Established in: 1992
Size: 28,718 H, including 26,401 H of forests and woodlands (92%) and 1,478 H of meadows and grasslands (5%)
Location: boroughs of Lutowiska (over 79,1% of the Park's area), Czarna (17,2%) and Solina (3,7 %)
The San Valley Natural Landscape Park extends through picturesque San valley from its springs to the Solińskie Lake. It constitutes a north-eastern natural shield for the Bieszczady National Park, and they both constitute a part of the East Carpathian Biosphere Reserve.
As the name indicates, the axis of the Park is the largest river of the region – San. The upper part of the river belongs to the Natural Landscape Park only in a short section between Beniowa and Sokoliki; the part near the spring and winding section from Sokoliki to Łokieć constitute the border of the Bieszczady National Park with Ukraine (river side meadows with unique peat reserve were added to the National Park). Pass Łokieć, San flows generally towards north-west. At the beginning, still as a border river, it goes in vast loops the rise of Kiczera Dydiowska, Czereśnia and Łysania. Then, already on the Polish side, with a gentle curve goes around Czereszenka and flows straight south, but strengthen by quick current of Wołosaty creek turns sharply to the west. After passing Procisna, it goes into a gorge valley between the south-east peak of Otryt (939 m at Tohaniec) on the north side and vast forest slopes of Magura Stuposiańska (1016 m) and Dwernik-Kamień (1004 m) on the south side. Following Zatwarnica, it forms meanders, bouncing off the Otryt massif to the south to fairly wide marshy meadows where villages of Hulskie, Krywe and Tworylne were formerly located. In the end, San flows through narrow gate between the loosely-spaced massif Tołsta (748 m) and western crowning of Otryt (754 m) to flow into southern arm of the Solina Lake.
Majority of the picturesque and varied San valley is a country of deserted settlements, claimed back by nature. It is completed by wooded mountain ranges. Compact, eighteen-kilometre bank of Otryt draws a line on the horizon with its regular crest line rising towards the east. Its wide flattened hilltop and extensive slopes with network of numerous streams are covered with beech and fir-tree forest.
Magura Stuposiańska massif is divided and covered fully with very well-preserved beech forest.
Dwernik-Kamień is one of the highest peaks in Bieszczady ornamented on the top with three rock patches.
When we add to it sharp Jeleniowaty range located further to the south-east and Muczny wooded dale placed between vast Bukowa Berda massif and Jeleniowaty range, the whole area of the Park enchants you with the richness of its vegetation and its beauty and variety of landscape, half of which is natural and 15% semi-natural.
San valley is an important historic trail of shaping and coexisting of plant groups and animal migration, constituting main ecological corridor integrating and facilitating functioning of different ecosystems and plant and animal populations.
The most valuable elements of this area include:
altitudinal zonation of vegetation,
mostly natural character of plant communities,
rich flora and fauna,
presence of primeval forest species,
high concentration of species and numbers of rare birds and mammals,
highly varied spatially and strongly diversified environment.
Eastern and western Carpathian and lowland species meet and coexist in the Park. Vascular plants consist of over 800 species, including 127 mountain species, out of which 38 are high-mountain (9 alpine and 29 subalpine), 64 montane, and 25 general mountain species.
Plants have unique layer arrangement. In general, two plant layers are distinguished (foothill and lower montane). The majority of wooded area is covered with montane, Asperulo-Fagetum beech forest in three subsets (damp, normal and dry). In the San valley and in valleys of bigger rivers which flow into it, Alnetum incanae alder forest is very common, Caltho-Alnetum alder forest occurs slightly less frequently. Most of the Bieszczady moors are grouped here. Large areas of river valleys are covered with meadow assemblages, valley hillsides are most often covered with grey alder.
Eastern Carpathian character of the part of Bieszczady where the Park is located is expressed by the fact that many species occur with their local west boundary in Bieszczady, and do not grow to the west of the Wołosaty valley. These species include: Betula humilis, Campanula rotundifolia, Carex limosa (mud sedge), Vaccinium uliginosum (bog bilberry), Centaurea mollis, Empetrum nigrum (Black crowberry), Gentiana pneumonanthe (the Marsh gentian), Rhododendron tomentosum (Marsh labrador tea), Persicaria bistorta (Common bristor). Habitat boundary of 12 eastern Carpathian species appears here, 8 of which are high-mountain species (i.e. Green Alder, Dianthus compactus, Veratrum album (False Helleborine), Viola dacica).
The San Valley Natural Landscape Park stands out from the rest of the Eastern Carpathians due to its plant communities variety and uniqueness. Two plant layers are distinguished here (foothill and lower montane). Majority of the Park lies in the lower montane zone with dominating fir-beech forest.
The valleys are an area where mountain plant communities meet and coexist with lowland elements. In the San valley, plant communities are greatly diversified. Small areas are covered with Caltho-Alnetum alder forest rare in the Carpathian Moutains. More common assembly along the rivers and larger streams is grey alder with rich undergrowth. Rare in the Polish Carpathian Mountains, due to spruce tree stands, is marshy coniferous forest.
More important meadow communities include Arrhenatherion, Calthion palustris, Filipendula ulmaria (Meadowsweet) and Geranium palustr communities.
Peat communities grouped in largest numbers in the valley of upper San are also interesting.
Forest communities create tree stands consisting mainly of: beech, fir, grey alder and spruce. Other species they are accompanied by: sycamore, larch, pine, ash and birch. Majority of the area is covered by mix beech-fir forest.
