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The Pinewood of Punia

Protected Areas, Alytus district

The Pinewood of Punia is surrounded by the 19 km long Nemunas loop. From a biological point of view, it is one of the most valuable forests in Lithuania. A nature reserve has been established in a large part of the Pinewood of Punia, where visits are restricted due to the preservation of unique and vulnerable natural values. Visiting the reserve area is possible only after prior agreement with the directorate of the protected area overseeing the nature reserve and accompanied by a specialist from the directorate. In the area of the pinewood reserve, there is the tallest Pinewood of Punia pine, which has grown to 42.5 m in height and 65 cm in diameter in 170 years. Until 2017, it was considered the highest in all of Lithuania. The pine tree is not suitable for visiting, as it is difficult to access and is in a strictly protected reserve area. It is interesting to walk along the avenue of oak trees, where the most impressive trees are named after the grand dukes of Lithuania, and nearby is the former bunker of the partisan headquarters of the "Dainava" district. "Žaltė slėnis" is a sculpture park established on the site of the former village of Smalinyčia. The entrance to the valley is decorated with an expertly carved gate of two snakes. In the centre of the square, a stone altar is carved out of a huge stone, which is guarded by ghosts and the ancient Lithuanian god Thunder. The Panemuninkai cliff rises 62 m above the Nemunas River, covered

with trees and bushes.
At the Punia Forestry Administration, you can visit the Punia Shilo Forestry Museum, book excursions and commercial hunting. The Pinewood of Punia belongs to the Nemunas Loop Regional Park.

For the Government of the Republic of Lithuania in 2022 May 4 by resolution no. 467, after the approval of the revision of the planning scheme of the Nemunas Loop regional park, the area of the Punias šilo nature reserve increased, and strict protection and regulated protection landscape management zones of the nature reserve were allocated.
In the southeastern part of Punia šilo near the Nemunas River, where there are mostly natural and cultural heritage objects to visit, the Punia šilo landscape reserve has been set aside. It preserves a wooded landscape of expressive relief with valuable natural habitats, rare species of organisms and objects of natural and cultural heritage.
Punias šile visitors can freely visit the territory of the Punias šile landscape reserve.
Currently, visiting the Punias šilo nature reserve for educational or educational purposes is only possible with the approval of the Nemunas Loop Regional Park Directorate and accompanied by an employee of the Regional Park Directorate. For the arbitrary visit to the strict protection zone of the nature reserve, the boundaries of which are marked in kind, administrative sanctions are applied (fine from 30 to 430 EUR).

Nemuno g. 82, Panemunininkų k., Alytaus sen., Alytaus r.
GPS: 54.506515, 24.037903 (WGS)

Authors of photographs: R. Jakaitis, M. Kelminskaitė.