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Kemeri National Park
Kemeri National Park is special for its great biological diversity, the unique Kemeri Bog, mineral waters and therapeutic mud found here.
Kemeri National Park, founded in 1997, is located next to the most popular resort city in the Baltics – Jurmala, and 50 km from the capital city of Riga.
The park stands out with its diverse world of wetlands. It is home to moss or raised bogs, fens, and transitional bogs. The Great Kemeri Bog is one of the largest of its kind in Latvia, whereas Lake Kanieris is an internationally-important location for migratory birds that rest and feed here. Bogs, wetlands, swamps, lakes, pine forests, Baltic Sea shores – you will find it all here.
For the convenience of visitors, there are several nature trails in the park:
- Lake Sloka trail,
- Great Kemeri Bog boardwalk,
- Kanieris Hill Fort trail and birdwatching towers,
- Reed Boardwalk.
Spend a Fabulous Day in Kemeri National Park
- Take your family on a walk along the nature trails at Lake Sloka, Forest House and Lake Kanieris
- Visit the Great Kemeri Bog boardwalk at dawn
- Go on a cycling trip along the Green Dune cycling path together with friends
- In the early morning or evening, watch birds at Dunduri Meadows and observation towers at Lake Kanieris and Lake Sloka. Don’t forget your binoculars!
- Get the feel of a bird’s life in the reeds as you walk the Reed Boardwalk at Lake Kanieris
- After a swim in the sea, enjoy the delicious smoked fish bought at Ragaciems Market
- Take part in an unforgettable venture into the world of the wisdom of nature during some of the annual events at Kemeri National Park, be there for the Night of Bats, Day of Travellers, Day of Meadows, or Birdwatching Day
- Take the Barefoot Path near Lake Valgums
There are many sights in the park that bear testimony to World War I battles and the front line – old trenches in the Green Bog and the dunes of Kemeri Bog, Latvian Army soldiers’ cemetery in Smarde, and German soldiers’ graves at Kalnciems.
One of the most prominent features of the park is the Great Kemeri Bog with its multiple little lakes – one of the largest raised bogs in Latvia.
Lake Kanieris is one of the best birdwatching venues in the park. There is a birdwatching tower at the lake, and one of the largest juniper growths in Latvia leading there. Those who would like to learn how birds live in the reeds are recommended the Reed Boardwalk.
Kanieris Hill Fort
Kanieris Hill Fort is near Lake Kanieris, it is best reached by taking the Kanieris Hill Fort Trail from the Antinciems-Caukciems Road that then goes through a fen. At the end of the trail, an observation platform has been built near the hill fort for a terrific view of Lake Kanieris.
If you are travelling or walking from Kemeri, it may suddenly seem that you have walked into a wall and that the road ends there – that is when you know that you have reached the Green Dune. The dune is a hill of sand several kilometres long, covered by pines. It was formerly part of the Littorina Sea shores.
Heck cows and Polski Konik horses are grazing in a large corral at the Dunduri Meadows amidst the forest. These species have been bred specifically to live in the wild and are close to their kin of old – aurochs and tarpans. These and other animals can be observed from the observation tower at Dunduri Meadows.
Kemeri National Park is also special in that the interaction between the dolomite bedrock and the bogs and fens has created sulphuring water. This is the reason why the Kemeri Resort was established already in the 18th century, popular with patients from all over Europe coming here for therapeutic sulphur and mud baths. The resort quickly gained popularity and there were already 106 buildings in Kemeri at the end of the 18th century, whereas in 1911, a railway was launched connecting Kemeri and Moscow.
More information about the history of the resort is available on the website of the Museum of Resort History.
The park visitors’ centre in the Forest House, located 2 km from Kemeri, is open from May 1 to September 30. It is also accessible to visitors in wheelchairs.
Flora and fauna
Diverse flora of the park
- 897 species of ferns and spermatophytes, 202 species of moss, 139 species of lichen, and 521 fungi species have been found in the park
- 86 out of more than 900 plant species found in the park are protected species
- The forests of Kemeri National Park are home to marsh spurge, honeyberry, lady’s slipper orchid, wild garlic
- The fens are notable for various species of orchids – Baltic, early marsh, flecked marsh and heath spotted-orchids, fen orchids, and others
Diversity of birds in the park
- The white-tailed eagle, a rare bird in Latvia and Europe, as well as eagle-owl and curlew are permanent residents
- The feeding and nesting opportunities in the park are particularly favourable to black storks, cranes, and lesser spotted eagles
- There are many nests in the park made by corn crakes, a bird species now seldom found in Western Europe
- Lake Kanieris and the Great Kemeri Bog are internationally-important areas for birds
- Practically untouched by humans, the forests of the park are an excellent place to live for the rare woodpeckers – three-toed, middle spotted, and white-backed woodpeckers
Ķemeri National Park is situated 40 km from the capital city Riga and can be reached by three main motorways and a railway.
Trains run from Riga Central Railway Station every two hours. All trains on the route Riga - Tukums stop at Ķemeri. Schedules can be found on the homepages of Latvian Railway www.pv.lv and biggest general inquiry service www.1188.lv
Jūrmala city minibus route No 10 connects Ķemeri to the central parts of Jūrmala City - Bulduri, Dzintari, Majori, Dubulti. Schedules can be found http://www.tourism.jurmala.lv