Bieszczady, thanks to their natural conditions, are one of few shelters of primeval forest animals in Europe. All large carnivorous mammals live here (e.g. brown bear, wolf, lynx) and almost all local reptiles, including Aesculapian snake.
Among over 130 species of avifauna, there are rare, predatory, hollow-nesting birds and songbirds. Golden eagle, lesser spotted eagle, Eurasian eagle-owl, Ural owl, black stork and others have their feeding and nesting grounds here. San has got the richest water fauna of the Polish Carpathian rivers. Many species of insects, spiders and molluscs have been identified here.
Wildlife reserve in the San Valley Natural Landscape Park
|No.||Reserve name||Size (h):||Location||Protection purpose|
|1||Krywe||511.73||Boroughs: Lutowiska and Czarna, Lutowiska Forest Inspectorate||Preservation due to educational and scenic reasons of the gorge section of the San valley below the Otryt range with numerous interesting plant communities and rare plant and animal species.|
|2||Hulskie im. Stefana Myczkowskiego||189.87||Lutowiska Borough Lutowiska Forest Inspectorate, Sękowiec Forest District||Preservation of a section of primeval forest with main tree stands characteristic for the Otryt range, varied morphological forms, and habitats of rare and protected species of plants and animals.|
|3||Zakole||5.25||Lutowiska Borough Stuposiany Forest Inspectorate, Czereszenka Forest District||Preservation due to research and education reasons of the primeval marsh plant communities.|
|4||Leucojum vernum in Dwerniczek||4.94||Lutowiska Borough Lutowiska Forest Inspectorate||Preservation due to research and educational reasons of the Leucojum vernum habitat and meadow communities with rich protected species flora|
Nature monuments at the San Valley Natural Landscape Park
|No.||Type of monument||Location||Size|
|1||European beech (6)||Lutowiska Forest Inspectorate, Chmiel Forest District, sec. 140b||circumference: 306 – 434 cm height: 28 m age: 160 years|
|2||European beech (2)||Lutowiska Forest Inspectorate, Chmiel Forest District, sec. 131j/132k||circumference: 460 cm height: 28-30 m age: 160 years|
|3||Common juniper||Lutowiska Forest Inspectorate, Chmiel Forest District, sec. 131j||circumference: 48 cm height: 12 m|
|4||European silver fir (3)||Lutowiska Forest Inspectorate, Chmiel Forest District, sec. 63a||circumference: 280-390 cm height: 40 m|
|5||Common Juniper||Lutowiska Forest Inspectorate, Chmiel Forest District, sec. 53a||circumference: 61 cm height: 9 m|
|6||Rock wall left from closed quarry||Lutowiska Forest Inspectorate, Sękowiec Forest District, sec. 149i|
|7||Top part of the Dwernik-Kamień mountain with characteristic patches and outcrops||Lutowiska Forest Inspectorate, Nasiczne Forest District, sec. 13a, 42a||height: 1004 m|
|8||Waterfall on Hylaty||Lutowiska Forest Inspectorate, Chmiel Forest District, sec. 63a 80a, approximately 2 km upstream from the Zatwarnica village|
The area of Bieszczady Mountains due to its torment history of the 20th century was deprived of its traditional and unique cultural heritage created through the centuries. It also applies to the area of present day San Valley Natural Landscape Park. Before displacements in the mid-20th century, the local people consisted mainly of Ruthenians, called locally Boykos. These mountain people belonged to the eastern Christian tradition, creating interesting culture of which only scarce remnants survived to the present day.
Selected historic structures
Smolnik - wooden Orthodox church from 1791, is the only such church so called Boyko type preserved in the Polish part of Bieszczady,
Chmiel - wooden Orthodox church from 1906,
Krywe - ruins of stone Orthodox church from 1842,
Hulskie - ruins of stone Orthodox church from 1820,
It may be interesting to search for traces of no longer existing villages, e.g. ruins of manor buildings, ruins of mills, cemeteries, wild orchards. This applies in particular to Hulskie, Krywe, and Tworylne. In case of the first two former villages, such searches may be done along historic-nature trail "Przysłup Caryński - Krywe nad Sanem."
Cultural landscape is protected through for example establishment of natural landscape complexes:
„Orthodox church in Hulskie”,
„Mill in Hulskie” (remains),
"Cemetary in Stuposiane",
"Cemetary in Ruskie"
"Mill in Dwernik" (remains).
Blue trail from Polana via Wańka Dział, Otryt range (from Hulskie to Chata Socjologa), Dwernik, Magura Stuposiańska, Widełki (and further to Bukowe Berdo at the Bieszczady National Park).
Green trail from Lutowisk to Otryt (from joint with blue trail).
Yellow trail from Muczne to Bukowe Berdo.
Yellow trail from Zatwarnica to the Park boundary towards Orłowicz Pass (Bieszczady National Park) and further to Wetlina.
Tourist trails, nature and educational trails:
„W krainie Myszołowów” (Polana, length: 3 km),
„Przysłup Caryński – Krywe nad Sanem” (length: approximately 30 km)
„Dwernik – Otryt – Chmiel” (length: 6 km),
„Hulskie” (Otrytu massif, length: 5 km),
„Jodła” (Pszczeliny, length: 3 km),
„Szkółki w Smolniku” (length: 1 km),
„Dwernik-Kamień” (Nasiczne, length: 6 km),
network of trails under "Bieszczady - Green Bicycle" project (information www.fundacja.bieszczady.pl)
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