Vodlozersky National Park is situated in the northwest of Russia on the territory of the Republic of Karelia and Arkhangelsk Region.
The National Park was established in 1991 in order to preserve natural, historical and cultural heritage of this area. The Park is a federal natural reserve as well as a scientific and ecological establishment.
Currently, the total area of the Park is 468,340 ha. This is one of the biggest national parks in Europe.
Head office of the Park is situated in Petrozavodsk.
About 10 per cent of the Park area is occupied by lakes and rivers. The main lake of the Park is Lake Vodlozero with the total area of 358 square kilometers and with the total length of the coastline of 438 kilometers.
There are a lot of hills in the northern part of the Park. The highest peaks come to 300 meters. The central part is mostly plain.
Most of the forests in the Park are virgin ones and were never disturbed by industry. Taiga plant species prevail in the Park such as Siberian larch, Tatarian dogwood, Scotch pine, Norway spruce, White birch, Aspen, Juniper, Mountain Ash, Goat willow. The shrub and grass vegetation is represented by blueberry, red bilberry, heather, two-leaved bead-ruby, starflower, shamrock.
Among the mammals the most notable carnivores are Bears, Foxes, Lynxes, Martens. The Park contains one of the biggest deer populations. One can observe rare bird species which are included into the Red Data Book, such as White-tailed Eagle, Fish-hawk, Erne. In the Park there are also populations of Whooper Swan, Windhover, Gray Crane, Black Kite, Thrush Nightingale. Vodlozersky National Park is a good place for birdwatching.
Because of the remote location, Vodlozero Lake is very rich with fish - pike, pike-perch, perch etc.
Kuganavolok village located on the southern shore of Vodlozero Lake is a starting point of the most trips around the Park. Boats take visitors from Kuganavolok to cabins and guesthouses in Novguda, Okhtoma, Kanzanavolok or to the numerous islands where one can stay in a tent. Kuganavolok is a picturesque village with calm atmosphere and lots of old buildings.
Vodlozero area has always been a place of hermitry. Nowadays it is a home of several monks. In the centre of the lake stands Ilyinskiy Pogost (named after Saint Ilya) - a church founded in the 18th Century. It is a working church and services are hold several times a month.