|Gorce National Park|
|Gorczański Park Narodowy|
View of south-eastern ridge of Lubań (1,211 m) Park logo with Fire salamander
|Location||Lesser Poland Voivodeship, Poland|
|Nearest city||Nowy Targ|
|Area||70.3 km2 (27.1 sq mi)|
|Governing body||Ministry of the Environment|
Gorce National Park (Polish : Gorczański Park Narodowy) is a national park in Lesser Poland Voivodeship, southern Poland. It covers central and northeastern parts of the Gorce Mountains, which are part of the Western Beskids (at the western end of the Carpathian range).
The first steps to protect this land go back to 1927, when a forest reserve was set up on land owned by Count Ludwik Wodzicki of Poręba Wielka. The National Park was created in 1981, then covering 23.9 square kilometres. Today, the area of the park has grown to 70.3 km2 (27.1 sq mi), of which 65.91 km² is forested. The area of the protective zone around the park is 166.47 km². The park lies within Limanowa County and Nowy Targ County, and has its headquarters in Poręba Wielka.
The Gorce range is dominated by arched peaks and river valleys which cut into the range. There are a few small caves and obviously - several peaks such as Turbacz (the highest - 1310 meters above sea level), Jaworzyna Kamienicka, Kiczora, Kudłoń, Czoło Turbacza and Gorc Kamienicki. Waters cover only 0.18 km² of park’s area - there are no lakes or big rivers, only streams.
In the whole Gorce range there are hundreds of species of plants, including Alpine and Subalpine plants which grow on meadows. Forests cover about 95% of park’s area and most common species are spruce, beech and fir. There are some openings which are mostly the result of prior human activity. First settlers appeared in the Gorce area in the 14th century but Gorce’s forests suffered most in the 19th century. Back then, trees were cut down on a large scale, especially in easily accessible areas.
Animal life is abundant and it includes over 90 species of breeding birds and almost fifty (50) mammal species including lynx, wolf and bear. Also there are frogs, snakes and salamanders (the latter, a rare fire salamander, is the symbol of the Park).
The Jaworzyna Kamienicka glade, one of the most beautiful in this range and located on Jaworzyna Kamienicka, itself the second-highest peak of Gorce, houses the historical Bulanda Chapel, funded at the beginning of the 20th century by Gorce's most famous shepherd, Tomasz Chlipała. Gorce's most well-known cave is also nearby – Zbójnicka Jama.
The park's overall landscape is of an undisturbed character which means that the areas of human activities are on the outside. Number of tourists it is not high – relatively speaking – and the park can be a haven for visiting nature lovers. Climbing soft peaks of the Gorce Mountains makes it possible to check out surrounding national treasures, including Tatra and the Pieniny Mountains.
The Tatra Mountains, Tatras, or Tatra, is a mountain range that forms a natural border between Slovakia and Poland. They are the highest mountain range in the Carpathian Mountains. The Tatras are distinct from the Low Tatras, a separate Slovak mountain range further south.
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Poręba Wielka is a village in the administrative district of Gmina Niedźwiedź, within Limanowa County, Lesser Poland Voivodeship, in southern Poland. It lies approximately 8 kilometres (5 mi) west of Niedźwiedź, 29 km (18 mi) west of Limanowa, and 51 km (32 mi) south of the regional capital Kraków.
The Krkonoše, Karkonosze, Riesengebirge (German), Riesageberge or Giant Mountains, are a mountain range located in the north of the Czech Republic and the south-west of Poland, part of the Sudetes mountain system. The Czech-Polish border, which divides the historic regions of Bohemia and Silesia, runs along the main ridge. The highest peak, Sněžka, is the Czech Republic's highest point with an elevation of 1,603 metres (5,259 ft).
The Polish–Czech Friendship Trail is a public walking path in the Karkonosze Mountains. The path runs on both sides of the Czech–Polish border, along the main ridge and crosses or traverses all its summits. The maintenance of the trail is performed by the staff of both adjacent national parks: the Polish Karkonosze National Park and the Czech Krkonoše National Park. The trail is marked red and the signs mostly bilingual. The start point is located on Szrenica and the end in the Okraj Pass/Pomezní boudy; the length of the trail is approx. 30 km; the level of difficulty is moderate. The trail partially overlaps with ski trails.
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Koninki – settlement in the Lesser Poland Voivodeship, Poland, situated at the south-east end of the so-called Poręba key. Administratively, part of village Poręba Wielka, Limanowa County. Koninki is a tourist centre on the border of the Gorczański National Park at the foot of the Tobołów mountain fitted with a chairlift. The town is an excellent base for treks into the Gorce Mountains. A Koninka river flows through the town.
The Gorce Mountains are part of the Western Beskids mountain range spreading across southernmost Poland. They are situated in Małopolska Province, at the western tip of the long Carpathian range extending east beyond the Dunajec River for some 1,500 kilometres (930 mi). The Gorce are characterized by numerous ridges reaching in all directions for up to 40 kilometres (25 mi) east–west with a series of higher elevations cut by deep river valleys.
Turbacz is the highest peak of the Gorce Mountains, a mountain range located in southern Lesser Poland. It lies in the middle of the range, and according to most sources, it is 1310 meters high. The peak itself is surrounded by dense pine forest, which makes it impossible view the surrounding area. In the past, however, no trees were present there, and according to the 1832 sources, it was possible to see the city of Kraków with a telescope. On the top there is a stone obelisk with an iron cross. Turbacz belongs to the Crown of Polish Mountains.
Beskid Sądecki is a mountain range in the eastern section of the Western Beskids, within the Outer Western Carpathians. It is located in the border region between Poland and Slovakia. On the Polish side, it stretches in the area of 670 km², between the Dunajec river in the West and the valleys of the Kamienica Nawojowska river, Mochnaczka, Muszynka, Przełęcz Tylicka in the East. The highest peak of the mountain range is Radziejowa at 1262 metres. The mountains are built from flysch rocks.