Polesie National Park
Earth : Europe : Central Europe : Poland : Lesser Poland : Lublin Voivodeship : Polesie National Park
Polesie National Park  (Polish: Poleski Park Narodowy) is a national park in Lublin Voivodeship, Poland. The park, known for its forests and peat bogs, is located in the historic Polesie region of the province.
The park is located in the central east of Lublin Voivodeship, positioned 54 km northeast of the provincial capital Lublin near national road DK82. It is an hour drive northeast of the capital. The park has a total land area of 9,764 hectares (24,127 acres), with an outlying protection zone of 14,041.96 hectares (34,698 acres). The park is divided into two main zones, with its northern zone (the largest of the two) just north of the village of the Urszulin, and its southern zone just south of the small hamlet of Wincencin.
Polesie National Park represents a small portion of the vast Polesie area, a land studded with swamps and marshes through southern Poland, southern Belarus and eastern Ukraine. Although the swampy areas have declined due to the effects of human agriculture over thousands of years, the lands around the contemporary park are relatively unchanged. Due to the inaccessibility of the Polesie marshlands in the past, the lands have been used for seclusion in history. In 1863, Polish insurgents fighting Russian forces during the January Uprising used the contemporary park's grounds as a secret encampment site.
Plans for a national park in the region appeared first in 1933, with additional calls for the creation of a protected area put forward in 1954. Beginning in the 1960s and continuing onward into the 1970s, lands around the future park were transferred as nature reserves, coming at a time of expansive coal mining nearby. Government plans for a national park were put forward in 1987, though it would not be until the fall of communism when plans fell into place, creating the park on 1 May 1990. Since its creation, the park as continued to expand, growing from 4,813.35 hectares in 1990 to 9,647.73 hectares by the end of the 1990s. On 30 April 2002, Polesie National Park became part of the Unesco-protected Polesie Zachodnie Biosphere Reserve.
The scenery of Polesie National Park is characterized by dense forests, peat bogs, swamps, and wetlands.
Flora and fauna
Boreal needleleaf forests are abundant throughout the park, along with wetland ecosystems. Among some of the animals found in the park are bank voles, tundra voles, white-breasted hedgehogs, beech martens, short-tailed weasels, European otters, great white herons, common European vipers, European water voles, and moose to name a few.
Polesie National Park sits roughly half-way between Lublin and Włodawa on the Belarusian border on national road DK82, which passes between both zones of the park. The park's northern zone is ringed by voivodeship roads DW819 in the north and DW820 to the west and south, while its southern zone is more remote, accessed only by smaller local roads. From Lublin, the park is nearly an hour drive, while from Włodawa, the journey takes normally half an hour. The largest town closest to Polesie is Urszulin.
A single day ticket into the park costs 6 zł. A 3 day pass will cost 14 zł, while a week pass is 20 zł. A family ticket (with a maximum of 6 people) will cost 14 zł. A normal ticket to enter the park's museum in Stare Załucze is 6 zł each per person.
The park is crossed by numerous trails, including hiking, horse, and bicycling routes.
The park is known for its dense forests and large peat bogs.
There are no restaurants in the park, with the only dining options in Urszulin.
There is presently no lodging available within the park's borders. However, there is limited lodging in the villages of Urszulin and Wytyczno just off of highway DK82, as well as more conventional lodging southwest of the park in the village of Rozpłucie Pierwsze.
There are two campsites in the park's northern zone, with an additional campsite just outside of the park's border in the hamlet of Stare Załucze. There are presently no campsites in the park's southern zone.
Visitors leaving Polesie can easily exit the area by taking national road DK82, leading to either Lublin to the southwest or Włodawa to the northeast.