PRIMEVAL FOREST, once Jatzvingian old woods, is the only area
in Suwałki Region so heavily wooded.
It stretches from the Biebrza valley on Augustów Plain to the
southern edges of Eastern Suwałki Lakeland (Sejny Region). It
covers a total area of about 160 000 ha, 114 400 ha of which
belong to Poland. The rest belongs to Lithuania and Belarus.
This is the biggest forested area in Poland, exceptionally attractive
in respect of tourist, natural and hunting advantages. Almost
all kayak routes of Suwałki Region - along the Czarna Hańcza,
Rospuda, Marycha, Blizna and the Augustów Canal - run through
Augustów Primeval Forest. Within its borders there is Augustów
Lakeland rich in picturesque lakes such as Necko, Rospuda, Białe,
Studzieniczne, Sajno and Serwy. They have been very popular
with sailors, canoeists and anglers for a long time now. Wigry
Region, situated in Augustów Primeval Forest and protected as
Wigry National Park, has many lovers as well. The southern edges
of the Primeval Forest form a protection zone of Biebrza National
Park. The primeval forests are worth visiting because of the
advantages of the environment, rich undergrowth, wildlife refuge,
flora and fauna reserves, appealing landscape, and places commemorating
fights for national independence. Through the forests run many
well-marked hiking and biking trails and kayak routes. You
can also travel by car along these asphalt and gravel roads
which are opened for public traffic. Till the middle of the
16th century, Augustów Primeval Forest (originally, partly Perstuńska
and Przełomska- properties of Polish kings) had been a place
of royal hunting for aurochs, bison, deer, wild boar, bear,
or wolf. During the next two centuries wood from the forest
was shipped to Baltic ports. Moreover, tar, potash, birch tar
and charcoal were produced here. Bog ore was used for iron smelting.
Bee-keeping developed to large extent. The guards watching over
the backwoods, wood-distillers, fishermen and bee-keepers started
settlement in the Primeval Forest. This is the reason why there
are so many villages dating from the 17th and 18th centuries
in Augustów forests, where in summer tourists and holiday-makers
can find accommodation and rest.
Primeval Forest is 40 km long and as wide as that. Among wild forests
there lies the health resort of Augustów, and in their forelands
the town of Suwałki is situated. Deep in the forest and on its fringes
there are numerous holiday villages.
Along the western edges of Augustów Primeval Forest runs the international
road no. 19 (to the border crossing in Budzisko). Historical tracts,
nowadays asphalt roads, run from Augustów across the forest to Lipsk
by the Biebrza, along the Augustów Canal and to Sejny via Giby and
to the border crossing in Ogrodniki.
The hydrographical network of Augustów forests - the waters of rivers,
lakes, the Augustów Canal - offer great canoeing and sailing conditions.
On the other hand, well-marked hiking and biking trails allow for
exploring the most interesting natural and landscape corners of
this forested area.
villages of Augustów Primeval Forest
Lake Wigry: Bryzgiel, Gawrychruda, Płociczno, Stary Folwark; along
the Augustów Canal: Małowiste, Mikaszówka, Płaska, Serwy, Studzieniczna,
Sucha Rzeczka; around Lake Pomorze: Giby, Kukle, Posejnele; near
Lake Blizno: Ateny, Danowskie, Kopanica, Walne.
(and biking) tourist trails
Blue trail: Krzywe - Sobolewo - Płociczno - Danowskie (38,8 km).
2. Green trail around Lake Wigry: Stary Folwark - Gawrychruda -
Bryzgiel - Zakąty - Mikołajewo - Wigry - Stary Folwark (44,9 km).
3. Blue trail: the range Węgzał - Maćkowa Ruda - Wysoki Most - Jezioraki
- Giby - Sejny (35 km).
4. Yellow trail: Augustów - Lake Dusznica - Tobołowo - Sarnetki
- Frącki - Mikaszówka (62 km).
5. Green trail along the Augustów Canal: Augustów - Studzieniczna
- Płaska - Paniewo - Mikaszówka (39,4 km).
6. Blue trail: Augustów - the range Królowa Woda - the forester's
lodge Gruszki - Mikaszówka (55 km).
7. Red trail: Jastrzębna - Krasne - Gruszki - Giby - Berżniki -
Sejny (89 km).
Across Lake Wigry from Gawrychruda to Stary Folwark (28 km)
2. Stary Folwark - Wigry - the Czarna Hańcza - Rygol (88 km)
3. Along the Augustów Canal from Rygol to Augustów (35 km)
4. Augustów - the Augustów Canal - Sucha Rzeczka - Lake Serwy (28
Canoe trips on the waters of Augustów Primeval Forest are organized
by PTTK: in Suwałki (tel./fax 566 79 47), in Augustów (tel. 644
74 69) and tourist agencies in Augustów and Suwałki. Information
at SIRT, tel. (087) 566 54 94.
Information about the accommodation in Augustów Primeval Forest
AUGUSTÓW AND AREA
Augustowskie Forum Turystyczne (Augustów Tourist Assembly), Augustów,
tel./fax 643 20 21 PTTK branch, Augustów, tel. 643 38 50 Tourist
office "Zorb-Tour", Augustów, tel./fax 644 68 33
SUWAŁKI AND AREA
The Center for Suwałki Region Promotion, Suwałki, tel./fax 565 11
22 Suwałki Chamber of Agriculture and Tourism (SIRT), Suwałki, tel./fax
566 54 94 Suwałki Center of Information "Mewa", Suwałki, tel. 566
SEJNY AND AREA
The Society for Sejny and Sejny Region Development, Sejny, tel./fax
5163400 Suwałki Chamber of Agriculture and Tourism (SIRT), Suwałki,
tel./fax 566 54 94 Attention: The above centers of tourist information
give details of accommodation, they reserve rooms, organize trips,
suggest services of tourist agencies working in Augustów and Suwałki.