Słupia Valley Landscape Park
There are not many rivers in Poland with such a picturesque course as the Słupia, which flows from the peat bogs of the Pojezierze Kaszubskie [Kashubian Lake District]. Its valley has so many natural assets that, in 1981, a landscape park protecting them was created. Thick forest covers 72 percent of this park. Its woodiness and special landforms, enriched due to the melting of the North Atlantic Ice Sheet, make this an ideal place for recreation in the bosom of nature, with the possibility of seeking out interesting specimens of fauna and flora on one of the marked trails described here.
The first of these will surely interest enthusiasts of ichthyofauna. The “Szlakiem troci i łososia” [“Trout and salmon trail”] is a route with a length of 4 kilometres that starts by the bridge over the Słupia in Łosino. As the name suggests, the main educational focus here are migratory fish – their biology, propagation and fishing importance. However, it is not the end of interesting elements on the trail. You will see on it a former manor park with a recreated pond – a breeding place for amphibians typical of the Słupia valley. The main asset of the park is an old tree stand with monumental oaks, big beeches, hornbeams, Douglas firs, pines and false acacias.
Słupia Valley Landscape Park from a bird’s eye view
The 3-kilometre “Gołębia Góra” [“Dove Mountain”] trail is destined for ramblers, and it leads partly through a nature reserve with the same name. You will find it by a forester’s lodge “Miedzierza,” which is located near the Unichowo – Bytów route. While on it, you can admire a fragment of the Słupia valley jutting deeply into a moraine upland. The main natural assets of this place are hillsides overgrown with mixed forests of pines and beeches of monumental sizes. Within the area of the reserve you can find rare and protected species, like the lily of the valley, stag’s-horn clubmoss, woodruff, wall fern, goodyera repens and black crowberry.
The slightly more demanding, 13-kilometre “Okolice Jeziora Głębokiego” [“Głębokie Lake Area”] trail, starts at the car park by the lake in Gałęzowo. This route runs along the forested shore of a ribbon lake located in the Wysoczyzna Polanowska [Polanowska Upland]. Over nine stops you will learn about various aspects of the forest economy and the natural assets of Głębokie lake, and the effects of the hydrotechnical development of the Słupia. You can spot numerous plant species, including lycopods and orchids. While looking at the waters of the lake near the shore, you may also spot the spined loach, a protected species of fish.
There are numerous plant spiecies in the park, including lycopods and orchids
Two trails have been marked out around Krzynia lake. The first, 12 kilometres long, has been developed with individual tourists who like long hikes in mind. The shorter one (5 kilometres long) is for whole families and school children. Both routes are in the form of a loop, with each starting beside a hydroelectric power station which dates from 1925 and constitutes an element of the Słupia’s hydroenergy system. The trails leads along the shore of the Krzynia dam reservoir, and following it you will stumble upon grange buildings, a former manor park, monumental trees and interesting plants, including a great horsetail. The longer trail completely frames the Krzynia reservoir, and while on it you will find numerous headwaters and streams, fragments of alder forests and the grand “Gruba Berta” pine.
The “Szlakiem pięciu jezior” [“Five Lakes Trail”] also offers a choice between a shorter and longer trail. The small loop is 6 kilometres long and its biggest attraction are the Lobelian lakes Modre and Pomysko. What is more, one of the stops is located by the biggest lake in the landscape park – Lake Jasień, with an area of more than 577 hectares and a depth of 32.2 metres. The isles on the lake are a nesting place for aquatic birds like the common merganser, goldeneye, tufted duck and common sandpiper. It is also worth mentioning the hydroelectric power station near Soszyca, which constitutes the oldest link in the hydroenergy system of the Słupia. The big loop runs on a road around the south part of Lake Jasień . On the route we pass the summer resorts Łupawsko and Jasień, where it is worth seeing the historic church, ruins of a palace and the skeletal construction of a granary.
During visiting landscape park you can learn about nature protection and various aspects of forest life
Two nature trails of an educational character are to be found in Nadleśnictwo Leśny Dwór [the Leśny Dwór Forest District]. The starting point of the first one could be the tree farm, or a well known passage for frogs, which is situated by the Dębnica Kaszubska – Podwilczyn route before Łysomice village. This 1.5-kilometre trail covers issues concerned with forestry and nature protection, and it also teaches various aspects of life of trees which occur here, mainly pines and beeches. The second, a slightly longer (2.5-kilometres) trail, encompasses water bodies created within the “Mała retencja nizinna” [“A little lowland retention”] project.