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The Szczecin LP

The Szczecin Landscape Park „Beech Forest” was established on 4 November 1981. The Beech Forest, also called Knieja Bukowa, covers high, postglacial moraine hills, called the Bukowe Hills, which are located at the western end of Pomerania. They extend over the regions south-east from Szczecin, from the Regalica banks to the Miedwie Lake basin.

The highest elevation in this area is Bukowiec Mountain – 148.4 m above sea level. „The scale-like” geological structure resulted in very interesting hydrogeological phenomena in the form of springs, watercourses and disappearing streams (Ponikwa, Utrata).

The meandering Chojnówka and Rudzinka streams are spectacular ornaments on the landscape. On the areas that have non-permeable layers there are depressions filled with water or peat,

drainless in most cases. The picturesque Lake Glinna (area: 75 ha and depth: 16 m), Lake Binowskie (52 ha and 9 metres deep), Lake Piasecznik Wielki (area: 15 ha) are the biggest of them. The uniqueness of the Beech Forest is most visible in the considerable area of very diversified beech forests and very often unique fauna and flora. Considerable areas are also covered by riparian forests, alder and oak forests and the mosaic of non-forest communities.

 The complex form of the forest, with diverse vegetation accumulations and communities, is a refuge for various animals, including numerous mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, fish and insects. Deer, wild boar and roe deer are the bigger mammals that predominate in this area. The following breeding birds are exceptionally valuable – white-tailed eagle, lesser spotted eagle, red kite and western marsh harrier.

The Park has a protection plan approved by the Westpomeranian Governor’s Resolution No. 113/2006 of 22 August 2006. The Beech Forest area was also included in the network of Special Areas of Conservation of the Natura 2000/PLH320020 Bukowe Hills programme.

Lake Szmaragdowe (Emerald Lake)

Lake Szmaragdowe is located within the Zdroje Forest Park. It is an old chalk quarry, exploited by the factory established in 1862 by Toepffer and Grawitz. Their “Stern” cement works utilised the sites’ natural material, chalk, from here. The rocks were hand-excavated beacuse they could be easily chipped, and then loaded onto the cars and transported by the rail system. The trail led downhill, so trasportation was easy. The oozing groundwaters were constantly pumped out.

However, on 26 July 1925, the quarry was flooded and the lake with area of 4.5 ha and a depth of 16-20 metres was formed. At the bottom of the lake the remnants of mining machines and equipment can still be found. Because of the high concentration of calcium carbonate and the light reflecting from the chalk bottom, the waters of the lake are emerald in colour (that is where the name comes from).

There is a legend mentioning the mischievous Skarbek, connected to this place. This greedy ghost acummulated great wealth, hid in underground, and when a miner’s pickaxe uncovered it, Skarbek flooded all the area.

The lake is surrounded by 50-m-high steep walls. Since it was formed it has changed many times because masses of ground falling into the water. In 1995 the action aiming at landslide prevention and making the lake available for tourists started – the construction of a tourist trail and monumental stairs on the south-western wall.

Today Lake Szmaragdowe is the perfect tourist spot. Walking routes have been defined and there are lots of tourist attractions around the lake. The bridge over the lake shore is a remnant of the railway line that was used to transport the quarry’s produce. There are also some viewing points, where one can observe the panorama stretching over the Lower Oder Valley and the City of Szczecin. Over the southern lake shore there is a collapsing fire station with an underground system of tunnels.

The park is adorned by 63 protected plants species and rare species that represent mountain, atlantic and xerothermic elements. The most valuable areas have been protected in natural reserves (469.39 ha):

– Prof. Florian Cieliński’s „Beech Forest Ravines„,
– Prof. Tadeusz Dominik’s „Beech Springs„,
– Józef Lewandowski’s „Kołowo Ravines„,
– Prof. Stefan Kownas’s „Grassy Beech Forest„,
– Jerzy Jackowski’s „Spring Beech Forest„,
– ,,Zdroje„,
– ,,Osetno„.

In the park one may encounter the following glacial erratics:

Głaz Krajoznawców – the biggest glacial erratic, perimeter: 17.5 m , height: 2.7,
Szwedzki Kamień – perimeter: 9.7, height: 1.8 m,
Kamień Serce – perimeter: 13.5 m, height: 1.5 m called also Młyńskie Koło,
Głaz Grońskiego – perimeter: 12.2 m, height: 1.4 with a plate commemorating Stanisław Groński (leading Polish mountaneer, hiker, Szczecin Lands tourism pioneer).

The following natural monuments can be found in the Park:

„Saint Otto” – a lime that grows in the church square in Płonia, according to the legend, planted in 1124 during the mission of Bishop Otto of Bamberg,
– „the Wry-Mouthe’d Oaks” – two oaks that grow in Klęsków that, according to the legend, commemorate the year 1121, when Bolesław the Wry-Mouthed defeated the Westpomeranian Army on the fields between Klęsków and Zdunów.

There are two nature and landscape protected complexes in the Park:

– „Jezierzyce”,
– the „Forest Park in Struga”.

The following ecological resources can be found in the Park:

Zgniły Grzyb – on the area of 50.25 ha there is a protected lake with a neighbouring reed bed, willow thickets, meadows and forests which are breeding, feeding and resting places for many rare species of mammals and birds.

Tourist trails leading through the Park:

The Park and its buffer zone are crossed by 20 tourist trails, and their total length amounts to about 140 km. They lead through the most important parts of the forest landscape, and the holiday centres by the Glinna and Binowski lakes facilitate water and beach recreation.

What‘s more, the following sites are worth visiting in this area:

a) Kołbacz – a complex of buildings of the former Cistercian abbey,
b) Binowo – the Binowo Park Golf Course,
c) Glinna – the Dendrological Garden and barrow cemetery

The Park’s Administration is located in Gryfino

More information available on the Park website:

Park Administration:

Regional Directorate for Environmental Protection, and Local Affairs Division in Gryfino

The building of the former border crossing point Gryfino – Mescherin
74-100 Gryfino
Tel. +48 91 / 414 02 60
Fax. +48 91 / 414 02 69


Zadanie współfinansowane ze środków Unii Europejskiej ze środków Europejskiego Funduszu Rozwoju Regionalnego w ramach Regionalnego Programu Operacyjnego Województwa Zachodniopomorskiego na lata 2007-2013.