The 21 hectares spreading over a gently sloping hill are home to over 1100 species of plants from all corners of the world, with a special emphasis on trees. Some of the species that one might see when walking or biking in the forest are evergreen oaks, Italian oaks, downy oaks, Turkey oaks, beeches, sycamore maples, Norway maples, common whitebeams, silver lindens, and small-leaved lindens, to name but a few. Numerous species of birds make their nests in these trees, though the ones visitors are more likely to encounter are the species best represented in terms of numbers, namely blackbirds, titmice, jays, ravens, and buzzards.
Whether they choose to explore it by foot or by bike, visitors to the park have plenty of options. There are asphalted walkways throughout the park, with the main one measuring 1.9 km in length, and a separate bike track 5 km long and 3 m wide. There are rest stops equipped with all the comforts of civilization, parking facilities for both cars and bikes, and even a small playground and a bike rental office. Mountain biking enthusiasts from everywhere might be tempted to come here if only for its reputation of highest cycling lane in Romania, affectionately dubbed by the locals “Transalpina”.
However, even those who do come only to enjoy biking through the park would most likely stop to admire the views on more than one occasion. Cycling is, indeed, the kind of sport that boosts psychological wellbeing both thanks to the physical effort and to the beauty of the places one gets to see while cycling, and this park is no exception. In fact, it could be said it is a prime example of just how well sports and nature go hand in hand – or rather wheel to wheel.
And thanks to its mild climate the area offers plenty of opportunities to live out such experiences. Winters are not particularly harsh, and while the snow might deter some from riding their bikes, a walk in the snow covered park is like stepping through a portal into another world, one of fairy-tale beauty. Spring brings a riot of colors and more cycling-friendly conditions, but summer remains the peak season for enjoying the park in its entire splendor. Die hard nature lovers would no doubt find it charming in autumn too, albeit with a slight edge of sadness. As for those who have spent spring and summer riding their bikes in the park and still haven’t had enough of it – which is always a possibility, seeing how it’s ever-changing and ever-surprising – autumn still leaves them with a couple more weeks to savor the beauty of it all.