European Bison Sighting
Although the image of the bison is slapped on every brochure and water, beer, and vodka bottle to promote the area, don't expect to encounter a bison lurking behind every tree. You are assured of seeing them in the Bison Reserve . Sighting those living in the wild requires some luck and effort. Note: Bison are on the Red List of Endangered Species. As such, the BNP forbids activities that distress these animals, such as trailing them. Dogs are not allowed. Read the BNP's advisory on the do's and don'ts, and should you cross paths with a bison or a herd, keep your distance and do not startle them. You don't want tons of muscle charging at you.
To see the free-range bison, the BNP's recommendation is to go in winter, at dawn or dusk, to the public feeding stations. A shortage of vegetation in the forest brings the bison out to these hay huts, which are accessible to the public. There are observation platforms by the three feeding posts to the north of Biaowieza at Kosy Most, Czoo (near Stare Masiewo village), and Babia Góra. At any time of the year, the general advice from licensed guides is to go for a walk and try your luck. The yellow trail to Topio, the red trail to Narewka, and the green trail (also called the Wolves' Trail) are tracks with reportedly higher probability of bison sighting. Note: Park regulations require you to stay on the marked trails. You shouldn't be overly discouraged about your chances. The locals are blasé about the bison, claiming that the animals often graze at the perimeters of their homesteads (between the villages of Narewka and Siemianówka).
Cycling routes crisscross the villages around Biaowieza and are great for getting acquainted with the rich ethnic character of the region. Pick up the English-language Bicycle Routes in the Region of the Biaowieza Forest (available in Hajnówka's Tourist Information Office). The most interesting is the Land of Open Shutters (16km/10 miles from Narew to Puchy) route, which takes you past Orthodox churches, cemeteries with three-bar papal crosses, and 19th-century wooden cottages with ornate wood cravings.
There are plenty of flat and relatively easy walking routes that you can pick up at the PTTK office. A popular track to get a feel of the primeval forest is the 4km (2.5-mile) Bison's Rib (Zebra Zubra), which is dotted with information boards about the plants. The green 11km (6.8-mile) Wolves' Trail takes you to the Hwozna Protected Area, which has a similar feel to the SPA.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.