Gryfino Forest: How to Visit the Crooked Forest in Poland

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The Crooked Forest of Gryfino, Poland

Once upon a time, in a small corner of Poland near the community of Gryfino, sat a forest of over 400 trees with one unique feature: all trees were bent at a right angle before growing up like a regular tree.

Many stories were told about how these trunks were formed, from great winds to God’s wrath to one man’s efforts to pull a practical joke. There’s only one issue with this fairy tale: it’s entirely accurate.

What is the Crooked Forest of Gryfino, Poland?

Gryfino Forest Sunset Scenery

The Gryfino Forest is a popular tourist destination in northern Poland. Visitors come from all over the world to see this peculiar forest with trees that grow straight and crooked on the same plot of land.

The Crooked Forest of Gryfino, located in western Poland, is a park of pine trees bent in the same direction. The trees were planted around 1930, and for some unknown reason, they all grew crooked.

Some believe the entire forest was deliberately grown this way, while others think some natural phenomenon caused it. Whatever the cause, the Crooked Forest is a unique and fascinating place to visit.

What’s the Truth Behind the Crooked Forest of Gryfino?

The Crooked Forest of Gryfino, Poland

Here are a few possibilities for the Crooked Forest of Krzywy Las, ranging from strange, unique gravitational pull to World War II devastation.

As the oral tradition goes, a group of farmers planted this small grove of trees back in the 1930s because they wanted to make furniture. The curves in the trees are like this because they wanted to create unique designs and intended to harvest the forest after a decade or so.

As they were about to harvest the trees, however, Germany invaded, and all the plans on created bent, crooked furniture were tossed to the wind.

The Crooked Forest of Gryfino, Poland

There isn’t any evidence as to what happened. Some believe these pines were abused to create their unique “J” shape and bent shapes.

The reality is that the most likely explanation is that the trees grow in this way since the wood was intended for a shipbuilding contract. These oddly shaped trees were also thought to have been moved during World War II when German tanks rolled through the area.

Couldn’t Steam Building Be Just As Effective?

The Crooked Forest of Gryfino, Poland

It’s a fair question to those who might question the shipbuilding theory. There’s evidence, however, that manipulating the growth of trees to curve dates back to at least the 17th century and that it may have been common starting in the 19th century.

Some believe that pine isn’t used for shipbuilding and that the forest must have grown naturally, but some modern shipbuilders would even disagree with that!

The significance of these trees to Poland and its people

The existence of the Gryfino Forest in Poland is a mystery. The area was first discovered by a forester who happened upon it during an expedition in 1928. The reason why these curved trees are like this has been debated for many years, with various theories ranging from natural causes to deliberate human intervention.

This young forest is located northwest of the country and was thought to have been deliberately altered by genetic mutation many years ago. There are many theories about why this happened, but no one knows. The trees have become a symbol of Polish culture and identity and are beloved by many.

The crookedness of the trees has become a symbol of the Gryfin; young trees were deliberately bent to give them a curved shape. This was done by placing heavy objects on top of the tree trunk or digging a trench around the tree and attaching ropes to pull it in the desired direction.

The theories about why this was done range from practical (to create windbreaks or furniture) to more ought to have been deliberately bent by humans many years ago; the Gryfino Forest in Poland is famous for its crooked trees.

Gryfino Forest District Managers revealed that there are only 80 pine trees in the park, despite reports of 400 pine trees, meaning that there are significantly more straight pine trees. According to their estimates, they were most likely planted between 1930 and 1945.

The crookedness of the trees is most pronounced at the base of the trunk, where they have been bent at a 90-degree angle. It’s thought that local foresters deliberately altered the trees when they were between 7 and 10 years old.

See Related: What to Expect Living in Poland

How to Get to the Gryfino Forest

Bridge Overlooking Town of Gryfino, Poland

The Gryfino Forest is located in northwest Poland. It can be reached by car from the towns of Gryfino or Szczecin, which are located close to the forest. The journey from Szczecin takes about half an hour; from Gryfino, it takes about 15 minutes.

What to See in the Gryfino Forest

In addition to the trees that grow crookedly, the Gryfino Forest is also home to several other exciting sights.

Szczecin Zoo

Zoo in Moryn, Poland
Fotokon / Shutterstock

The Szczecin Zoo is a great place to visit if you are interested in animals. It is home to several animal species, including lions, tigers, and bears. The zoo also has several exciting exhibits, including a butterfly garden and a reptile house. This is a great thing to do with kids when visiting Krzywy Las in Poland.

Gryfino Castle

The Gryfino Castle is a great place to visit if you are interested in medieval architecture. It was built in the 13th century and is an excellent example of a castle’s appearance. The castle is also home to several exciting exhibits, including a weapons museum and a torture chamber.

When to Visit the Gryfino Forest

The best time to visit the Gryfino forest is in the summer when the weather is warm and sunny. However, the forest can be seen year-round, and several events and activities in the Gryfino Forest occur in winter.

The shady forest is a popular tourist destination all year round, with something to offer visitors of all ages. Whether you’re looking for a day trip from Szczecin or Gryfino or want to explore Poland’s shady forest, add some of these other sights and attractions to your list of places to visit.

Whatever the case, this fairy tale forest is a memorable experience and a great place to take pictures. If you ever get the chance to visit this location, maybe you’ll be able to solve this 70-year-old mystery once and for all!

FAQ

How did the Gryfino forest get its crooked trees?

The most popular theory of explanation is that the forest was deliberately bent by humans or local farmers many years ago. However, no one knows for sure, and it remains a mystery.

Why would someone bend the trees in Gryfino Forest?

There are many theories about why this happened, but no one knows. Some believe the trees were bent to create a natural windbreak or make harvesting timber easier. Others believe that crookedness is simply an aesthetic choice.

What is the best time of year to visit Gryfino Forest?

The best time to visit the Gryfino forest is in the spring or summer when the weather is mild and the leaves are on the trees. However, the forest is open all year round.

What are some other things to do in Gryfino Forest?

In addition to admiring the crooked trees, visitors to Gryfino Forest can also go hiking, biking, or picnicking. There are also several historic sites and museums in the area.

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Kyle Kroeger
WRITTEN BY

Kyle Kroeger

Kyle Kroeger is the Founder and Owner of ViaTravelers.com. He is a full-time traveler and entrepreneur. Kyle started ViaTravelers.com to help travelers experience a fully immersive cultural experience as he did initially living in Italy. He's a converted finance nerd and Excel jockey turned world wanderer (and may try to get lost on purpose). After visiting 12 countries and 13 national parks in a year, he was devoted to creating and telling stories like he'd heard.

Plus, after spending more time on airplanes and packing, he's learned some incredible travel hacks over time as he earned over 1 million Chase Ultimate Rewards points in under a year, helping him maximize experiences as much as possible to discover the true meaning of travel.

He loves listening to local stories from around the world and sharing his experiences traveling the globe. He loves travel so much that he moved from his hometown of Minneapolis to Amsterdam with his small family to travel Europe full-time. Read more about his portfolio of work.

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One thought on “Gryfino Forest: How to Visit the Crooked Forest in Poland

  1. Avatar of Edwin Huge

    Look, it was Rhyacionia buoliana when the trees were 2 or 3 years old.