We always have a small problem with a picnic - if we want to make the most of these five days for relaxation, not for riding, then we exclude long and strenuous trips. On the other hand, our immediate vicinity is already so touring that it is difficult to find anything surprising here. This time we decided to look a bit further and head towards Warsaw. We admit without hitting that we have so far avoided the capital during our camping trips. We associated it with crowds, traffic jams and gigantic prices for camping. We completely forgot about the fact that we have one of the most famous Polish primeval forests just outside Warsaw - the Kampinos Forest. Time to catch up!
1. Manor Tuszkówka
We set off on Saturday from Kalisz in Greater Poland around 12.00. We are in no hurry, on the way on the highway we stop for a little lunch and shopping. Around 5 p.m. we are there. The road, especially for the youngest passenger, is a bit tiring, so we choose camping in Kaputy, marked with number 222, knowing that we will find a decent standard there.
The description does not disappoint, the campsite is large, nicely kept in the vicinity of a historic manor house, rented by the owners for various events and communions. A lot of caravans and motorhomes winter in the field, in some there were probably some May residents as well. Unfortunately, the weather did not encourage people to put up chairs, so everyone was sitting in their booths. The camping itself in the season must be very nice, surrounded by greenery, with a playground for children and a park at the back of the manor house. Now, unfortunately, nothing has happened there yet, and the location right next to the road, in a rather uninteresting area, did not offer us many attractions. In Kaputy itself, near the sports hall under construction, there is an open-air shooting range and a sports field, where the team training dogs for fitness shows had their training camp. We observed some preparation and went for a walk a bit further along the nearby recreational path.
The path leads through the forest where you can meet many species of birds and trees. Its entire length is lined with small stones, adapted to cycling and nicely arranged. There are benches and a fireplace. It would certainly be the perfect trail for an attentive bird watcher, were it not for the fact that it ends abruptly with… a metal fence bordering the private land of an affluent, gated community. It is a sign of our times.
We paid 90 PLN for a family of three with electricity
2. Izabelin - meeting with Łoś
Sunday greeted us with the sun shyly peeking out from behind the clouds. Taking advantage of the weather, we moved as quickly as possible to Izabelin, where the headquarters of the Kampinos National Park management is located. There, in the Jakubów clearing, we set up another stop on our trip.
At the very beginning, a real surprise awaited us - right in front of the headquarters, in the parking lot, we met a moose, which ate rowan with the most calmness in the world. The youngster did not do anything about the tourists watching him, he calmly finished his meal and disappeared into the forest, right in front of the hood of our camper. An amazing view and a beautiful big animal. Apparently, meetings with elk in this place are not rare, but we were still very lucky to see the king of the forest up close. The parking lot near the Jakubów clearing is spacious, open 24 hours a day, and after consulting the museum, we decided to stay there overnight.
An educational trail leads from the Jakubów clearing to the forest botanical garden in Laski. There are many well-marked trails throughout the Kampinos Forest, also available for cyclists. It is worth getting a map and spending a lot of time on trips with binoculars.
Due to the youngest participant of our trip, our trips were a bit shorter, but from the Jakubów clearing to Laski you walk about 2 km, along a varied route with marked stakes. At the end, we can play around identifying trees and shrubs marked in the forest botanical garden. The route continues and a slightly different path returns to the same place from which we started the journey.
In the clearing itself there is a recreation area, a large playground, picnic shelters and camping sites - entry, however, only with the permission of the management. Due to the long weekend, there was no one to let us in at the museum, so we stayed in the parking lot, next to a nice inn.
Izabelin itself is a small, residential town. Many famous people, politicians and actors have their residences near Warsaw. I don't know if anyone has already come up with a guide to celebrity houses similar to those from Hollywood or Beverly Hills, but I think that sooner or later something like this will appear here;) Regardless of who owns them, some houses make a really good impression, even in architectural laymen.
The night in the parking lot at the Jakubów clearing passed relatively calmly and did not cost us anything.
