The Janowskie Forests are one of the biggest wood complexes in Poland, with plenty of magnificent stroll and bicycle lanes. It delights with its abundance of beautiful spots to explore.
The Janowskie Forests complex lies on the border of the Lubelskie and Podkarpackie Voivodships, with its edges reaching the Vistula River in the west (the most beautiful part of the river - Lesser Polish Gorge) and Solska Wilderness in the east. The forest is a vast sea of trees, stretching out from the Vistula up to the Ukrainian border.
The landscape is dominated by sandy, post-glacial dunes, covered with forests, reaching up to ten or so meters in height. Frequently, peat bogs are found between them and small forest rivers pools. In the woods there are also many large complexes of fishponds.
The woods consist mainly of the pine monoculture. However, fir trees, beeches, silver birches, oaks and alder trees are also common in the area. In many places the forest has primeval character, mainly in the marshes, where the clearing and the planting of the trees is difficult to proceed with. The area has many rare and interesting plants, such as several species of orchids or the carnivorous sundews. Autumn comes with the abundance of mushrooms and cranberries bearing fruit.
Watch the animals
A paradise for bird watchers. Ponds near Maliniec and Imielity Ług natural reserve are full of herons, ducks, black storks, white-tailed eagles, spotted and lesser spotted eagles and harriers. In the Janowskie Forests you can hear capercaillies calling.
It’s also worth mentioning that in Szklarnia there is a sanctuary of the konik polski (a small, semiferal horse, originating in Poland). Being the descendants of the tarpans, forest wild horses, they dwell the territory in a small herd, in their natural environment.
Places you must visit
The Janowskie Forests are a protected landscape park. Nevertheless, you are allowed to step off the routes and pick mushrooms or other forest fruit. It’s a great place for nature lovers, with lots of strolling and bicycle lanes, forest parking lots, shelters and educational trails.
Walking the Janowskie Forests one may be interested with the history connected with them. For years, they were a part of the Zamoyski Family Fee Tail, a mighty state in a state. The Zamoyskis put much emphasis not only to forest farming, but also natural preservation.
Since that time, there has remained a network of forester’s lodges and the remnants of the forest railway. Although nothing has been left of the tracks, the railway embankment is still clear and visible. Also, you can find little bridges where the train crossed the forest bridges. In Janów there is an open-air museum with the old railway exhibits.
In the wake of partisans
In the history of warfare the Janowskie Forests were a shelter for insurrectionists and partisans. Kruczek wilderness is a very interesting example of the place where the partisans would gather, what is commemorated with gravestones and shrines
A historic site worth visiting is Porytowe Wzgórze, where the greatest partisan battle took place in June 1944. 30,000 German troopers were confronted by the united partisan forces of many combat organizations, supported by 3,000 Soviet soldiers. A monument was erected in memory of that historic event.
In the forests there are a number of nature reserves, with hundreds of natural monuments, such as the impressive sessile oaks.
(author Michał Zieliński, Zespół Lubelskich Parków Krajobrazowych)
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