The Drawa National Park (POL: Drawieński Park Narodowy) was established in order to preserve the post-glacial landscape along the two rivers – Drawa and Płociczna. It is one of Poland’s youngest national parks (created in 1990) and is located on the border of three provinces – wielkopolskie, lubuskie and zachodniopomorskie.
As much as 80% of the park is covered by forests – pine forests, beech and oak-beech forests, alder swamp forests, and even riparian forests and fenwoods. However, this area’s biggest treasure is its waters. The largest and most diversified in terms of landscape is Lake Ostrowiec, but it is Lake Czarne which is the most interesting – created 10 thousand years ago after a giant piece of ice, separated from the retrieving glacier, melted down. The lake has no outflow, and it is located in a deep through which results in the winds never mixing the lake waters till the very bottom and so below 13 meters of depth the lake is basically dead. This is where the lake waters get its deep colour and its high transparency of up to 7 meters.
The park’s most popular spot is the river Drawa, beloved by kayaking and rafting enthusiasts due to its beautiful landscape and fast current. Drawa flows into Noteć around the town of Krzyż Wielkopolski, where the rafting can continue down the Great Waterway Loop of Wielkopolska.
The otter is the most characteristic animal of the region and it is even featured in the park’s emblem, but there are also plenty of other fauna roaming around these parts – beavers, white-tailed eagles, cormorants and goosanders. The fish variety is also noteworthy as there are some rarities among them as well – the brown trout, the grayling, the cocahoe minnow, the European bullhead or the cutthroat trout.
Two tourist information points provide services to visitors – in Drawsko and Głusko. You can enter the park free of charge – the rafting, fishing or camping is chargeable. It is worth remembering that rafting on the military training ground stretch of Drawa is prohibited.
Text: Jacek Y. Łuczak
Translation: Kaja Kurczewska