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.
Zaborski Landscape Park
Zaborski Landscape Park covers a large area in the north-western part of the Tuchola Forest. The landscape is dominated by sandy outwash plains, called the Great Brda Sandur. The Brda has been the main water course of the Tuchola Forest since the melting of the continental ice sheet, which sculpted the terrain of the Zabory Land. Today it welcomes thousands of canoeists a year.
The Brda, with its numerous tributaries - the Chocina, the Zbrzyca, the Młosina, and the Kłonecznica - forms a network of very attractive and diverse canoe trails in the Zaborski Landscape Park. The Brda can be benign to beginners, as it flows through a group of large ribbon lakes such as Charzykowskie, Karsińskie, Witoczno, Łąckie, and Dybrzk. A similarly-attractive canoe trail is found on the Zbrzyca - starting from Lake Dywańskie it leads tourists through forests and meadows to eleven charming lakes. Zaborski Landscape Park shelters a total of 48 lakes, including the protected and very clean lobelian and stonewort lakes. These are usually small, mid-forest lakes that can be reached via a dense network of hiking, cycling and nature trails.
Large ribbon lakes provide sailing opportunities. Charzykowy and Lake Charzykowskie are a cradle of inland sailing in Poland, with the Chojnice Sailing Club being active since 1922. Canoeing trips, sailing, hiking and cycling bring people closer to nature. They allow great leisure and aesthetic experience, especially to people who long for ravishing natural landscapes connected with river valleys, lakes, and a mosaic of forests, meadows, and fields. The Zabory Land is an area only slightly changed by man, and an ecotourist's dream.
The main features of the Zabory Landscape Park are forests, mainly beech forests, forming an umbrella over clean lakes and numerous peat bogs, and also providing protection to their wild inhabitants. The Park's symbol is the eagle owl - the largest European forest owl, which needs peace and quiet and has had its refuges in this area for many years. The Tuchola Forest, including the Zabory Landscape Park, is valued by naturalists in Poland and abroad.
In 1996, in the southern part of the Zabory Landscape Park, in the area of the Seven Lakes Rill (Struga Siedmiu Jezior), a National Park was established. The International Coordinating Council of the Man and the Biosphere UNESCO Programme recognised the Tuchola Forest, including the area of the Zabory Landscape Park, as a World Biosphere Reserve. It is one of ten Biosphere Reserves in Poland, and also the largest.
Zabory also boast a rich cultural heritage - the remains of wooden Kashubian architecture in Wysoka Zaborska, the 17th-Century wooden church in Leśno, the stone circles and mounds in Leśno, and the seed husking mill in Klosnowo from 1913. You are invited to take advantage of numerous hiking, cycling, and canoe trails leading to the most attractive places in the Zabory Landscape Park.
Czersk… in the heart of the forests
Okolice Borów Tucholskich w niepogodę
The Kashubian Cottage in Brusy-Jaglie
The Wda canoe trail
Park Narodowy "Bory Tucholskie"
The Mylof Dam
Zaborski Landscape Park