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Babia Góra National Park

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Babia Góra National Park was established in 1954 and now covers an area of 3392ha. It is one of the smallest national parks in Poland, mainly because the main range “Babia Gora” is only about 10km long in total. Despite the relatively small area that this park covers, it is an area extremely rich not only in valuable species of plants and animals, but also unforgettable scenery.

The Natural beauty of Babia Góra is also appreciated on a European, as well as a global scale. This area was incorporated into the Natura 2000 network and has been granted the status of a UNESCO biosphere reserve.

Babia Góra has for centuries fascinated naturalists, hikers and campers. The first mention of this mountain is found in the XV century, when John Dlugosz makes a brief description of its characterization. In the year 1699 presented on the work of Andrew Komoniecki Fri "Zywiecki historian," you can find a more detailed description of not just the mountain range itself, but also the surrounding area. Since the nineteenth-century efforts have been made to extend legal protection of the Babia Gora Mountain and the surrounding areas.

Thanks to the involvement of such eminent naturalists as Valery Goetel and Wladyslaw Szafer the economy was raised to create a nature reserve covering a total area of more than 1045ha. Still, the creation of a national park did not become possible before after the Second World War and was completed in 1954. Babia Góra National Park is divided into three zones with three different levels of protection in place: Strict (about 1125ha area of the park), active (more than 2000h) and landscape (about 200ha).

Babia Góra National Park website

 


Babia Góra is unified, but separated from other mountains in the region. It provides the highest elevation of the Western Beskid Mountains. Babia Góra has a shape that resembles an impressive mountain volcano, with a peak that is often snow covered. Babia Góra is 1725 meters above sea level, making it the second highest range in Poland, only the Tatra mountains can lay claim to being higher. Due to the altitude, it is possible clearly to indicate the climate and plant flora, which correspond to the one found in other alpine type mountains.

Despite the relatively small area of the Babia Góra National Park, it amazes with the diversity and richness of both plant species and wildlife that inhabit this mountain area. There are almost 650 species of vascular plants, 280 species of moss, more than 1,300 different fungi and lichens, and almost 4,500 species and subspecies of animals.

 

Due to the large variation of elements of inanimate nature and the complexity of the climate, we can find many species of animals as well as flora that are very rare, not only nationally but also on an international scale.

Within Babia Góra National Park, there are 67 plant species that are legal protected, while 4 of them appear in the Polish Red Book of Plants (Book of endangered species in Poland), threatened with extinction. They are: Moravian monkshood, gnidosz Hacquet, rogownica Alpine and okrzyn deer (symbol of the park). The latter species occurs only in Poland and exclusively on Babia Gora.


Many species of animals living in the Babia Góra National Park are also included in the Polish Red Book of Animals. Among the invertebrates are: kowalina łuskoskrzydła, klecanka rdzaworożerna, biegacz Fabrycjusza, nadobnica alpejska oraz narożna, trajkotka czerwona. Among the  vertebrates, there are 25 endangered, these include the capercaillie, żołędnica, grouse, wild cat, three-toed woodpecker, snake, eagle, wolf, bear, dormouse, and others. Żołędnica is note worthy and only exists in the Babia Góra National Park within Poland.

 

Location and Other Attractions in the Area

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The Babie Góre National park is only a small part of the Beskidy Mountain Range. The most common place to enter the park is located by the village Zajowa. Even if there are many other options.

Distances to the Babia Gora National Park from:

Krakow:85km (Zawoja)
Zakopane:59km (Zawoja)
Oświęcim:84km (Zawoja)

Other Attractions in the area:

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Sucha Beskidzka is a very attractive little tourist town. One of the most famous attractions here is the Renaissance castle, now known as "The Little Wawel" it was built from 1554 to 1580. 

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The Family Theme Park in Rabka - "Rabkoland" is the biggest amusement park in Little Poland and a place for the entire family to enjoy.

 

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Nowy Targ or New Market is famous for its markets that are held here twice a week, being one of the largest outdoor markets in Poland

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Kalwaria Zebrzydowska is a very important pilgrimage site in Poland, situated about 30km south-west of Kraków center. Consisting of 42 chapels and shrines commemorating events in the life of Jesus Christ.

 

 

Administratively Babia Góra National Park is located in three counties: Suski, Nowy Targ and Zywiec, which belong to two regions: Malopolska and Silesia.

Babia Góra National Park is a very attractive area for tourists. Every year the park is visited by more than 100 000 tourists and the number is increasing for every year that goes by. The network of tourist trails are numerous and well maintained. The Markowych Szczawinach is a cozy shelter that provides cover from the often unpredictable weather of Babia Góra. Furthermore, there is a sentry Mountain Rescue center, which promotes safety in the practice of mountaineering.

 

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Babia Góra National Park has 11 walking trails, the longest of which measures 14.5 km (Glade Jałowiecka Krowiarki-Pass), 3-cross-country skiing trails, which are great for skiing, and eight educational paths. Of considerable interest is the international route, in Polish and Slovakian. This route runs from the hostel Markowych Szczawin to schroniska Slana Voda. On this trail, it is possible to study the nature of both the northern and southern slops of the Babia Góra Mountain in one day. In the period from May 1st to October 31st an entrance fee is charged:

  • Single ticket - Normal 1 day 5.00zł
  • Single ticket - Reduced 1 day 2.50zł
  • Overnight fee to stay in BGNP is 2.00 zł / night (included in the price at the hostel)

 

The following groups are exempt from fees:

  • Children under the age of 7
  • People who are authorized by the Director of the Park, for scientific research in the field of nature conservation,
  • Schools and students holding classes in the national park in the field agreed with the Director of the Park,
  • Residents of the municipalities located within the National Park and the communities bordering the national park,

Discounts are available to:School children and students, pensioners, people with disabilities and active-duty soldiers.

 

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