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Trip Planner: Europe / Russia / Volga District / Saratov Oblast / Khvalynsk / National Khvalynsk Park
Khvalynsky National Park encompasses a raised plateau of chalk hills of the Volga Uplands, covered in mixed oak-linden and conifer forests, along the west side of the Volga River. It is about 1,000 km north of the Caspian Sea, in Saratov Oblast overlooking the Saratov Reservoir. The northern end is about 10 km west of the city of Khvalynsk, and about 200 km northeast of Saratov on the Volga. About 25524ha in size, Khvalynsky is spread over three sections. The park was officially formed in 1994.Take a look at our Khvalynsk trip itinerary planning site to schedule your visit to National Khvalynsk Park and learn about what else to see and do during your holiday.
The park centers on the Khvalanskyaya ridge, a raised plateau that stretches along the west bank of the Volga River . Because the bedrock is primarily chalk and marl, the landform reflects extensive erosion out from the center of the ridge, with undulating and hilly terrain and numerous interconnected ravines and gullies. The varied landforms create many micro-climates and habitats. The highest mountain is 369 meters in altitude, and there are five other mountains over 250 meters in height. The mountains in the park are mostly covered with upland forest trees. The Volga reaches its greatest depths in the territory of the park.
Over 90% of the park is forest land. There are numerous outcrops of exposed bedrock, and underground water that frequently comes to the surface in springs. Habitats include pine and watershed forests, small rivers and hollows, and various types of forest edge and steppe.
The climate is continental, with warm, dry summers and moderate winters. Winters last from late November to early April, with an average of 33 cm of snow.
Because Khvalynsky borders many ecological zones - forest, semi-arid steppe, the Volga, mountain, meadows, and stream valleys - it has a complex variety of habitats. These varied habitats supports a large number of different plants and animals, many of which are rare or endangered. Small mammals are common, including hares, beavers, foxes, and wolves. Among reptiles are the common European adder (vipera berus), and indicator of complex habitat.
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