Masiewo is an ideal starting point for all the interesting places located in the Białowieża Forest.
The village is close to the ?capital? of the Forest ? Białowieża, which of course you have to visit, but the rapid development and expansion of Bialowieża in recent years have changed this place a bit. If you desire peace and tranquility in order to fully contemplate the beauty of local nature and culture, you will find that in Masiewo. If you need to break away from everyday reality, come to Masiewo, to find the atmosphere of a unique place where time has stopped ? The old village adjoins the Protective Precinct Hwoźna, a separated part of the Białowieża National Park with valuable natural assets. This area can be visited thanks to many marked trails ideal for hiking or biking. In the winter, these routs turn into great trails for cross-country skiing (see bike trails in Białowieża Forest). The area of the Precinct, between the river Hwoźna from the south, the border with Belarus from the east and the Masiewo Glade from the north, has joined the BNP in 1996 because of its numerous natural attractions. There are a few trails there: ?Around wilderness ?Głuszec? /?Capercaillie/?,?Wolf Path? and ?Tsar?s Tropina?. The observatory tower on Narewka is the perfect place to observe this forest from the river. The educational trail, ?Co w lesie piszczy? /What squeals in the woods / leads a wooden walkway through wetlands of hornbeam, alder, and riparian forests. Within the precincts, there are two refuges of European bison: ?Kosy Most? /A Wry Bridge/, and the other one in wilderness, ?Czoło?. The remains of the protestant cemetery from the 19th century, the only trace of the German settlers of that period. Walking around the area you come across the clear traces of places which charcoal which used to be burnt there. Another witness to the history of this land is a narrow-gauge railway museum, inglorious proof of mass exploitation of the forest. Within the Protective Precincts Hwoźna two observation platforms have been built. They are located on the edge of the forest and are used to observe wild game coming to extensive meadows. Thanks to many ricks with the hay, bison and other animals can survive the winter.
One of the bison refuge is right behind Masiewo, on the edge of the forest. It is called the wilderness ?Czoło?. You can take the walk from our farm Zaharoda, having a great chance to meet the emperor of the Forest. The second refuge is located in a very picturesque spot, by the Kosy Most /Wry Bridge/. That spot gives you the opportunity to observe the Narewka meadows. You can there not only deer and bison, but also beavers and moose, the animals characteristic of riparian areas.
Around wilderness ?Głuszec? /?Capercaillie?/
Walking trail with a length of 5.5 kilometers runs through the pine and spruce forests, and high peat bogs. You can see the old Protestant cemetery, the remains of settlers from Germany in the late nineteenth / twentieth century, and the remains of mielerz, used to burn charcoal.
?Wilczy Szlak? /?Wolf Path?/
Ideal route for a bike ride in the forest, leading to a lovely Narewka valley and wilderness ?Kosy Most? /?A Wry Bridge?/. Along the way, footbridge over the marsh and riparian alder ash; boulder; numerous monumental oaks; magnificent pine-spruce forests and peat bogs. High chance encounter bison, deer, beaver. In this area there are also wolves, lynx, raccoon dogs, beavers. To Kosy Most is 11.5 km but you still need to go back ?
?Carska Tropina? /?Tsar?s Tropina?/
The trail begins near Kosy Most /A Wry Bridge/ over the Narewka river (where you can leave your car), and runs for 4 km along the river valleys. It leads along the old road build in tsar times. On the trail were built foot-bridges and observation tower over the Narewka river. This is one of the most interesting part of the Forest.
?Tropem Żubra? /?Trail of the Bison?/
The trail goes from the village of Babia Góra by artificial lake Siemianówka through Old Masiewo to Kosy Most /Wry Bridge/ on Narewka river. It combines the places of winter bison feeding, and thus creates the best chance of seeing this ?emperor of Forest? in its natural habitat. There is a viewing tower there with a view of the picturesque valley of Narwia river. An ideal place to observe wildlife, especially birds. You can also go to the lake for sunbathing, swimming and other pleasures. Siemianówka is the area?s largest water reservoir.
?Co w lesie piszczy? ?What squeaks in the forest?
