The Bicaz Gorges

Posted on 2017-02-22    Category Places to visit

The park is located in the Hasmas mountains - (Haghimas), situated in the central group of Oriental Carpathians, also known as the Moldo - Transylvanian Carpathians. The park is located in the central - north - eastern region of Romania, in the zone of Harghita and Neamt districts.

The Bicaz Gorges National Park is one of a great geological, geomorphologic and paleontologic interest. It is also interesting from the point of view of its landscapes, and biological diversity generated by the great variety of geoclimactic conditions. The Bicaz Gorges are famous in Romania also because of their impressive dimension. At the same time, the Red Lake, formed through the natural blocking of the Bicaz river’s waters (1837) offers lovely scenery to the eyes.

The protected area of the Bicaz Gorges - Hasmas is crossed by the trans-carpathian road DN12C, which connects the town of Gheorgheni - (situated in the Giurgeu Depression and drained by the Mures river) to Bicaz, a town situated on the Bistrita river. Access towards the Hasmasul (Haghimasul) Mare can be obtained from Balan, situated north of Sandominic, on DN12.

The natural frame of the Hasmas massif, with its varied geologic, geomorphologic, pedologic and climactic elements, its microclimactic conditions determined by the exposure and aspect of slopes, the great height difference (from 575 m in the valley of the Bicaz  at Bicaz Chei, to 1792 m at the top of the Hasmasu Mare) determine the existence of a rich and diverse flora and fauna.

As a result of field investigation and according to extant bibliographic data, 1147 superior plant species have been inventoried (29 hybrids and 99 sub-species)

The PNCB - H has spruce forests (pure spruce forests - 95%) resinous forests with beech on the mountain slopes, vaste montaineous pastures, peaks with sub - alpine vegetation, rocky parts with specific vegetation, and many rare and endemic flowers.

Specific to this region is the local endemic plant Astragalus pseudopurpureus (gusul).

Many rare species can be seen here, among which are: the juniper(Juniperus sabina) the pyramidal bugle (Ajuga pyramidalis), the low tufted perennial Silene zawadzkii, the Geum - like - barren wild strawberry (Waldsteinia geoides) and the rose Daphne (Daphne cneorum).

Of a great scientific importance are the legally protected plants, declared monuments of nature:the Yellow Lady’s Slipper(Cypripedium calceolus), the Eidelweis (Leontopodium alpinum) the Nigritella rubra (orchidacee) and the yew (Taxus baccata).

The fauna of the park is very rich in rare and endangered species and also other species characteristic for the mountain region.

Here are some of these rare species, which are important links of a rich trophic network, indicating a subsisting well balanced eco system.: the Apollo butterfly (Parnassius apollo)and the Polygonia alba. There are also amphibians and reptiles, such as Bombina variegata (the yellow bellied toad), Rana ridibunda (the lake frog) Triturus alpestris (the Alpine newt), Triturus cristatus (the crested newt), the Triturus montadoni (the carpathian newt), the Salamandra salamandra (salamander), the Bufo bufo (the toad), the Rana temporaria (the common frog) the Lacerta vivipara (the viviparous lizard), the Vipera berus (common viper), the Coronella austriaca (the smooth snake). There are also birds such as Tichodroma muraria (the wallcreeper), Picoides tridactylus (the woodpecker), Emberiza cia (the rock Bunting), Corvus corax (common raven) Tetrao urogallus (Old World grouse), Strix uralensis (the Ural owl) Aquila chrysaetos (the golden eagle).

Some  mammals which can be found in the region are Cervus elaphus (the red deer) Rupicapra rupicapra (the wild alpine goat) Ursus arctos (the bear) Lynx lynx (lynx) and Canis lupus (the wolf).

The Bicaz Gorges