Magurski National Park
The Magura National Park, created in 1994, is located partly in both the Subcarpathian and the Lesser Poland Provinces. It has a total area 19,962 hectares, a 22,967 hectare buffer zone and its administrative offices in Nowy Zmigrod. It lies in the Lower Beskidy and extends from the vicinity of Wapienne in the north-west up to the Polish border in the south-east, excluding the irregular strip from the south-east to the north-west with the villages of Polany, Krempna and Mala and Wielka Swiatkowa. It encompasses the entire range of the Watkowska Magura, with a height up to 847m above sea level and the ridge lying to the south. The landscape of the park is typical of medium and low mountains. An attractive feature of the park is the scenic Wisloka River and its tributaries which flow through the park as well as numerous other streams that have their origins here. This is a typical mountain river, flowing through mostly narrow formed valleys and picturesque gorges and bends. The headwater areas and the wooded hills are given variety by the rising outcrops of exposed Magura sandstone rocks as a result of successive young erosive processes in the Watkowska Magura Massif and on the summit of Mount Kamien (714m).
Forests cover 93% of the area and include trees of which about 36% are more than 100 years old. At this level of the foothills, up to 530m above sea level, is the habitat of natural forests of hornbeam and alder as well as artificially introduced forests of pine, the lower submontane level, 530m above sea level, occurring intermittently, is covered with Carpathian beech and fir forests as well as spruce and fir forests. Among the abundance of flora there are more than 40 species of plants under full protection such as yew, dwarf mountain pine, spurge olive, southern bladdernut, Manchurian and Moldovan Monkshood, goatsbeard, early coralroot, Deptford pink, ivy, crocus, round-leaved sundew and numerous orchids, ferns and mosses. The large number of protected species indicates the high floral value of the park.
More than 200 species of protected animals also live in the park which is dominated by mammals and birds. These include the brown bear, the lynx, the wildcat, the forest marten, the badger and the beaver. Endangered birds include the golden eagle, lesser spotted eagle, buzzard, eagle owl and black stork, while reptiles are represented by the Aesculapian snake, the common European viper, the smooth snake and the grass snake and amphibian by the fire salamander. The peculiarity of the park is the presence of the Grey Banded Grayling, a butterfly usually preferring the warmer climate of southern Europe. There was the destruction and degradation of a large areas of the park during World War II but some historic religious sites have survived and, to a lesser extent, other rural buildings.
Away from the popular ski and hiking trails, Magura National Park is rarely visited, which also means that there is a shortage of tourism infrastructure in the area. Visitors can benefit from the tourist resort centrally located in the park which is in the village of Krempna. The nearest city is New Zmigrod.