Nizhnaya Kama National Park
Tatarstan Republic, Elabuzhsky and Tukaevsky raions
The national park “Nizhnya Kama” was established in 1991 in the Tatarstan Republick. It covers an area of 2600, 5 ha. The park is situated near the cities Elabuga, Naberezhnie Chelni and Nizhnekamsk therefore one can visit them as well as the park.
The park is located in the lower course of the river Kama. The terrain is cut by valleys of small rivers. High right bank of the Kama River is jagged by ravines. The territory of the park is divided into 2 parts by the large Kama River. It is partitioned off by the hydroelectric power station's dam. The Nizhnekamsk reservoir may be found here. Regular spring floods of the Kama River and of the small rivers last for 30-50 days.
The climate is temperate-continental, with warm summers and moderately cold winters. The warmest month is July with monthly average temperature +19,6 ºС (minimum temperature is -47 ºС). The coldest month is January with an average temperature - 13 ºС (maximum temperature is +38 ºС).
Flora and Fauna
The park is located on the border of three climatic subzones: deciduous, fir-deciduous forests, and meadow-steppes. The tract of fir-forests “Kzyl-Tau” is situated in the Beloussky forest. This is the southernmost geographical range of Sibirian fir. The park is home to such rare plants of the Tatarstan Republic as white water-lily, yellow water-lily and other species. Yellow lady’s slipper, helleborine and 3 more species are listed in the Red Data Book.
Fauna of the park is typical of the European part of Russia however steppe species (northern red-backed vole, chipmunk, and nutcracker) and taiga species (steppe lemming, roller, and hoopoe) may be found here as well. Black stork, osprey, snake eagle, saker falcon and other species are found in the Red Data Book. Among rare animals that are common in the park are mute swan, eagle-owl, hoopoe, corncrake, marsh harrier, hen harrier.
What to see
The park offers several water and walking tours. The tour "Shishkinsky Krai" includes visiting natural complexes and tracts which inspired I.I. Shishkin (the great Russian landscape painter, who was born in the city of Elabuga). These places are captured in the pictures "Svyatoi Kluch near Elabuga", "The Mast-Tree Grove", "The Landscape with Pine-tree" and others. There are other great tours offered by the park: "Krasnaya Gorka near Elabuga", "Forest Lakes", "Antiquities of the Kama valley". The Elabuga city is a must for visitors. The old part of it is the territory of historical and architectural open-air museums. The settlements of anan'ino, pyanoborskaya and bulgar eras are known within the city limits of modern Elabuga. The most ancient and mysterious monument of the past in the city is the Chertovo Gorodische (the Devil's Tower).