Aukštaitija National Park is a national park in north-eastern Lithuania, about 100 km north of Vilnius.
Aukštaitija National Park was established in 1974, it is the oldest of the five national parks in Lithuania.
The park covers 410.56 km². Ignalina district municipality controls about 50% of the area.
Sixty-four species of plant, eight species of fungus and 48 species of bird found in the park are included in Lithuania’s Red book. The park is famous for its biodiversity: 59% of all plant species in Lithuania can be found in the park, which covers less than 1% of Lithuania.
One hundred and twenty-six lakes are scattered among the woods and hills. Many are interconnected by rivulets and streams and are popular for kayaking.
There are 116 villages in the park with about 2300 residents. The first villages are mentioned in the 14th century
Aukštaitija National Park was first named as Lithuanian SSR National Park to emphasize that it was the first such park in the republic, however, in 1991 four other parks were established and were named after ethnographic regions of Lithuania. The park was also renamed after the region.
70 per cent of the Aukštaitija National Park is covered by woods and 80% of the woods are pine stands, which can reach 200 years old.
In 2010 authorities of Aukštaitija National Park and Labanoras Regional Park merged. Headquarters are located in Palūšė, Ignalina dst.
One of the most famous sights in the Park is Ladakalnis hill, from the top of which six lakes can be seen. It is a geomorphological monument.
The area of the park is 91.745 ha and it is divided into five functional zones.
There are almost 900 plant species, 149 bird and 48 mammal species found in the territory.
Since 2004 Gauja NP is a part of Natura 2000 network as a territory, which is designed for conservation of protected species and biotopes.
The park administration is based in Sigulda.
The Gauja National Park in Vidzeme is the largest national park in Latvia, with an area of 917.86 km² running from north-east of Sigulda to south-west of Cēsis along the valley of the Gauja River, from which the park takes its name.
Gauja National Park was founded in 1973 and is the first Latvia’s national park.
The deepest part of the river valley is at Sigulda, 85 metres deep.
Vilsandi National Park is a national park in Saare County, Estonia. It includes part of the island of Vilsandi, a number of smaller islands.
The park grew from a bird reserve founded in 1910. It is a highly sensitive ecosystem due to the use of the area as a stop-over by many migratory birds, like barnacle geese and Steller’s eider, and as a breeding and nesting ground for over 247 species of birds, of which the most common is the eider duck.
One-third of all protected plant species in Estonia can also be found in the national park.
With in the National Park Hunting is absolutely prohibited.
Vilsandi National Park is made up of 150 islands.
In 2007, the European Commission launched the European Destinations of Excellence (EDEN) competition. Vilsandi National Park was the nominee in 2009 in category “EDEN. Estonia’s hidden treasures. Tourism and protected areas”.
Vilsandi is the oldest nature protection area in the Baltics, founded as a bird reserve in 1910, which was reorganised as the Vilsandi National Park in 1993.
The park covers an area of 23 880 ha, of which more than half is the coastal sea.
Soomaa is Important Bird Area since 1989 and a Ramsar site of protected wetlands since 1997 and a Natura 2000 area since 2004.
Soomaa national park, situated in South West Estonia, has been created to protect large raised bogs, flood plain grasslands, purified forests and meandering rivers.
In 2007, the European Commission launched the European Destinations of Excellence (EDEN) competition. The Soomaa National Park – 2009 winner in category “EDEN. Estonia’s hidden treasures. Tourism and protected areas”.
Soomaa National Park was established in 1993.
Soomaa National Park is the most valuable part of the remaining extensive wilderness area in South-West Estonia. Kuresoo Bog is one of the two best surviving large bogs in Estonia with species diversity amongst the highest.
Urho Kekkonen National Park is a national park in northern Lapland in Finland. It is near the cities of Savukoski, Sodankylä and Inari.
Urho Kekkonen National Park was founded in 1983 and is one of the largest national parks in Finland.
The Suomujoki river flows through the northern parts of the diverse park. The marked paths in its western part are an easy destination even for the inexperienced backpacker, whereas the wilderness is good for long and demanding trips.
Over 20 species of mammals live in the park. Large carnivores, such as the brown bear, wolverine, wolf, and lynx, keep to the more remote parts of the park.
Urho Kekkonen National Park is located in the boreal forest zone. The uninterrupted boundary of the spruce forest in Eastern Lapland is located in the area of Vongoiva-Sokosti-Lupukkapää.
Urho Kekkonen National Park is named after the former President of Finland Urho Kaleva Kekkonen (“UKK”), who was an eager hiker and cross-country skier and often came here.
There are traces of human activity in the area starting from 3000 years ago. The Forest Sami had four winter villages in the area and pitfalls and fences can be found from their era.
The park is partly in the Sami native region. There are exceptions in the park regulations for the Sami and for other locals.
Urho Kekkonen National Park is the second-largest national park in Finland and was visited by 289,000 people.
The park borders Russia and there is a border zone, which should be strictly respected. To climb Korvatunturi you, therefore, need a special permit, but there is a trail to Korvatunturinmurusta, where you get a view.