Smolny National Park was established in 1995. Its 36,385 hectares include thick forests, floodplain lakes, swamps, and healing springs. The mixed forests here are provided with the highest priority of protection. The southern part of the forest and the floodplain of the Alatyr river are considered an important breeding area for birds, including the Eurasian curlew, the sea parrot, the eagle-owl, the imperial eagle, and the pallid harrier. The rivers and lakes are abundant with European roach, common dace, European chub, ida, pike, common rudd, burbot, and many other fish species.
Many natural monuments are found in Smolny: the Dubovye lakes, Yasli natural landmark, and the Yelnichnoe Lake upland swamp. Hiking pathways have been laid through the park. For example, the three-kilometer-long Forest Palette pathway passes through the left-bank of the Alatyr valley. Tourists are offered several guided tours, such as «Visit the Beavers», «The First Flowers», and «Birds of the Forest». Picnic sites with gazebos have been set up all along the paths. There is a natural museum in the park that exhibits paleontology findings from the sand quarry on the border of the park, including mammoth teeth and tusk fragments and the horn of a woolly rhinoceros.
Tourism Information Portal of the Republic of Mordovia / turizmrm.ru
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