Tourism and Biodiversity in Babia Góra National Park

Babia Góra – Biosphere Reserve since 1977

Babia Góra was joined to the network of Biosphere Reserves UNESCO (Man and Biosphere Programme) in 1977 in recognition of its specific values. It was not accidental distinction because the massif of Babia Góra presents unique ecosystems, it has long history of nature protection and it is a place of intensive science research.

The Queen of the Biosphere Reserve

View from Babia Góra mountain. Photo:

Babia Góra is the highest massif in West Beskidy. In view of its special beauty it is called “Queen of Beskidy” and her moody nature is a cause of her second name: “Mother of Bad Weather”. But sometimes in her kindness, she donates good visibility then she becomes one of the most beautiful view places in Poland. Wonderful sunrises, sunsets and picturesque landscapes are her card. From the summit you can see The Tatra Mountains, The Pieniny Mountains, ranges of Beskidy and even Cracow (famous Polish city,100 km from Babia Góra).

The Queen’s beauty

The southern mountainsides are mildly drooping. The northern mountainsides are steep and criss-crossed by streams. There are characteristic rocks, rocky debris and they create the surroundings resembling more Alps than Beskidy. Water coming from the northern mountainsides drains to The Baltic Sea and water from the southern side drains to The Black Sea.

The Oueen’s richness

People raking hay

Babia Góra is perfect example of plants zonation in mountains. Reach flora is a place of living for variety of animals. There are some species which have their breeding-grounds just in The East Carpathians and Alps. Sometimes some hunters as wolf or bear appear in the Biosphere Reserve, but it is little probability to meet them because the avoid crowded trials. The most numerous is insects’ world which have several thousands of species. Some of them exist only in Babia Góra.

Besides the natural resources Babia Góra owns specific cultural heritage shaped by stormy history of the region where different nations, religions and cultures influences local communities. Traditional activities practiced for centuries by local people are preserved until now (for example pasturage). Local dialect and customs are still alive.

On the trail

The Queen’s guests

The number of tourists visiting Biosphere Reserve increased from 40.000 in 1991 to nearly 80.000 in 2003. Babia Góra offers them hiking, bicycle riding, horse riding, skiing, sledging, trips on Slovakian side, fishing, gathering forest fruits, camping, agrotourist facilities, sightseeing, studying culture and folklore.

 

 

 

 

Contact: Michael Meyer at Ecological Tourism in Europe (ETE) | tel: +49-228-359008 | fax: +49-228-359096 | e-mail: m.meyer@oete.de