Flora and Fauna
The territory Uzhanian national nature park embraces almost 40 000 hectares, most of which are covered by thick woods. Virgin beech forests, old pines, ancient spruces, sycamores and firs braided with ivy and coated with moss have been growing here for many years, creating an atmosphere of true fairy tale. The flora of the park consists of numerous plants, including more than 200 medical herbs and around 40 rare plants that are mentioned in the Red Book of Ukraine. Here tourists can find such herbs and flowers like windflower, corydalis, snowdrops and many other. Some local highlands are covered with plants typical for subalpine meadow.
Uzhanian national nature park is inhabited by around 500 species of animals, 65 of which are listed in the Red Book of Ukraine, and 27 are mentioned in the European Red Book. The park is a homeland for such animals as roe deer, deer, fox, shrew, lynx, hare, bear and boars. Besides, in these forests tourists can see rare birds – for example, black stork or golden eagle, and the rivers of the national park have trout and grayling in their waters.
What to See and to Do
Uzhanian national nature park has powerful recreational and touristic potential, developed infrastructure and many interesting objects to visit. Let`s consider some of them.
Uzhok pass is located on the border of Galicia and Zakarpattia right on the water-parting line of Vistula, Danube and Dniester Rivers basins. 852-meter high pass provides a magnificent view over the panorama of Rawka River Valley (Eastern Beskids) and Ostra Mountain. Besides, Uzhok pass is an important traffic artery for both cars and trains. The pass has 14 tunnels.
Those who travel to Uzhanian national nature park have a chance to see the famous meteorite that fell on the territory of the modern park in Knyagynia village on June 9, 1866. The meteorite broke into numerous pieces before reaching the ground, and those pieces were scattered all around. More than 1200 pieces with total weight of approximately 500 tones were gathered in this area afterwards. The pieces of meteorite were sent to many foreign museums. The largest 279-kg piece fell down in Chorny Mlaky tract. Nowadays, tourists can see the remains of the meteorite by their own eyes while going along specially developed eco-trail.
Uzhanian national nature park can also boast its old wooden churches of the XVII-XVIII centuries – the true miracles of Zakarpattia folk architecture. These churches were built by unknown geniuses without any nails or modern tools. Today, six of these churches have the status of the world`s architectural monuments. The most well-known churches are Protection of the Blessed Virgin Church in Kostryno village, wooden church with Baroque elements in Domashyn village and St. Michael the Archangel`s church in Uzhok village, included in the UNESCO heritage list.
Green tourism has been rapidly developing in the park recently. Currently the park administration is developing international bicycle routes that will allow tourists to see interesting natural, historical and cultural objects of Poland, Slovakia and Ukraine. However, the park already has 7 eco-trails and 17 touristic routes. The most popular routes are “Arpad line” route (defensive line created by the Hungarian troops in the Eastern Carpathians in 1939-1944 to resist the advancing Red Army); “Dubova Roscha” route going through the thick forest to Chorny Mlaky tract; “Yavornyk” route that includes visiting the highest beech forest in Europe. By the way, there is also a chance to find karst caves in the park.
The territory of Uzhanian national nature park has many perfect locations to stay in a tent camp. Besides, here you can find numerous recreational complexes and more than 15 mineral water sources. In the winter period, “Karsiya” ski resort opens in the reserve.
Where to Stay
There are numerous accommodation options in villages and towns on the territory of Uzhanian national nature park: private homesteads, cottages, recreational complexes and so on. For an example, you can stay right at “Krasiya” ski resort that offers good living conditions, tasty food and, of course, great opportunities for skiing.
“Uzhanski Kupeli” recreational complex in Uzhok village surrounded by the mountains offers homely atmosphere along with many healthcare treatments such as Finnish sauna and hydro massage.
“Liskovets” is a private homestead for family rest, situated in the picturesque area by Uzh River. The homestead is only 35 km away from Uzhgorod.
The territory of the park has many other attractive accommodation options. You can check them out using booking.com or similar online services.
How to Get There
The most comfortable way to reach Velykyi Bereznyi town, where the park`s administration is located, is to go there from Ughzorod city. There are trains going to Uzhgorod from all the key cities of Ukraine. The distance between Uzhgorod and Velykyi Bereznyi is 43 km, so a trip to Uzhanian national nature park on a bus or a car will take less than an hour. The address of of the park administration is 7, Nezhalezhnosti street, Velykyi Bereznyi town, Zakarpattia region.
Welcome to Uzhanian national nature park – the unique biosphere reserve that impresses with outstandingly beautiful nature and variety of interesting landmarks.
Photo source: depositphotos.com, Facebook page of Uzhanian national nature park and businesses mentioned above. All photos belong to their rightful owners.