Trail time – 2.5 hours
Route difficulty - average
Total length – 16 km
Trail time – 2.5 hours
Route difficulty - average
1. The giant spruce. Spruce is a typical taiga tree which sometimes reaches phenomenal sizes in Belovezhskaya Pushcha and is the tallest in Belarus. The trunk diameter of the gorgeous beauty is almost 90 cm, its top is at an altitude of over 40 meters, and it has been growing here for more than 200 years. However, the tree is not unique at all: there are many similar fir trees in Pushcha, some, reaching almost 50 meters in height, considerably exceed this one by age.
2. Forest ponds. In different parts of the forest small ponds are hidden. These artificial ponds were excavated in the Soviet period, when Pushcha was considered not only a reserve, but also an exemplary hunting farm. There are more than fifty ponds in total, and they were created as watering places for large game, as well as fire reservoirs. In decades, amazing communities of specific plants and animals have formed here, giving the green Bialowieza world even greater variety.
3. Pine-giants. Two huge pine trees beside the road belong to the honorable category of giant trees. The age of giants with a wide brazen bark is more than 250 years old, the trunks thickness is about a meter. The trees are not record-setting, there are hundreds of huge pines in Pushcha. There are more impressive specimens as well. Nevertheless, these pines are a vivid example of beauty and power which nature gives to the species. There are nowhere else such hefty and stately pines in Belarus, you can find these rare specimens of such trees only in Polesie.
4. The lowland swamp. In the old time, along the southern and eastern outskirts of Pushcha there was a chain of lowland swamps. Quite large open-type wetlands were among them. The last definition means that the boggy ground has never overgrown with trees and shrubs - from afar the swamps looked like endless splendid "glades". Most of these remarkable reservoirs of life were drained, and the heaviest blow was inflicted in the XX century. Only wild swamp Dikoe remained intact, all but the wildest of the similar ones in Europe. In small areas of the former wetlands you can still see a huge number of rare and protected plants and insects. The site located on the route is characteristic of Pushcha, such places make a great contribution to the biological diversity of the natural complex.
5. The witness-oak of centuries. This witness of the past is over 300 years old. The oak began to grow on an elevation among the wetland forest even in the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth times, its diameter is now about 1.3 m, but by the Pushcha standards it is still a "young" giant. There are more than 1000 (!) giant oak trees in the Bialowieza forests, and according to this parameter Pushcha has no equals in Europe. Scientists state that the biological limit of oaks life can reach one and a half thousand years. There are no such old-timers in Bialowieza, perhaps not only people but also elemental forces are to be blamed for this, however even today you can see colloxen not less than 700 years old in the reserved groves with trunks exceeding two meters thick! This is an incredible sight: after all such trees remember ancient hunters with bows and arrows in their hands... magnificent oaks are one of the symbols of Belovezhskaya Pushcha today.
6. The tract of "Lava". Once in the river Lesnaya floodplain there was a farm, where whole generations of aboriginal Pushcha dwellers lived. In the 70s of the last century, the authorities divided Belarusian villages into "promising" and "unpromising", the resettlement began. The farm of the "Lava" tract, on the ruins of which XVI century coins were found later, like many other ancient farms of Pushcha ceased to exist. Nowadays there’s a picturesque artificial lake on a large meadow.
7. The tract of "Yazvy". The tract mark is the same large meadow. This is a very interesting place. First, the surrounding forests are the favorite territory of the bison. Secondly, the age of the glade itself is estimated, as much as incredible it sounds, in thousands of years! Here stone axes and other artifacts of an ancient settlement dating back to 6-8 millennia B.C. were discovered.
8. The one defeated lightnings. Many old oaks of Belovezhskaya Pushcha keep marks from lightning strikes. Surely, thousands and thousands of thunderstorms raged on them for hundreds of years. It is a long time which determines the collision frequency with the monstrous energy of the heavens. Mighty trees become peculiar "antennas", or rather "lightning receivers". And the electrical discharge finds them. Since most gray-bark oaks are in the process of gradual boon die-away, it quickly burns to ashes when a lightning strikes. However, trees often come out victors - even with huge black hollows inside they still live long enough.
9. The oak with a wart. Warts are outgrowths on tree trunks. They are formed because of all sorts of "strangers" intrusion. Trees with warts are less valuable for processing, so they are the first to fall under sanitary cutting in ordinary forests. Human influence is very limited in Belovezhskaya Pushcha, so you can see warts on a variety of trees here. Sometimes these formations exceed the size of 1 meter, and their forms rare whimsicality makes you think about forest "architecture." This wart on an oak tree is an ordinary phenomenon, a tree with such a wart can live very long.
10. The former narrow-gauge railway. In 1915, during the First World War, huge territories west of the Bug were occupied by Germany. The Germans immediately took up the industrial development of Pushcha.
Using the slave labor of captured French and Russian soldiers, the new owners entangled the great forest with a network of narrow-gauge railways with a length of 325 km in just 18 months! Small locomotives pulling platforms with logs moved permanently along the way. Until the spring of 1918, the invaders exported 4,500,000 cubic meters of valuable timber - Pushcha had not seen such damage for half a thousand previous years! Asphalt roads are laid on the site of some narrow-gauge railways today.
11. The animal passage. Pushcha is riddled with animal paths throughout. Among them there are hardly noticeable and very lively as well - for example, this crossing, through the highway. The secret of "popularity" is simple: the road is laid on the site of an old narrow-gauge railway, in a hollow with steep slopes. Animals have found the most convenient, more gentle slope and use it willingly. Every day many fresh traces of roe, wild boars and deer appear there. In the evening and in the morning, a meeting with wild inhabitants of the forest is very real.
12. The pine with root "paws". A giant pine with a trunk thickness of about 1.2 m deserves attention not only because of its impressive size. It differs from relatives by the root "paws" form. They come forward to the sides a lot - like powerful supports for a tall tower. This way the trees are better rooted in the soil, have more chances to survive even the strongest storms. This mighty pine stands for more than 300 years, its height is 38 meters.
13. At the forest fork. The development of forest roads with a picturesque alcove keeps a piece of history. Thickets of bird-cherry unusual species, dogrose bushes will be opened to the observant eyes. Of course, these plants did not appear here themselves: once a forester's house was here. Most likely, the hamlet in the dense forest appeared in the forties of the XIX century, when numerous swaths were cut through Pushcha, dividing it into separate sectors. Then iron narrow-gauge railways were laid alongside them, turned now into ordinary roads.
14. The age-old pine forest. A magnificent example of an old pine forest. The average age of its trees is no fewer than 200 years. Only Belovezhskaya Pushcha has such splendid massifs, nowhere else in Belarus can they be found. Many of these strikingly beautiful and huge pines grew in places where a gigantic, apocalyptic fire raged in 1811, occurred on the eve of Napoleon's invasion. Now these forest glades are the most valuable landmarks of the living nature power – after all they reborned without any human help.