The plans to officially create Seymskiy Landscape Park date back to the 1980s. However, the efforts of researches, scientists and local enthusiasts were stalled by the authorities until finally all legal documents were approved in 2016. It is still mostly known to locals only, with the rare exceptions of kayakers that enjoy the sport on Kleven River.
Seymskiy Park is located in the western part of Sumy region and grasps the territory of four administrative districts of the region: Putivl, Konotop, Krolevets and Buryn. It's not hard to guess that the territory of the park is quite large. In fact, the near 99-thousand-hectares natural reserve is the largest natural reserve in Sumy region. The main water source and the namesake of the park is Seym river, which floodplain is located here.
Besides, Kleven River also flows through the park's territory. It is especially popular among the fans of kayaking thanks to its clear water and desolate territory. Seymskiy Park is mostly taken up by thick forests and meadows, while in the floodplains, mostly the tributaries of Seym River, large areas are occupied by swamps and wetlands.
Flora and fauna
Animals of the wetlands prevail in Seymskiy Park. Here, tourists and hikers can meet muskrat, a raccoon dog, a common curator, a beaver and an otter that belongs to the list of endangered animals in Ukraine. Another rare flora species that are represented in the park is Sandhill crane. Birdwatchers will have a chance to see common moorhen, spotted crake, mallard, sand martin, and white wagtail. Eurasian Oystercatcher is one more rare bird that lives on the territory of the park.
Bison is one of the most important fauna representatives in Seymskiy Park that appeared here in the late 80s. Spring is probably the best time to visit Seymskiy natural park and spot massive herds of wild bison, as it’s too cold for the tours in winter and in summer wisent families go deep into the forests as they can find a plenty of food there. During spring bison can still be spotted near the feeding stations located in the front parts of the reserve.
Another important species living here is a weasel, which belongs to the list of endangered animals in Ukraine. Luckily, the animals feel quite safe in the park. More common species tourists can meet here are elk, European roe, wild pig, and fox.
The hiking trail comprises the Western part of Seymskiy landscape park, starting in Novomutyn village, proceeding to the Hnylytsia border, Sarnavshchyna village and all the way to Konotop. The route of the hike is about 30 km long and passes through a large part of the forest massif, located on the territory of the large sandy terraces of Seym River. The eastern part of the massif is called the Mutyn Bir, while the western part is represented by the tracts of the Golborovskaya Dacha, Dragomirivshchina, and Sarnavshchyna.
In the north-eastern part of the Mutyn Bor, where the route of the hike began, are located in very valuable indigenous forests, such as the pine forests and pine-oak forests. In the warm seasons and early autumn, hikers can stop by and collect berries. The edible species are mostly represented by blackberries. The Konotop forestry equipped the Park with a small camp called "Mushroom". The camp has several gazebos and is peppered with mushrooms, hence the name.
How to travel to Seymskiy Landscape Park
The easiest way to reach Seymskiy Landscape Park is taking the car and following E95/Е101/М01 and Е101/М02 highways from Kyiv. The route is roughly 270 kilometers and takes about 3 and a half hours. Get on the Н07 highway that starts from Naberezhene highway and then take E95/Е101/М01 and М02 to P61 in Chernihiv region. Continue on P61 to your destination in Sumy region.
Where to stay and what to visit nearby
The nearest spots with developed infrastructure are Konotop, Baturyn and Chernihiv. They are quite well-visited thanks to the historical events that took place there during the Cossack era. There are hotels in Chernihiv available on booking.com. As for Konotop, the two venues represented in the city are D'LUX hotel (3,9 rating on Google) and Ukraina hotel (4.0 rating on Google).Those who'd like to include a bit of history in their trip may visit Baturyn, namely its famous Rozumovskyi Palace. Visitors are met with a huge wooden construction - the Citadel of Baturyn, a reproduction of the Cossack fortress with a hetman house located inside. The Rozumovskyi Palace located further was built in 1799 and is luxuriously furnished in the classical style. Besides, the mansion is a museum hosts a collection of unique works of art and artifacts of the Cossack era.
Source: seymskiy.sumy.ua. Photo sources: Nickverpovsky / ua.wikipedia.org, Спригін Олександр / seymskiy.sumy.ua, depositphotos.com. All images belong to their rightful authors.