We have a suggestion for you for an active day in Załęcze Landscape Park. We will show you the Snakes Nature Reserve and some interesting places in the area, so there is something for everyone. The weather is getting nicer, so nothing to do but hit the road!
The Snake Nature Reserve is located in the Załęczański Landscape Park, in the south of Lodz province (about 35 kilometers southwest of Wieluń). It takes about 1h 45 min – 2h to get there from Lodz, and although it is still Lodz province, residents of Czestochowa (less than an hour’s drive) or Opole (about an hour and a half drive) are closer.
So far we have been coming to Załęczanski Landscape Park mainly for bicycle tours (including bike rallies), but this time we decided to take a family walk on Zelka Mountain (230 meters above sea level), and look for caves in the process.
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At the outset, we must also emphasize so that you are not misled by the name of the reserve. It is in vain to look for (or be afraid of) snakes here – the reserve gets its name from the village of Snakes next door, and there are no snakes in the area :)
Table of contents
Snakes and Caves Nature Reserve
The Serpentine Reserve has an area of almost 21 hectares and was established in 1971 to protect the limestone monadnock, Mount Zelce, the karst caves and other karst formations located here. After the World War II era, the hill area was in private hands and limestone and calcite were mined here, and there are more than 150 quarries in the reserve that are no longer in use.
Most interesting, however, are the caves located here. There are 8 in total, and they are off-limits to the public (although not all have closed entrances). They were characterized by beautiful flowstone, but the extraction of the said calcite significantly affected their destruction. Currently, one can only approach the barred entrance and draw knowledge from the information boards located there. It is from them that we can learn that the caves are inhabited by 7 species of bats, and about 30 individuals overwinter in them (at the end of the previous century it was even 100 individuals!).
At each cave there is an information board with a floor plan, cross sections, and some photos so you can get an idea of what’s behind the bars.
There are 8 caves to be discovered within the Snake Nature Reserve:
- Cave Behind the Bar – a two-level cave, 70 meters long and 17.5 meters deep. It is in this cave that most bats overwinter.
- Stalagmite Cave – located on the ridge of the mountain, with a covered entrance. The length of the corridors reaches 110 meters, and the depth is more than 15 meters.
- Draba Cave – with a wide entrance in the excavation, 67 meters long and 3.8 meters deep.
- Little Cave – about 23 meters long.
- Two-hole cave – with two openings, 8 meters long.
- Samsonovich’s Cave – 22 meters long, 7.5 meters deep, destroyed during glaciation, remains of more than 100 animal species were found here.
- Zanokcica C ave – located on the ridge of the mountain, it is 21 meters long and more than 11 meters deep
- Surprise Cave – 90 meters long and 17 meters deep.
Length of routes and degree of difficulty
The trails in the reserve are not long and demanding – you can safely come here with children, although we must point out that in places it is steep, you have to descend on stones, and especially in rainy weather it can be slippery.
On the ridge of the mountain there are signs for the various caves, so you will find them without any problems.
It is worth setting aside an hour or two to walk through the reserve, depending on your marching pace. We spent about an hour and a half, but we walked really slowly :)
Is the Snake River Reserve suitable for children?
By all means! Walking through the reserve can be a great adventure, even more so when the whole family gets involved in the search for caves.
The paths are rather easy, only the access to the caves themselves is sometimes rockier and steeper. We reached the caves without too much trouble and were on top of Mount Zelce.
The trails are short, and there are benches near the caves so you can sit and rest for a while.
The caves are protected, but you must, of course, be careful with small hands and feet.
The vicinity of the Snake Nature Reserve
Załęczanski Landscape Park and the surrounding area abounds with many interesting places to enrich a trip to the Snake Nature Reserve. Below are a few of them:
- Frog Pond – this is a natural monument, one of the most interesting places in Załęcze National Park. It provides shelter for many rare species of plants, insects, amphibians and birds. Unfortunately, at the beginning of May, it looked like it had completely dried up.
- Lime kilns – there are 19 lime kilns in the vicinity of Dzialoszyn – these were primitive kilns used to burn lime rock, which were built in the early 20th century. Some are dilapidated, but as structures they stand out in the local landscape. Many of them are described, it is worth stopping by the information boards.
- Mount St. Genowefa – A natural monument, a limestone monadnock 200 meters high.
- The River Warta – the Grand Meander of the Warta River located in Załęczański Landscape Park is considered to be the most beautiful section of the river. It can be admired, for example, from a canoe – canoe trips from Dzialoszyn are very popular. If you prefer to admire the river from the shore, we suggest a bike ride or a picnic on the banks of the Warta River.
- Działoszyn – in Działoszyn a palace from the 17th century, along with a French-style palace garden, located in the southern part of the city, is noteworthy. It is now home to the Regional Museum and library.
- Wieluń – in Wieluń it is worth seeing several objects located in the city center. On the one hand, there are the 14th century defensive walls, the Krakowska Gate or the Powder Tower, and on the other, sites related to the bombing raid during World War II.
How to get to the Snakes Nature Reserve?
The Snake Nature Reserve can be reached from the village of Snake or Bobrowniki. We, driving from Lodz, took road 14 towards Łask, then road 483 to Szczerców, and then road 74 towards Wieluń. However, we did not go through Wieluń, but turned left earlier to Kielczygłów and continued to Działoszyn. From Działoszyn we drove to the village of Bobrowniki, where we crossed a bridge over the Warta River.
Further on, the roads are already narrower, but they can be driven further by car. You can stop by the information boards, where there are signs for the Snake River Preserve.
Where to eat in the area?
We recommend taking provisions with you, as there are no restaurants in the immediate vicinity of the Snake Reservation. Instead, there are places, gazebos, where you can rest for a while and have a meal.
The closest restaurants are located in Działoszyn, noteworthy is the restaurant in the VIP Hotel (30 Pilsudski Street).
Where to stay overnight in the area?
An interesting choice would be to stay at the Old Village Resort – we were there 3 years ago, but still have very good memories of the stay. You can read more about the Old Village in a dedicated post here.
- Old Village Resort & Renewal, less than 10 km from the village of Bobrowniki
Address: Załęcze Małe 103A, 98-335 Pątnów
Prices: from PLN 540 for two people, for two good.
Other facilities in the area:
- Hotel Załęcze
Address: Załęcze Małe 111a, 98-335 Załęcze Małe
Prices: from PLN 200 for a double room, with breakfast.
- Kamion Recreation Center
Address: Wierzchlas 7, 98-324 Kamion
Prices: from PLN 160 for a double room, without breakfast.
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Snake Nature Reserve is a great idea for a 1-2 hour walk combined with cave searching. The trails are fairly easy, accessible even to families with children or at least a bicycle.
In the area, there are many other places in the Załęczanski Landscape Park that will make a good addition to a day in nature.
- Our advice on where to go on vacation in Poland?
- Attractions for children in Poland
- Attractions for children in Mazovia – 4 ideas for a family weekend
- Magic Gardens – magical amusement park for children
- Masuria – what to do in Masuria actively and with children?
- Julinek Amusement Park – Circus Vertigo
- Farm of Illusions – Amusement Park in Mazovia
- Attractions for children in Lodz province
- JuraPark Krasiejów and the Park of Science and Human Evolution
- A fairy tale of Mr. Kleks in Katowice
- Fairy Bay – stay like a fairy tale or far from a fairy tale?