The Gagaty Sołtykowskie Reserve is a place located far away from most of the attractions in the region, but it is worth visiting. An ideal location for a weekend walk, enriched with educational values!
Our visit to the Gagaty Sołtykowskie reserve took place in early spring. If I had to recommend you a period of the year for your visit, the one which we visit this place wasn’t the best. There is a lot of mud in the reserve and on the road leading to it. All in all, a bit of mud didn’t hurt anyone 🙂
The Gagaty Sołtykowskie Reserve is located 2 kilometers from the border with the Mazowieckie Voivodeship (Stąporków commune, Konecki poviat). The closest major towns are Stąporków (8 kilometers) and Bliżyn (9 kilometers).
Getting to the reserve is not complicated. The turn from road number 42 is signposted. After driving a few hundred meters along the forest road, we reach the parking lot where we can leave the car. There are also information boards and picnic tables.
There is about a kilometer of walk from the car park to the reserve. The road is paved and runs mostly through forest.
Gagaty Sołtykowskie Reserve
This reserve was established in 1997 and covers an area of 13.88 hectares. The purpose of protection is to preserve, for scientific, educational and tourist reasons, the exposures of Lower Jurassic rocks and interesting mineralogical and palaeontological specimens together with forest communities and water reservoirs, with all the wealth of fungi, plants and fauna. The excavation of ceramic clay was carried out here. It lasted until 1977.
There are walking routes in the reserve, some of which run along the bridges built over the wetlands.
When walking around the reserve in the warm months, watch out for vipers that like to bask in the sun.
At the bottom of the excavation, traces of dinosaurs were discovered in the Gagaty Sołtykowskie reserve. They were left in the sandy-clay shore of the river backwaters.
A roofed pavilion has been built above the largest slab containing traces, thanks to which you will not miss them for sure. An interesting fact is that there are both traces of young and adult individuals. These traces were left by herbivorous sauropods that lived there 200 million years ago. They are said to be one of the oldest traces of the herding lifestyle of these animals. You will also find traces of other genres on the album.
In the title of the text, I mention to you about the biggest track of a dinosaur in Poland. Indeed, such finds have been made in the Gagagaty Sołtykowskie reserve! It was almost 60 centimeters in size and belonged to the predatory allozauropod.
If you want to read a scientific article about dinosaurs from Sołtyków, I recommend Grzegorz Niedźwiedzki’s text – Traces of dinosaurs from the early Jurassic ecosystem from Sołtyków in the Świętokrzyskie Mountains [in Polish with English abstract and summary].
In the Gagaty Sołtykowskie reserve, apart from dinosaur footprints, you can observe fossils of Jurassic plants such as horsetail. Imagination begins to work!
The reserve also used to extract jet – a bituminous type of brown coal. It is sometimes called black amber and was used in the production of jewelry (especially mourning). It owes its name to the city and the Gagas River (Turkey), where the first specimens were found. This jewelry was popular during the times of national uprisings and symbolized rebellion and resistance against the invaders.
Today, in the reserve, it is exposed on the surface very rarely, but sometimes you can see a fragment.
If the Gagaty Sołtykowskie reserve is not a sufficient reason for a trip, you will find the Skałki Piekło pod Niekłaniem reserve right next to it. Magic rocks in the middle of the forest trigger the imagination.
Gagaty Sołtykowskie – worth visiting?
It’s definitely worth it! Gagaty Sołtykowskie is a very interesting place. Perfect for a weekend trip. If you are a fan of geology, be sure to put this place on the list, and if not, I think that the traces of dinosaurs will definitely impress you and your children! 🙂