In nearby Truskaw, three hiking trails start: yellow, blue and black, as well as the educational trail "to the Karczmisko". The path is 3 km long and leads through picturesque bridges and footbridges through meadows, streams and wetlands of the Kampinos Forest. Along the way, we meet cyclists and walkers, and birdwatching enthusiasts will also find something for themselves. This is probably the most beautiful and varied path we have ever visited on this trip. We took it to Palmira where we stayed for a while.
In Palmiry there is a national memorial site commemorating the victims of mass executions carried out by the Germans during World War II. There is also a museum with a historical exhibition devoted to them - unfortunately, despite a lot of interest from visitors, it was closed on the May weekend. The rows of crosses, often nameless victims, make a really strong impression and make you aware of the great suffering of the war.
After a moment of rest and reflection, we went back to Truskaw, along the blue trail, which, unfortunately, turned out not to be as picturesque as the educational trail. He let us down on a forest, paved road, straight to the parking lot in the town where our camper was waiting for us. During our trip, the parking lot in the clearing was so full that we were relieved to see the departure of the vehicle, which took up as many as two places (and it must be added that in the morning we were one of the few cars in the parking lot and we parked quietly on the side, so as not to disturb anyone ).
In Truskavie itself, there is a bicycle rental nearby and a bar where you can eat or drink something quickly. There is also a fenced playground and picnic shelters. However, if someone would think about staying in the parking lot, we recommend taking the blue trail, a forest road a bit deep into the forest - there is a large, quiet parking lot with toilets, away from the hustle and bustle. Despite the May weekend, there were maybe three cars on it.
We headed to the nearby Plecewice, where there is a nice camping site by the Bzura river - Moto Przystań. There is a lot going on there in high season - there is a minibar, grill, and you can drink beer by the fire. There is a large playground and a volleyball court, the owners also organize canoeing trips. Unfortunately, everything is closed in May so far and we can enjoy the beauty of the riverside landscapes.
The camping quarters are well prepared, have electricity and water. You can also use the accommodation in caravans built there. We liked it so much that we stayed for two nights.
Accommodation for a family of three with electricity - 40 PLN
4. The forest settlement
From nearby Sochaczew, where the railway museum is located, at 9.30 a historic railway starts which takes us deeper into the forest. The trip includes a ride, a guided trip to the Forest and free time in a nearby recreational clearing. We were going to take advantage of this attraction, but the uncertain weather meant that we finally went on our own sightseeing.
We visited the short path "Dolinka Roztoki" where we were looking for traces of beavers. Unfortunately, we couldn't see a single one. The path itself, however, is very picturesque, it begins its run by a clearing where there were a lot of picnickers, families with children and tourists that day.
At the end of our adventure, we took the path "Through Wilcza Góra", which leads from the forest railway station through pine forests. It was the worst marked path in our trip, the routes crossed many times and we got lost twice. Clear signs of the presence of animals in the Forest made us a little scared if we would not disturb their peace by accident, but we managed to get back on the trail quite quickly.
On the way to the path, on the main route, there is a camping "Osada Puszczańska PTTK" with a nice inn. There are accommodation available in cottages, but I do not know if you can spend the night there in a motorhome. Eager for contact with nature, we passed by without asking, stationed in a forest parking lot a few kilometers away.
The weather on the weekend in May was not spoiling, although the rain was avoided. While walking among the trees in the forest, sheltered from the wind, once or twice we even came across the sun that looked shyly from behind the clouds. Unfortunately, we were unable to see other attractions due to the cold, such as the "Edge of the Forest" path in Granica, which, through the open-air museum situated next to it, is said to be one of the most interesting in the Forest.
The whole Kampinos is very well prepared for cycling and hiking. At every step, there are clear markings of trails, boards explaining botanical curiosities and shelters where you can relax. The paths are not long or demanding, so they are perfect for less experienced tourists or children. Diversified terrain, a great number of birds and unusual nature will surely be an attraction for them.
Before you set off, it is worth getting a map with routes or downloading a guide from the Kampinos National Park website - it will help you plan your trip better and make sure that you will not miss any interesting facts.
Camping Moto Przystań
Museum in Palmiry
Plans of educational paths on the pages of the Kampinos National Park