Puszcza Piska Forest or the Pisz Forest (German: Johannisburger Heide) is the largest forest complex of the Masuria region in northern Poland, adjacent to the Masurian Landscape Park, and the Masurian Lowlands. Formerly known as the Jańsborska wilderness, Puszcza Piska bears the name of the Pisa river bordering the Forest along its west bank.
The Pisz Forest consists of a unique combination of coniferous trees, lakes and rivers. Its total area is c.100,000 ha.
The northern part of the complex borders on Masurian Lake District known in Polish as Kraina Wielkich Jezior. The Piska Forest consists of pine and spruce groves with the mixture of birch, aspen, maple, alder and oak growing on sandy soil mainly at the southern end of the Forest. The best known among the local trees is the “Masurian pine” covering eastern edges of the Mokre lake. It reaches the height of 40 m and the age of 200 years.
Puszcza Piska is a bird sanctuary on a European scale, featuring eleven nature reserves within its own Masurian Landscape Park (Mazurski Park Krajobrazowy) established in 1977 with the total area of 53,600 ha. Many species of wild animals live in the forest, among them: deer, elk, moose, wild boar, hare, fox and recently reintroduced lynx. On wetlands, most saturated with water, beaver lodges can be found. The symbol of the Park is a white stork with nests scattered over many local villages
The forest occupied by the Polish Academy of Sciences Research Station of Ecological Agriculture and Preservation of Native Breeds in Popielno lies among three lakes: Śniardwy, Bełdany and Warnołty. Despite the evident man’s interference with the woodlands around Popielno, lasting for over three hundred years, the forest have retained a high diversity of habitants and plant communities. The most common type of plant assemblage is fresh coniferous forest, where the Scots pine is the dominant species. The Station is famous for breeding free living herds of the Polish Konik horses, originating from the Tarpan, which used to dwell in Central Europe. All visitors are heartily welcome in Popielno.
To discover lands of Piska forest the best common carrier is bicycle. We provide you maps and directions concerning chosen trail. If you do not feel going alone you can rent bicycle guide who will take care of your trip. Moreover you do not have to take bike with, our hotel owns quality bikes.