Gorczanski National Park

The spotted salamander (Salamandra salamandra) is the symbol of the Park; it is one of the five species of amphibians living in the Park.

Gorczanski National Park was established on January 1, 1981. It covers an area of 6,763 ha, of which some 2,850 ha remain under strict protection. It includes part of the Gorce Mountains, which are among the most picturesque mountain ranges in Poland due to dense forests, lush meadows, deeply cut valleys, and a beautiful panorama with the Podtatrze region crowned by the Tatry Mountain range. Well known tourist centers such as Rabka, Nowy Targ and Kroscienko, are located in the direct vicinity of the Park. The Park area is accessible through ca. 70 km of marked tourist trails, including two educational trails. Some trails are suitable for mountain bike trips.

Natural values

The Park comprises some 13 % of the area of Gorce, the mountain group, which is a part of the Western Beskidy Mountains. Almost 95 % of its area is covered with mountain forests. The Gorce Mountains culminate in Mount Turbacz, rising to a height of 1,310 m above sea level. Mount Turbacz, which lies outside the borders of the Park, is a hub of several ridges, which are separated by deep valleys, while Jaworzyna (1,288 m above sea level) is the highest mountain within the Park. The mountain ridges Turbacz-Gorc (1,228 m above sea level) and Turbacz-Kudlon (1,274 m above sea level) are divided by the picturesque valley of the largest river in this region - Kamienica.

Particularly precious within the territory of the Park are the remnants of the primeval mountain forests (Carpathian Primeval Forest), which overgrow the mountain's slopes, ridges and valleys. Some picturesque and charming glades, located on ridges, were used as mountain pastures until recently. The lower and middle ranges of the mountain slopes are grown over with forests made up of Carpathian beech and fir, while spruce trees hum in the wind in the upper strata. The Park has 3 strict reserves.


The Gorce Mountains have two zones of vegetation, according to the elevation. The lower, subalpine forest (600 - 1,150 m above sea level) consists (in 80 %) of the Carpathian beechwood, Carpathian and swamp alderwood, mountainous beechwood, fir and spruce trees. The top, subalpine forest (above 1,150 m above sea level), is dominated by spruce. Some sycamore and pine trees are found in the forests. The average age of the trees reaches 100 years.

The plant flora of the Gorczanski National Park consist of ca. 950 species of vascular plants, including 17 alpine species, 22 subalpine species, 80 subalpine forest and mountain species. As many as 250 species of moss and 450 species of lichen have been noted here. Of these numbers, over 30 species remain under protection. Wondrous flowers growing in the glades include such rare species as Geum montanum and Veronica alpina.


The Gorce are home to the Carpathian stag, deer, roe deer, wild boar, fox, wildcat, marten, hare, skunk, ermine, badger and lynx. Bear and wolf can also be found here. All of these are animals typical of the forest habitat. Over 90 species of breeding birds include eagle owl, eagle, hawk, Ural owl, wood grouse, black grouse, black stork, ring ouzel, nut-cracker, crossbill, pipit, and, seasonally, bullfinch. Some reptiles and amphibians, including salamander, may be occasionally spotted in the Park.

Gorczanski National Park. Poreba Wielka 590, 34-735 Niedzwiedz, tel. +48-18 3317207, 3317944, e-mail

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Service created: January 1, 1996
Last updated: April 20, 2008