The Tuchola Forest (Bory Tucholskie) is one of the largest forests in Poland, covering about 3 thousand sq. km, comprising mainly coniferous trees dominated by pine. The diversified lie of the land, with an abundant water network, makes its landscape particularly attractive. Some of the forests have been covered by legal protection and currently form the area of a national park.

The Tuchola Forest National Park encompasses an area sculpted by a glacier, and more particularly by the phenomena connected with its retreat towards the end of the last glacial age. The melting ice and the water flowing from under it that carried large amounts of rubble shaped the plain area, adorned by characteristically-long ribbon lakes. An unquestionable geographical attraction of the park is formed by the large clusters of dunes – a phenomenon more frequently associated with the seashore – occurring here as inland dunes. The numerous hollows, often filled with water, are the footprint of giant ice forms separated from the glacier, called “dead-ice”, which gradually melted as the climate got warmer. Besides the dominant pine, the national park features rare plants which are considered relics of the glacial retreat from parts of northern Poland. They mostly occupy the extensive areas of peat bogs formed as a result of the overgrowing of shallower lakes. The specimens of ancient oaks and beeches that can be found here and there, once very common in the Tuchola Forest, but mostly destroyed in the past by predatory exploitation, are a rare sight, but are all the more interesting.

The sylvan landscape of the Tuchola Forest is also the refuge of fauna characteristic of Central Europe, such as roe, wild boar, deer, foxes, and even wolves. The wild fowl of the Tuchola Forest include such rare species as black grouse, wood grouse, black storks, and peregrine falcons.  

The area of the Tuchola Forest is also a very attractive place for tourists. Among the local attractions it is worth mentioning the canoe trails on rivers and lakes, the most prominent being Lake Charzykowskie and the Great Brda Channel, the stone circles in Odry, and historic hydrotechnical facilities. The accommodation and restaurant base is provided by numerous boarding houses and agritourism farms.

Charzykowskie Lake

Charzykowskie Lake

Charzykowskie Lake is a long water-filled ribbon – a glacial lake with an area of over 1300 ha and up to 30 metres in depth. It is located in the Tuchola Forest, near the national park border, and in the Zaborski Landscape Park. By virtue of its very location it is a place of extraordinary natural and scenic value.

The sailing traditions of the lake and its water sports centres date back to the interwar period, when Charzykowy - a village located by the lake - was the heart of Polish water sports, particularly sailing and iceboating. Charzykowy still house the oldest Polish sailing club - the Chojnice Sailing Club, founded almost immediately after Poland regained its independence after the partitions.

The lake hosts numerous sailing events, e.g. regattas and youth training camps, and the arrival of winter brings no end to the sporting season, as, provided that frost is strong enough to cover the lake with thick ice, it turns into a great iceboat course. From recent times Charzykowy has had a yacht harbour equipped with a modern infrastructure, along with devices for launching vessels. Two islands with intriguing names - Wyspa Miłości (Love Island) and Wyspa Bachorska (Bachorze Island, after a nearby village) - add a charming aspect to the lake.

Aside from supporting water sports, tourists coming to Charzykowy can attend music events with local folklore inspirations, and also using sailing and maritime themes, e.g. at the "Shanties" International Sailors' Songs Festival.

Watching the regatta is a very interesting pastime in itself, but you can also go on a cruise in a Żegluga Charzykowska boat. Due to the stringent environmental standards of the national park buffer zone, which covers Lake Charzykowskie, boats are equipped with electric drive emitting no fumes and noise. The Brda canoe trail, which is considered one of the most attractive in Europe, also runs through the lake

The villages located by the lake provide a full range of beach and restaurant facilities, with restaurants, boarding houses, bathing sites, and water equipment rental.

Lake Charzykowskie is a true paradise for water and water-sports enthusiasts. The beautiful surroundings, clean nature, and a rich package of tourist services contribute to the great popularity of the place, as the visitors return home well-rested and satisfied.