Escape to the Countryside – Kampinos National Park

Cities can be fun, but sometimes the need for greenery and fresh air kicks in and the call of the wild takes over. Luckily Warsaw has its very own wilderness on the edge of town waiting to be explored. Kampinos National Park is a vast forested area, home to a host of plant and animal life.

The park boasts over 300km of cycling and walking trails, and for the committed there are campsites – it takes two days to hike from one side to the other. Given the park’s size it doesn’t take long to feel that you are a long way from civilisation.

Get out of my swamp…

The landscape varies from forest to swamp, and even inland sand dunes. The National Park supports a huge range of animal life, with lynx, elk and beaver calling the park home following their reintroduction over the past 60 years. There are deer, wild boar and a large variety of bird life, especially around the swampy areas. It’s the perfect place to spend a day communing with nature and filling your lungs with fresh air.

Scattered around the park you will find numerous monuments and historical sites. These include cemeteries from the Second World War, when the Nazis killed over 2,000 people here in secret, and tombs from the 1863 anti-Russian uprising. There is a museum and a cafe towards the city side of the National Park.

You looking at me? 

Getting to the park is easy. Take the tram or Metro (north-south line) from Centrum to Metro Młociny. From here you can take bus 708 to the National Park, or if it’s the right time of year (March – November) jump on a Veturilo hire bike and cycle the last three kilometres. [in Polish]

Hiking maps for ‘Kampinoski Park Narodowy’ are available from book shops in Warsaw

Have you been to Kampinos National Park? Had a close encounter with an angry beaver? Spotted an elusive elk? Share your stories using the comments below. 


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