In the Nowy Czarnów in Poland, four kilometers from Gryfino, near the “Dolna Odra” Power Plant, there is a unique natural peculiarity called “Crooked Forest” (Krzywy Las).
It is a cluster of about 50 gnarled pines growing in the area of about 0.30 ha. There used to be more of them, but more and more trees fell or were cut down with time. What makes them peculiar and abnormal is that right above the ground, instead of rising vertically, the trunks turn at an angle of 90 degrees and bend in a wide arch upwards, with the arch always facing north.
No one really knows why the trees have been formed like that, and many theories have arisen throughout the years. Some sound feasible; some are more bizarre. One thing for sure, they are man-made, so no funky supernatural business here 🙂 Many speculate that the trees were supposed to be used for creating boats or sled skids; some hypothesize that they were to be used as part of some unusual furniture. However, no one knows for sure, and soon after the forest creation, the war came, and those who knew the reason were either killed or displaced. Thus, it will forever remain a mystery.
In 2020 it was announced that more trees would be added to two plantations in the effort of keeping this weird and unusual area alive.
Word of caution, though, don’t sit down on the trunks if you are in the forest. We were not aware that the site is protected and only noticed the sign after taking a couple of pictures. That to say, the information board is located only in one place, and if you enter from a different path, you will only see it after you walk through the whole Crooked Forest area.
How to get there
It takes around 40 minutes to get there from Szczecin. The Crooked Forest is located near Przemysłowa Street number 25 in Nowe Czarnowo. You have to park your car at the parking lot next to a block of flats, as there is no official parking. We weren’t entirely sure if we are in the correct place but decided to walk around and check the area and nearby forest out. After 5 minutes of walking, we noticed signs pointing us in the right direction.