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Natural beech forests

Learn about the history of the forests and feel the power of nature in the depths of the Beskids!

Their bulges and knots resemble human eyes, and their twisted branches and roots bring to mind the paws of monsters from legends and fantasy novels. Beech, as it is referred to, is a natural, wild-growing tree of temperate mountains. Together with an admixture of fir, it forms the original type of mountain forest, which is still preserved in only a few corners of Europe, including the Limestone Alps in Austria or the Bettlachstock area near Solura in Switzerland.

The largest area of its concentration, however, is in the Carpathian Mountains, including the wild corners of the Low Beskids and the Bieszczady Mountains further away in Poland. Some of them have been on the UNESCO World Heritage list since 2021.

The industrial revolution took away a great part of the natural forests in the Alps, the Carpathians or the Sudetes, in place of which spruce trees were planted in large numbers starting in the 19th century. However, these fast-growing coniferous trees that we intuitively associate with the mountains today have their own significant weaknesses. The densely clustered spruces practically do not allow sunlight down, and the gaps between the trees turn into needle-covered deserts devoid of undergrowth. Spruce trees have also proved defenseless in the clash with today’s warming climate – weakened by diseases and parasites, they fall knocked down by windstorms.

Traveling through the valleys of the Low Beskids and Bieszczady, you will have the opportunity to see what the mountain forests of Europe looked like centuries ago. The Beskids beech forest looks especially beautiful in autumn, when it literally “burns” with the yellow and red of falling leaves.

The most valuable clusters of forests in the region are protected by the Magura National Park and the Bieszczady National Park. Both parks are covered by a dense network of hiking trails for every foot and every condition.

Website of the Magura National Park

Website of the Bieszczady National Park




Nationalpark Magura (poln. Magurski Park Narodowy)

Natural beech forests