Anykščiai Regional Park was established on the 24th September, 1992 to preserve, use and manage the most valuable natural and cultural territories of the North East Aukštaitija. The present relief of the Regional Park was formed by the last glacier 16 thousand years ago. When it melted, old valleys were formed and now rivers Šventoji, Virinta, Elmė, Anykšta and many streams flow there. The highest hill of Storiai reaches 194 meter height and the deepest valley of the Šventoji River is 60 meters above sea level.
“Once walking here you found your eyes would ache:
Thefores would your soul so merry make,
Your hear so glad you wondered in surprise:
Where am I - in a wood or Paradise?”
The total area of the park is 15 459 ha. To preserve the natural and cultural heritage of the park, 1 nature reserve, 4 landscape reserves, 4 geomorphological reserves. 3 botanical reserves, 1 telmological reserve, 4 hydrographic and 1 urban reserve were distinguished.
Anykščiai Regional Park is unimaginable without the Forest of Anykščiai praised by the classic writer Antanas Baranauskas, the Puntukas Boulder, classic writer's Jonas Biliūnas grave - monument “Laimės žiburys” (“The Light of Happiness”), Rubikiai Lake, Voruta Mound and many other objects of natural and cultural heritage. Recently, the unique complex of The Treetop Walking Path has been opened for visitors.
The Treetop Walking Path
The Puntukas Boulder ''The Light of Happiness'' Voruta Mound
Nature has generously endowed Anykščiai Regional Park with plenty of colours and shapes. Here you can find the valley of the River Šventoji which has been scoured during the glacial period, furrowed by old river beds and thermokarst lakes. Scattered around are landforms, gullies, and erosion cirque of Kurkliai. Here calmly rustling stretches the famous forest of Anykščiai with floodplains of the River Šventoji and small quagmire-type lake Budragaidis surrounded by the forest. In the troughs between the hills stretch the magnificent lakes of Rubikiai-Mušėjus with small islands here and there. Also, there are old valleys of the River Anykšta and the River Virinta.
The River Šventoji
In the landscape reserve of the Forest of Anykščiai, lays the second in size boulder in Lithuania called the Puntukas Boulder, and whispers the largest in the country freshwater spring called the Queen's Quagmire. In the escarpments of Vetygala, Varius and others, one can observe layers of the quartz sand which is very characteristic to Anykščiai region. Rubikiai lake is not one of the biggest lakes of our land but also is unique with 16 islands with very interesting names, such as Pertako, Bučinė, Varnagrotė, Česnakinė, Liepinė, Didžioji, etc.
One of the biggest fresh water springs in Lithuania - The Queen's Quagmire
More than 30 plants registered in the Lithuanian Red Book can be found in the regional's park territory. Here you can also find the protected broadleaf and mixed forest communities with oaks, ash trees, spruces, and maples which serve as a shelter for rare plant species.
Anykščiai was the homeland for famous Lithuanian writers, such as Antanas Baranauskas, Jonas Biliūnas, Antanas Vienuolis-Žukauskas. The preserved authentic granary still reminds about the work by Antanas Baranauskas. This granary was the place where the famous piece by Antanas Baranauskas “The Forest of Anykščiai” was born. Near the granary stands the house-museum of Antanas Vienuolis-Žukauskas. On the Liudiškiai Hill stands the 14 metres high tomb-monument called "The Light of Happiness" for the writer Jonas Biliūnas; to reach this monument one must climb 90 steps. In the Anykščiai regional park territory, the following objects of cultural heritage are preserved: the only one in Lithuania Horse Museum in the village of Niūronys, more than one-hundred-years old narrow-gauge railway train station complex called Siaurukas and regular seasonal routes to the Rubikiai Lake, bas-reliefs of the pilots Steponas Darius and Stasys Girėnas carved on the Puntukas Boulder, and the most explored in Lithuania Šeimyniškėliai (Voruta) Mound. Some sources claim there used to stand the Voruta Castle of the King Mindaugas. In the centre of the Anykščiai town, you can find the highest in Lithuania two-tower church of St. Matthew.
The highest in Lithuania two-tower church of St. Matthew
Exceptional events, live traditions
Every year, an exceptional traditional festival called “Bėk bėk, žirgeli” is arranged in Niūronys village. During this festival people can admire not only beautiful horses but also take a look to their saddlery, harnesses and springless carriages called "lineika" decorated with home woven horsecloths. We offer to explore the objects of natural and cultural heritage by traveling following land and water routes (download the book). In this book, you will find 3 hiking routes, 4 cycling routes, 3 water routes, and 2 car routes. The most of the routes starts at the Anykščiai Regional Park Visitors' Centre. We suggest visiting this centre before starting your trip. The employees of the Visitors' Centre will introduce you the park rules, help to plan your trip, or answer your questions.