This educational path goes along ?Wolf Path ?. It runs on a wooden walkway through a well-preserved natural forest within the Protective Precinct Hwoźna. There you can see the typical for Bialowieza Forest ? broadleaved, riparian and alder forest.
TOURIST TRAILS AROUND NAREWKA
BLACK Trail (Narewka ? Składnica Szypułowa) ? 9 km
The trail exits Narewka along Mickiewicz Street. After 1 km turns right into gravel road that goes on the edge of the picturesque Narewka valley. The trail passes right by the village Gruszki on the right side reaches Browsk Forestry by monumental oak. Here there is a House of Natural Forest and guest houses belonging to the Forest Inspectorate. Then the asphalt road trail enters the forest, crosses the picturesque valley of Braszcza river forest and after about 3 km reaches the border of the Białowieża National Park. The last section of the trail leads among well-preserved forest up to so-called ?składnica szypulowa? /szypulova depot/, where it joins the green trail.
BLUE Trail (Narewka-Masiewo) ? 25 km
The trail exits Narewka at the new school and heads towards the Siemianówka village. Behind the Leśna village you can see the old hayricks on both sides of the road. These hayricks were typical of the Narew landscapes once. Next to Osowa village the trail turns left and runs through the village, and then back on the road to Siemianówka village. From Siemianówka trail passes a brick church to the east towards the village Siemieniakowszczyzna. At the crossroads before the village the trail goes away to the left towards the tower on Reservoir Siemianówka (drive about 0.5 km), an excellent place for bird watching. From the tower exit the trail runs right towards the Babia Gora and then south through the Siemianówka Nature Reserve along the educational ornithological path. You can see natural peculiarities (eg, ?trees in love?), and rare tree stands, such a grouping of about 300-year-old pines (access to the left -1 km). After leaving the woods the blue trail connects to the green trail and ends at the shop in the village Masiewo I.
GREEN Trail (Narewka ? Masiewo ? Narewka) ? 36 km
The trail is a loop. It runs on gravel roads and from Narewka village through Janowo village to the Bialowieza and then on forest roads (Browsk Forest Inspectorate) to the former timber depot on the border of the BNP. From here you can go to the lookout tower and enter a walking trail ?Tsar?s Tropina? (drive 1.5 km) or take the bike trail next to ?Kosy Most? /Wry Bridge/ on the Narewka river (a picturesque view of the valley) and continue to ?szypulowa depot? (see photo below), where the green trail connects to the black. Then the trail leads through forests alternating south and east, passes the old forests, goes towards educational path (the path only for hiking). Then it goes towards Masiewo, covering the many sections of the Wolf Path (walking trail only). On the way you find the exit to the boulder brought here by glacier from Scandinavia (can be reached on foot or by bike ? about 0.5 miles). It goes then to timber depot and a former narrow-gauge railway stop. Behind the depot, the route leads through the wilderness ?Głuszec? /Capercaillie/ next well-preserved pine forest and wetlands. Passing the village Zamosze (left) the trail crosses the BNP border and goes to Masiewo where it joins the blue trail. From Masiewo goes back along the asphalt road through the village Olchówka to Narewka village.
YELLOW Trail (Białowieża ? Narewka) ? 21 km
The trail runs through the village Pogorzelce and the wilderness Stara Białowieża where there is the several-hundred-meter-long educational path ?Trail of Kings? and Lithuanian Dukes? Oaks?. The trail leads along the Narewka Road through Janowo to Narewka. Here is the Ortodox church of St. Nicholas and historic Jewish cemetery.
?Stork Trail? of Podlasie (Białowieża-Narewka-Goniądz) ? 206 km
This bike trail connects three national parks: Bialowieza, Biebrza and Narew. Soon the trail will be extended to Wigry National Park and Suwalski Nature Park.
The trail goes through Upper Narew Valley and the southern part of the Biebrza Valley. The main advantage of the trail is the occurrence of many clusters of storks, permanently inscribed in the unique landscape of Podlasie.
