- Is it true that there is a labyrinth in Stołowe Mountains National Park?

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Is it true that there is a labyrinth in Stołowe Mountains National Park?


Indeed, Errant Rocks are often referred to as such. They area a group of rocks forming passes and corridors which resemble a rock city. Through this area, along narrow crevices a tourist trail was established. The natural character of this formation is the most noteworthy thing about this place. What looks like an extraordinary labyrinth was created exclusively by forces of nature.


Really? How did that happen?


Sea sediments were lifted by the force of tectonic movements which created Stołowe Mountains. They were exposed to external weathering processes ever since the uplift. They can be caused by multiple factors, however, the most crucial one was water, the effects of which are observable in the whole area of Stołowe Mountains. Water dissolves rocks, flushes out weakened rock material and may even burst them. It enters them through crevices and cracks, travelling downwards until it encounters and impermeable layer of marls where it changes the flow direction into horizontal. There, the top layer of marls is being flushed out, which results in sinking of boulders and reducing their stability. Some sandstone slabs start leaning away from each other.


Does that mean these rocks are constantly moving?


-Yes. Currently at one of the largest crevices at Great Szczeliniec – Inferno – we are experiencing movement of one of the walls at the speed of 0.2 mm per year.


Are there any other consequences of water influence in Stołowe Mountains?


- Within the whole area of the national park there are strange shaped rocks, which is the result of weathering and erosion processes. Many of the formations are named after their appearance, such as Rock Mushrooms, Camel, Apeman, Ship or... Chicken Foot. It is not surprising that these formations are associated with many legends.


It must be a great attraction to visitors. Are animals as interested in the local rocks?


Rock ledges are peculiar and difficult habitats for plants and for animals. Space is limited and climate conditions are not always favourable. As it turns out, a spider, Bathyphantes eumenis, populating the areas of Greenland, Alaska and northern Scandinavia can also be found in Stołowe Mountains. Here lies its southernmost habitat and the only such locality in Poland. The unique alpine microclimate allowed it to survive as a relict of ice age. It is worth mentioning that the ice sheet did not reach Stołowe Mountains but it did pour into the areas of the nearby Kłodzko Valley.