Opole voivodeship is a perfect place created for nature lovers
Our region is an interestingly shaped area with vast river network, where we may approach numerous species of protected animals, plants and fungi, as well as admire a plenty of erratic blocks and springs.
For the protection of such values of the nature, three landscape parks were created, thirty five nature reserves¸ and many other natural and scenic complexes.
Over thirty per cent of the region is under protection. Natural, landscape and cultural values are a great trump of the region, which await the tourists who can admire the beauty and wealth of the region’s nature.
Stobrawa Landscape Park
This picturesque park and its terrains stretch for about six kilometers and they embrace a part of the Odra valley and the Stobrawa and Turawa forests. The main reaches are the forests which fill about 78% of the area, and its uniqueness is confirmed by almost forty protected species and the same number of rare plants.
The park shelters about a hundred and seventy bird species, counting the endangered. Stocked reservoirs, situated far from civilization, are the perfect places for rare birds. The area abounds with fish-breeding ponds and scenic cut-off lakes. The Western part are consists of reserves: Leśna Woda with preserved mixed forest of natural origins, Śmiechowice with two hundred years old European larches, and Lubsza- a beautiful and the most accessible reserve with old specimen of huge beeches. Dune elevation, fragments of ancient forest, dump valley, cut-off lakes of Odra and Nysa Kłodzka – are the perfect places for taking bike or foot trips, and an occasion to interact with pure nature beauty.
Mount St Anna Landscape Park
The Park unusually combines nature and culture, with a volcanic elevation called Mount St. Anna (400 meters above sea level). On the top and on the mountain slopes the sanctuary of St. Anna is placed, together with a monastery complex, picturesque Calvary and huge amphitheatre built by the Germans at the place of old quarry, dominating over the Memorial of Uprisings monument ( created in the fifties, by Xawery Dunikowski’s project).
In the park’s geological reserve Mount St. Anna can be visited. It was founded at the place of many inoperative quarries, which allows a great view of geological structure of the area. Interesting trails lead through a small karstic cave, called “cave in the reserve”, which is five meters long. Once vastly forrested, now shrinking, but still diversified, and abounding with wildlife.
The most valuable areas are under protection by creating reserves Leisko, Boże Oko, Grafik and Biesiec, or strict floristic reserve Ligota Dolna. Amongst protected animals we may encounter a common viper, a smooth snake, or even a blindworm. The main dangers for park nature are the air pollution and motorway A4, which has divided the park into two parts. Building A4 caused many famous protests. Mount St. Anna was acknowledged to be the Monument of History in 2004, there have been preparations for registration on the world UNESCO heritage list.
Opawa Mountains Landscape Park
The park is placed in the Opawa mountains in the South-West part of the region and embraces the highest terrain elevations. The highest is Biskupia Kopa (889 meters above sea level) full of unique nature wonders. The trail, which leads to the peak, will surely satisfy hiking fans.
After old resource exploitation, there were left numerous picturesque mining workings e.g. Gwarkowa Perć, Piekielko, Morskie Oczko. The park abounds with a few hundred plant species including several dozens of protected ones, and 163 protected animal species. The park area is 80% covered by dense forests, where many reserves e.g. Cicha dolina, or Las Bukowy. And the park is also a geological and landscape reserve “by Białka River”, where we may come across the remnants of medieval gold prospecting. There are also many gorges and valleys, the Biała Głuchołaska and Złoty Potok wind washes through the park, creating numerous picturesque landmarks over the years.