an annual basis and the constant wind leads to these dunes growing higher and higher. At present, the maximum height is of 30 meters.

In order to get a general image of the park and especially of the picture offered by the sand dunes, it is advisable to find a high peak, preferably Rowokol (which is the highest) and use it in order to admire the national park in all its glory. What is worth mentioning here is that the constant shift of the sand uncovers the remnants of the past forests that used to spread on the bay. Thus, every now and then, one can see petrified tree trunks emerging from underneath the sand.

Moving Sand Dunes

Even if the sand dunes represent the point of interest in Slowinski National Park, you ought to pay attention to the other natural elements present here. For example, the park is abundant in lakes and rivers. Two of the lakes, Lebsko and Gardno, are known for the families of aquatic birds that seek shelter on their waters. The number of bird species which are located here reaches 257, which clearly pinpoints the fact that the national park is a natural biosphere which deserves to be protected and thus preserve its fauna and flora diversity.

Visiting the area does not resemble ‘going into the wild’ as there are specially arranged tracks for tourists which take those who venture on such a trip through the park to the most important locations in Slowinski. The trails stretch over 140 kilometers and even more so, they are ‘equipped’ with benches so that tourists can catch their breath when necessary.