The Drawa river is partly a borderline because it divides two voivodships: Wielkopolska (Greater Poland) and Lubuskie (Lubusz Voivodeship). We associated it mainly with canoeing until we decided to visit Dawieński National Park on the bikes. As it turned out, it was a wonderful idea for a few day trip. That was one of our first cycling adventures together. We borrowed bike bags, putting the rest into garbage bags and so we hit the road.
We started in Krzyż Wielkopolski (getting there by train from Poznań) cycling North, in the direction of Drawieński National Park. At the beginning we were surprised by the variety of roads, from the beautiful elm trees alley to gravel roads or even cobbled routes in the Park. It is obvious that wonderful weather and spring make the surroundings even more adorable but we guessed that THAT spring was extremely rich in green shades and was gratified to please our eyes.
On the way we encountered Evangelical cemetery Springe (Dąbrowa), one out of five at the Park area. Some of the graves are partly destroyed, covered with moss. Typical for this region are graves imitating cut trunk of tree – referring to the tree of life or graves imitating an open book. It is visible that the Park works to keep the memory of graves alive. At the entrance there is an information board and the graves are renovated.
Inside the Park, one can move easily, without losing the way (almost…). Trails are perfectly labelled, they seemed to be recently renewed. There are bike and horse trails, as well as footpaths of course. At all of them, you can find information boards about the distances and destinations. We were following mainly the blue bike trail called “Pętla Barnimie” and red trail called “Pętla Zatom”.
It happens sometimes that overwhelming nature beauty distracts your attention, what results in losing one’s way… Even well labelled trails. Everything is fine, until it goes wrong… As usually. The trail was fine enough to cycle on and we didn’t pay enough attention to the colour trail signs at the trees. Suddenly there appeared river crossing our way and we weren’t at the canoe camp… Nothing else to be done then just to humbly taking off your shoes, freeing the bike from the bags, taking it on your back and crossing the river. Just mentioned instructions can be applied to your travel mate, whereas you can find a fallen trunk joining the river banks (that’s interesting who carried the bikes to the other side…). How it was:
We were surprised by the preparation of camping places along the river. Latrines, cut wood for fire, benches, garbage bins… All inclusive! At “Bogdanka” camping place we spent two nights, once being there alone in peace, the second time with the company of canoeists, sharing the fireplace and commonly known practices of integration.
From the bike seat perspective the river became a different dimension. We were following its trail, meeting it at the windings in the forest, admiring it from the steep hills to listen its murmuring in the evening sitting at the river banks. It turned out that the Drawa river means not only canoeing, but the whole surrounding, perfectly prepared for those who like various experiences.
We always try (because it’s fun and we like it) to do trip collages, but we also make some for our friends or when we feel like doing them… This one below tells the story of one evening at “Bogdanka” camping place.
Additional information I got from the website of Drawieński National Park: