Poland is a Central European country with a primarily temperate climate. The country has 23 national parks that were established with the aim of protecting the natural landscapes, flora, and fauna of the nations. They are as follows:
23. Babia Góra National Park
This national park of Poland is located in the country’s Lesser Poland Voivodeship. Part of the Babia Góra massif is located in this park. In 1976, the park was designated as a Biosphere Reserve by the UNESCO. 105 species of birds, mammals like wolves, bears, and lynx, and many species of insects are found in this national park.
22. Białowieża National Park
This national park of Poland is located in the Podlaskie Voivodeship of the country. The park protects a large part of the Białowieża Forest. The park houses the largest population of the European bison in the world. Tourism is strictly prohibited here since a large section of the national park protects an old-growth forest.
21. Biebrza National Park
This national park of Poland is located along the Biebrza River in the country’s Podlaskie Voivodeship. Forests, marshes, meadows, and fields create distinct habitats in the national park. Mammals like the elk and beaver, several species of wetland birds, etc., are found here. The Red Marsh is an important ecoregion of the park that is strictly protected.
20. Bieszczady National Park
Located in the Subcarpathian Voivodeship, this national park is Poland’s third largest. 80% of the park’s area is occupied by forests. The 4,416 ft tall Tarnica is the highest peak in the park. Animal species found here include bears, wildcats, European bison, lynxes, moose, etc. A significant population of Aesculapian snakes is also found here.
19. Tuchola Forest National Park
This national park is located in the Pomeranian Voivodeship of Poland and features peatlands, meadows, lakes, and forests. It is part of a UNESCO designated Biosphere Reserve. Sandy plains with lakes and dunes comprise the landscape of the park. The lakes host about 20 species of fish and also a significant population of beavers. The eagle owl, crane, wood grouse are a few of the 144 bird species recorded at the park. Yachting, agro-tourism, bicycling, walking, etc., are some of the popular tourist activities at the park.
18. Drawno National Park
This Polish national park includes a part of the massive Drawsko Forest that is located on the Drawsko Plain. The picturesque national park features deep river valleys, lakes, peat-bogs, and water channels. The Drawno National Park hosts a good diversity of flora including centuries-old oak trees and 210 species of mushrooms. 40 mammalian species, 129 bird species, 7 species of reptilians, 13 amphibian species, etc., live here. Tourist trails criss-cross the parks. Walking, kayaking and camping activities are enjoyed by tourists visiting this national park.
17. Gorce National Park
This national park of Poland is part of the Lesser Poland Voivodeship. The park includes a section of the Gorce Mountains and its landscape features arched peaks, caves, and river valleys. About 95% of the area of the park is covered by forests. Nearly 50 species of mammals, 90 species of birds, and other animals live here. The fire salamander is a rare species found in this park.
16. Stołowe Mountains National Park
This Polish national park comprises of the park of the Stołowe Mountains. The park is noted for its rock formations and rock labyrinths. Spruce species make up most of the vegetation of the national park. Red deer, wild pig, hedgehogs, lizards, birds, etc., comprise the fauna of the park.
15. Kampinos National Park
This national park of Poland is located in the Masovian Voivodeship. More than 70% of the area of the park is covered by forests with pine species being the dominant vegetation. The biggest river junction of the country is located here. The landscape of the park comprises of stretches of swamp lands and sand dunes. 1245 species of plants have been recorded here. The park also has a rich animal life. Several historical sites are also present here. Tourists visiting the park enjoy recreational activities like cycling, walking, horse-riding, and skiing.
14. Karkonosze National Park
Located in the Karkonosze Mountains of Poland, this national park is noted for its rich bird life. The biodiversity of the park varies with elevation from sea level but is generally less varied than that of many other national parks of the country. Tourists flock to this park in millions each year to enjoy hiking, walking, bird-watching, and other recreational activities.
13. Magura National Park
Located in Poland’s south-east, this national park encompasses the Wisłoka river’s upper part. Forests cover large parts of this national park. Birdlife at this park is very rich and features 137 species like the stork, eagle-owl, and the eagle. Mammalian species include the brown bear, otter, wolf, etc. Several cultural and historical sites are also present here.
