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The Alps of Taiga
February 3, 2015 18:45


Racheyskie Alps from a distance seem to be a forest of very thick relict pines on the slopes of the picturesque hills. The same pine forest from the inside is a light forest with thick moss and reindeer lichen, blueberries and cranberry bogs.

According to the variety of flora, it is almost tundra which appeared on the southern border of the forest-steppe zone in an unexplainable way. You can easily cut a basket of milk mushrooms, white saffron milk caps and orange saffron milk caps here during the mushroom season. Its popular name - Stone Forest (Kamenny Les) – has been received by Racheyskie Alps not because of mushrooms and blueberries.

The residents of Samara Oblast, living close to the Zhigulevskie Mountains, can hardly be surprised by rocks. However, even they admit that the Racheysky Pine Forest is something extraordinary. You can stumble upon a huge, life-size block in a five-minute walk from the forest border. But it’s only an introduction. A whole rock mass is hidden in the depths of the forest. The massive stone outcrops rise five or six meters high above the ground, forming whimsical mazes and grottoes. Wind and water cut out strange lines and figures on the rock surfaces, making them look like abstract sculptures or crazy architectural fantasies inspired by Antoni Gaudi.

The work of tireless sculptors inspires respect, if we remember that they were working not with malleable limestone of Zhigulevskie Mountains, but with powerful granite! Seasoned travelers compare the garden of natural sculptures of Racheyskie Alps with Karelian rocks or Krasnoyarsk Pillars in miniature. The road to the rocks takes twenty minutes of walking along a forest trail – it detains those who like just to contemplate nature. The Racheysky Pine Forest is considered a natural monument of regional importance. This means that you should treat the forest particularly carefully – do not drop liter, do not put the tents and do not kindle fires. A campfire and a place for camping are equipped at the forest border.

Author: Anna Dorozhkina

Tags: Ecotourism Russian National Parks Samara Region   

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