The Landscape Reserve "Yelnya"
The landscape reserve “Yelnya” is a well-known bio-object of the Republic of Belarus. This is the oldest lake and big complex in the Vitebsk region, uniting more than 100 lakes of various sizes. Yelnya and Chernoe are two pride of Belarus, which are connected by channels like invisible threads. They are considered to be the most significant objects of the reserve. Yelnya is a large swamp, which covers 200 square kilometers. It is necessary to note that this ancient swamp is more than nine thousand years old.
Traces of Ice Age can be found in the vast territory of Yelnya when mankind did not influence nature like today. This swamp massif saved home for many rare species of plants and animals. There are also quite large peat bogs.
The Landscape Reserve “Yelnya” was founded in 1968 to protect the peat massif with its exceptional, unique bio system.
The landscape and biological diversity of this reserve in the Republic of Belarus was intended not only to store natural heritage but also to create a center for both national and international tourism. In the reserve, depending on the season, you may watch cranes, wander through paths of wild animals, or walk along a unique emerald-bog massif.
It is recommended to start getting acquainted with this reserve in the so-called ecohouse. Here you will find out how the landscape reserve was created, as well as listen to an amusing story about all this natural splendor. There are interactive stands, an original scheme of arrival and departure of birds, very similar to airport displays, large film library on environmental themes, and so on. It is necessary to note that this center is recognized as one of the most popular and modern in the Republic of Belarus.
The Reserve “Yelnya” offers a variety of hiking and cycling routes for tourists. However, "Ozeravki-Yelnya" is the most popular hiking route. This is a fascinating route (2.5 km long), including an ecological trail (1.5 km long) with a wooden platform, laid along the upper bog “Yelnya”. An interesting fact is that there is no similar path in the Republic of Belarus. It is recommended to take part in such excursions from May to September.
After walking about 700 meters along the marshland, you can find yourself on small lakes with picturesque islets.
The reserve offers a wide variety of services. You may watch cranes in the field or from the tower during daytime; from April to May you may watch grouse mating call, and much more. Together with the workers of the reserve, it is possible to go hiking into the depths of the marshes with one overnight stop.