Over 206 km of trail marked in red, from Białowieża to Goniądz operates a network of tourist information boards and traffic signs bearing the recognizable logo. Thanks to them the biking tour is easy and pleasant. In many places along the trail, you can rent kayaks or traditional boat ?pychówka?, ride a horse and rent a room in a farm. The different times of the year everyone can participate in attractive seasonal events. This is a only place, where you can learn about life and habits of white stork ? the most recognizable element of the Polish landscape.
?The Stork Trail?: Białowieża (BPN) ? Pogorzelce ? ?droga narewkowska? ? Gruszki ? Narewka ? Stare Lewkowo ? Odrynki ? Narew ? Trześcianka ? Puchły ? Kaniuki ? Wojszki ? Doktorce ? Zawyki ? Suraż ? Turośń Dolna ? Dobrowoda ? Baciuty ? Bokiny ? Kurowo (NPN) ? Pajewo ? Radule ? Leśniki ? Tykocin ? Tatary ? Piaski ? Łaziuki ? Łazy Duże ? Słomianka ? Zajki ? Laskowiec ? Strękowa Góra ? Gugny ? Dobarz ? Osowiec-Twierdza (BPN) ? Goniądz.
?The trail of partisans? fights? (Hajnówka ? Narewka) ? 22 km
It is an excellent base for excursions through the Białowieża Primeval Forest. The trail begins in Hajnówka and runs through the nature reserves ?Lipiny? and ?Szczekotowo?. The nature reserve ?Lipiny? was created to preserve the only position of a sessile oak on the territory of the Forest. The mysterious reserve ?Szczekotowo? protects Old-Slavic burial mounds of the 10-13th centuries.
An interesting object on the trail is a little Orthodox chapel with a miraculous spring, well known as ?Krynoczka?. In 1999, the 150th anniversary of existence of the temple was celebrated. Following the Lipiny Tract we get to the village Świnoroje where there is a campsite as well as an educational path ?Pod Dębami? (?Under Oaks?) of the Forest Promotional Complex ?Forests of the Białowieża Primeval Forest?. The trail ends in Narewka.
Cross-Border Trail ? 58 km on Polish side
This combines the architectural monuments with the beauty of the primeval forest wildlife. On the Polish side this route runs through the Hajnówka district. The main attractions of the trail are villages founded in the XVI ? XVIII century. They preserved original spatial houses arrangement, numerous temples, mostly Orthodox, as well as the rich woodcarving ornaments of the buildings.
On the Belarusian side the route leads through a part of former ?Royal road?, opened by Nicholas II in 1903. On the road you can admire the original bridges and balustrades from tsarist times. In the villages you can see the architectural monuments of the seventeenth ? nineteenth century, with historical significance.
On the biking route along Cross-Border trail ? blue trail from Narew to Narewka ? you can find following attractions:
- Old Lewkowo village (the Ortodox church of St. Peter and Paul, the possibility of organizing pottery classes)
- Narewka village (the Ortodox church of St. Nicholas, the Catholic church of St. John the Baptist, the Tamara Sołoniewicz Gallery)
The trail goes through: Narew ? Narewka ? Stare Lewkowo ? Tyniewicze Duże ? Kamień ? Kuraszewo ? Nowy Kornin ? Noweberezowo (Nowoberezowo) ? Hajnówka ? Budy ? Teremiski ? Stara Białowieża ? Białowieża ? Grudki ? the border between między Polską a Białorusią ? Biały Lasek ? Szereszewo ? Prużany ? Różany.
The educational path ?Under oaks? ? 9 km
The path is a loop. It runs along the Forestry ?Świnoroje? through the developed portion of the forest, including tree stands, at the age of 100 ? 150 years and younger, and tree-nursery. There are also the issues of silviculture presented there ? natural regeneration and forest protection ? monitoring and controlling the spruce bark beetle, as well as damage made by abiotic factors in the forest. On the route you can find grave-mounds from the early Middle Ages.
The path has a beginning and an end at the campsite in the village Świnoroje. It can be used for biking and walking. The route is about 9 km (2.5-3 hours). It is possible to shorten the route ? the path length amounts to about 4.5 km (1-1.5 hours).