12. Narew National Park
This national park is located in the Podlaskie Voivodeship. The park encompasses the stretch of the Narew River, its swampy valley, and moraine hills. Marshes, reed beds, forests, and meadows characterize the landscape of the forests. The wetlands support 179 species of birds and 40 mammalian species. 22 species of fish thrive in the water bodies of the park. The park also hosts several cultural attractions.
11. Ojców National Park
This is the smallest national park of Poland and is located in the Kraków County. Although small, the park has a unique and interesting landscape of limestone cliffs, caves, ravines, and rivers. The park is well-known for its rock formations. The caves of the park host 15 species of bats. Other animals like badgers, beavers, and ermines also occur here. Ancient castles are also found here.
10. Pieniny National Park
This Polish national park is located in the country’s southernmost part in the Pieniny Mountains. These limestone mountains create a majestic landscape as they steeply rise above the Dunajec River. The park, despite its small size, hosts a diversity of flora including several species of flowering plants. The lynx is an important predator in this national park that also houses several species of small mammals, birds, amphibians, and reptiles. Historical sites like a castle and a monastery are also found in the region.
9. Polesie National Park
Also located in the Lublin Voivodeship, this national park encompasses several peat bog reserves within its limits. The park is part of a UNESCO designated biosphere reserve and also a Ramsar site.
8. Roztocze National Park
Located in the Lublin Voivodeship, this national park of Poland protects the flora and fauna of the Roztocze range’s central areas. Roe deer, gray wolf, European beaver, Polish ponies, boar, etc., inhabit this national park. 190 species of birds have been recorded here. Several species of reptiles including the endangered European pond terrapin and over 2,000 species of insects are also found in this national park.
7. Słowiński National Park
This national park is located in northern Poland’s Baltic coast. Shifting sand dunes, criss-crossing rivers, lakes and the sea characterize the landscape of the park. Pine forests cover large parts of the park. Peat bogs are also located in many areas. 257 species of birds have been recorded here. Mammals include wild pigs, deer, and hares. Long trails and observation decks near the lakes allow tourists to observe the flora and fauna of the national park.
6. Świętokrzyski National Park
This national park encompasses the Łysogory, the highest ridge of the Świętokrzyskie Mountain and parts of other other ridges of the range. Most of the park is forested with forests of pines and beeches dominating the landscape. Over 4,000 invertebrate species and 210 vertebrae species have been recorded here. The park also hosts several t architectural relics.
5. Tatra National Park
This national park of Poland is located the Tantra Mountains, an Alpine mountain range of the country. Poland’s highest peak, the 2,499 m tall Rysy, is located here. 650 caves are also located here. Several streams, waterfalls, and lakes also enhance the scenic beauty of the park. The vegetation of the park varies with altitude. Several endemic species of animals including threatened species are found here. The brown bear, Tatra chamois, European otter, falcon, Eurasian lynx, etc., are some of the animals occurring in the national park. The Górales, the highland people of the region live in the region and practice their distinct culture and lifestyle. A large number of tourists flock to the Tatra National Park annually.
4. Ujście Warty National Park
This is Poland’s youngest national park. The Warta river divides the park into the northern and southern parts. The wetland habitats in the park attract many birds. 245 species of birds have been recorded here including 26 endangered species. 34 mammalian species including beavers and otters also live here.
3. Wielkopolska National Park
Located in west-central Poland’s Wielkopolska region, this national park features a glacier influenced landscape. Pine forests cover large parts of this park. The park hosts an incredible variety of insects of over 3,000 species. 190 species of birds, 40 species of mammals, and other animals also inhabit the park. Several historical monuments like old churches and manor houses are also present here. More than a million tourists visit this national park annually.
2. Wigry National Park
This national park includes part of the Augustów Primeval Forest and the Masurian Lake District. The park hosts several lakes within its limits and is designated as a Ramsar site. The biggest of these lakes is Lake Wigry which has an area of 21.87 square km. More than 1,700 species of fauna including 46 mammalian species, 202 avian species, 5 reptilian species and 12 amphibian species.
1. Wolin National Park
This national park of Poland is located on the island of Wolin. A diversity of flora and fauna have been recorded at this park. The primary attractions include a wisent sanctuary and the spectacular Gosań and Kawcza Góra cliffs.