The Pieniny National Park
The Pieniny National Park is a small, yet very attractive protected area in terms of nature and as a tourist attraction. It was established – under the name of the National Park of Pieniny on June 1st 1932. It is one of the most frequently visited national parks in Poland, and because of its small surface, the meter of the intensity of tourist movement, it is also one of the highest (During full season, on weekends and holidays, there are very long queues to the viewing platform in Trzy Korony). The park contains the most precious areas of Pieniny Wlasciwe with the Trzy Korony Massif, Pieninki, and Pieniny Czorstynskie, as well as a small piece of Pieniny Spiskie called Zielone Skalki. The mountain ranges are separated with the Valley of Dunajec. The gorge of that river is also part of the park. The Male Pieniny mountain range and the Homole ravine might be excluded from the park, but this region is also worth visiting, partly because of the churches located in Jaworki and Szlachtowa.
The Pieniny National Park is protected by the unique, natural plant communities of carpathia beech, sycamore forests, relict pine forests and thermophilic grassland plants. One of the more numerous plants are orchids; there are also two endemic plant types.
The park is very popular thanks to its beautiful nature and incredible views – ragged, lime rocks, ravines, cliffs, green meadows with numerous types of butterflies, a wild river with floating rafts.
The most popular trails lead to Trzy Korony and (982 m. n.p.m.) and Sokolica (747 m n.p.m.) From the viewing platform at Trzy Korony you can get a wonderful view at the gorge of Dunajec, Tatry, Gorce and Beskid Sadecki.
But the biggest attraction is rafting down the Dunajec river – one of the most beautiful river breakthroughs in Europe. The rafting begins in the village of Katy, and ends either in in Szczawnica, or Kroscienko. The rafting route is 18 kilometers long and lasts approximately 2 hours and 20 minutes (between Katy and Szczawnica).