Kislovodsky National Park
The park was created in 2016 within the borders of the Kislovodsk Resort park in Stavropol Krai. It's territory covers more than 960 hectares. The resort park was created in 1823 on the order of General Aleksei Yermolov, and in the Soviet era it was one of the most popular vacation spots for party leaders, as well as being used for post-flight rehabilitation of the USSR’s first cosmonauts. In 2017, the park was expanded to include parts of the Caucasian Mineral Waters region, which hosts some of the most prized natural complexes and attractions.
The Kislovodsk Resort park is situated on the slopes of the Dzhinalsky Ridge in the Olkhovka valley, and stretches from the Narzan Gallery on the slopes of mount Krestovaya and Tupaya (Sosnovaya - “Pine”) past the cliff outcrops at Grey Rocks, Red Rocks, and Blue Rocks, to the Piket mountain and Maloye Sedlo. From the Gallery in the town centre, the resort park’s territory spreads to the south-east of the town and beyond.
The terrain is mountainous, and covers two distinct altitude zones: the low-mountain zone (800-1000m elevation), which includes the lower and central areas of the park, and a mid-mountain zone covering the upper part of the park and the peaks of Bolshoye Sedlo and Maloye Sedlo (1000-1409m). The climate and geography of the area, as well as special “health trails” (walking trails designed to promote wellness), create very favourable conditions for recuperation and the treatment of various illnesses.
Flora and fauna
Within the limits of the Kislovodsk Resort park you’ll find more than 250 tree species, 900 varieties of grass, and 200 species of bird. Around 50 varieties of these plant and bird species are included on Russia’s and Stavropol Krai’s Red Books.
What to see
The park’s air is its main healing attraction as it is rich in air ions, which act positively on the body. Their concentration in the park reaches 2000 per cm3, as opposed to a normal concentration of between 100 and 500 per cm3. This is why walks in Kislovodsk Park are considered an important aspect of the treatment process for a number of illnesses—particularly for cardiovascular and respiratory conditions. It was also here that Russia’s first therapeutic walking path was opened, and now the park has an extensive network of these health trails, totalling around 90km in length. Around 300 species of tree and plants from Crimea, Georgia, western Ukraine, France, and China have been collected and planted throughout the park, making for an enjoyable and interesting place to wander.
Adapted from materials at tass.ru, mnr.gov.ru/news and rg.ru