One of the most remote, picturesque and exotic sites of Sakhalin Island is Schmidt Peninsula. It is the island’s northern extremity about 50 km long. On the east, it borders on the Sea of Okhotsk and on the west, on Sakhalin Gulf. There are spruce and fir-tree forests and 250 species of vegetation on the peninsula and 36 of them cannot be found in any other parts of Sakhalin.
Gulfs in the northern part of Schmidt Peninsula are the locations for the waterfowl aggregation during the seasonal migrations and molting. Rare bird species from the Red List of Russia nestle on the peninsula. Spectacular waterfalls and great variety of the natural kingdom make Schmidt Peninsula a highlight of the north of Sakhalin.
The Nivkh people called this peninsula Mif-tyongr, or “the head of the earth”). On some English and Japanese maps, it was called Peninsular of St. Elizabeth. The final name — Schmidt Peninsula — was firmly assigned to it by geologist Nikolay Tikhonovich in 1908, in honor of Fyodor Schmidt, the first geologist who had visited Sakhalin.
There is only one residential location on the peninsula, namely Nyvrovo settlement. A few Nivkh families live here; they are the indigenous people of Sakhalin whose traditional occupation is fishing.
The road to Schmidt Peninsula starts in the town of Okha, passes Kolendo, goes along the Pomr’ Gulf, and then to the Tayozhnoye (“taiga”) Lake. The further progress to the mouth of the Pilvo River, shores of Neurtu and Kuegda Gulfs and Nyvrovo is extremely difficult due to the unsatisfactory condition of the road and its frequent absence as such.
Sites of interest on the peninsular quite likely include Tukspi-Mamu waterfall. About 40 meters high, it is considered one of the highest waterfalls of Sakhalin. The waterfall is located on the northeastern coast of Schmidt Peninsula, 500 meters to the north from the Peshchera (“cave”) Cape and 110 km to the north from the town of Okha.
Note the Cape of Elizaveta — a rocky cape that is the northernmost point of Sakhalin. The cape received its name on August 9, 1805, from Ivan Krusenstern who named it in honor of the wife of Emperor Alexander I, Elizaveta Alexeevna. “I named them Elizaveta and Maria — let these wild and fruitless lands be beautified and flourish with the names that are so dear to each Russian citizen!” Later, fish trawler Mys Elizavety was named after the northernmost extremity of Sakhalin. In 1932, a lighthouse was built on the Cape of Elizaveta.
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