“Losiny Ostrov” (“Elk Island”) Park has been famous for a long time, by the way, it is the only national park located within the boundaries of Moscow.
It is difficult to imagine that the real taiga inhabited by elks, deer and wild boars begins just a few kilometers away from the Sadovoye Ring Road. There is a reason why these dense forests were chosen by Moscow leaders for hunting several centuries ago, and the thicket was taken under special protection.
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“Losiny Ostrov” National Park is located on the territory of Moscow and Moscow Oblast. The rivers Yauza and Pekhorka originate in the park. The total area of the reserve is about 116 square kilometers.
“Losiny Ostrov” (“Elk Island”) has been known since old times: from the 15th to the 18th century these lands were a part of the Taininskaya Palace Region – that was the most favorite and popular hunting place among Moscow princes and kings.
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Ivan IV the Terrible hunted bears in that place, there were plenty of these animals in these impassable thickets. And the Tsar Aleksei Mikhailovich Romanov, who was very fond of falconry founded the falcon yard at the southern part of Losiny Ostrov, which gave the name to the famous Sokolniki Park (“sokol” means “falcon” in Russian). In addition to falconry, the king also hunted elks there.
During the Second World War, Losiny Ostrov suffered some losses - many trees were cut down there.
The official status was received by the “Losiny Ostrov” National Park in 1983, it was one of the first national parks in the country.
Flora and fauna
“Losiny Ostrov” National Park is famous for its rich flora and fauna. More than 230 species of vertebrate animals live here, including many species of birds, mammals (including, of course, elks, deer, wild boars, foxes, hares, squirrels, raccoon dogs, beavers, muskrats, hawks, white-tailed eagles and many others).
More than 500 species of vascular plants grow in the park, as well as herbaceous plants that are rare for the territory of Moscow Oblast. There are here mighty oaks, dark fir trees, slender birches and fragrant linden trees, as well as tall pines with their tops high in the sky.
The park is divided into three zones: a specially protected zone, a zone for walks and sports (open for limited visits on strictly established routes), and a recreation area open for mass visits. You can spend an entire day in the “Losiny Ostrov” National Park walking through these dense groves, watching frolicking birds or animals. Despite the fact that the park is located within the city, the air is wonderful there, and it is difficult to imagine that the National Park is located not far from the centre of the metropolis.
All year round entertainment
You can have a good time in the park during any season and in any weather. In winter, ski trails are laid among the snow-covered firs and pines, in summer and autumn you can ride a bike, explore forest paths, or walk on foot, in spring you can listen to the birds singing and watch the nature awaken.
There are nurseries operating in “Losiny Ostrov” National Park, as well as museums dedicated to various subjects.
How to get there
“Losiny Ostrov” National Park is very large, so there are several entrances to the park located in different parts of the city.
An entrance from Yauza. Trams from the “VDNKH” metro station or “Preobrazhenskaya Ploschad” metro station. Ride by train from the Yaroslavsky railway station, to the Yauza station.
An entrance from Krasnoy Sosny Street. Buses 172, 136, trolley 76 from the “VDNKH” metro station until the “Poligrafichesky College” (“Printing College”) stop.
An entrance from Prokhodchikov Street. Trolley No. 76 from the “VDNKH” metro station until the stops “Detskaya Poliklinika” (“Children’s Polyclinic) and “Fedoskinskaya Street”.
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Author: Anna Dorozhkina