Welcome to Aukštaitija National Park
Around 70% of the park comprises pine, spruce and deciduous forests, inhabited by elk, deer and wild boar. Its highlight is a labyrinth of 126 lakes, the deepest being Lake Tauragnas (60.5m deep). A footpath leads to the top of 155m Ice Hill (Ledakalnis), from where a panorama of some seven lakes unfolds. Particularly pretty is Lake Baluošas, ensnared by woods and speckled with islands. White-tailed and golden eagles prey here and storks are plentiful. The Trainiškis Wildlife Sanctuary and Ažvinčiai Forest Reserve, home to 150- to 200-year-old pine trees, can only be visited with park guides.
The main jumping-off point for the park is the sleepy town of Ignalina, which has a supermarket, a post office, a hotel-restaurant, and one of two information centres that service that park. Nearby Palūšė, 3km from Ignalina on the banks of Lake Lūsiai (literally ‘Wild Cat Lake’), is home to the park’s headquarters and main information centre.
There are around 100 settlements within the park itself: Šuminai, Salos ll, Vaišnoriškės, Varniškės II and Strazdai are protected ethnographic centres.
The park has several ancient piliakalnis (fortification mounds), such as the Taurapilio mound on the southern shore of Lake Tauragnas, and some quaint wooden architecture, including a fine church and bell tower at Palūsė. Around Lake Lūšiai a wooden sculpture trail depicts Lithuanian folklore.