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Lake Krosino is a gem of a lake on the Drava River in Poland's West Pomeranian Voivodeship (administrative district). A part of the Drawsko Lakeland area, the entire region is very popular for holidays. Located in Northwest Poland, the area was part of Germany until 1945, known then as Eastern Pomerania. Lakes along the Drava River (locally called the Drawa) have always attracted water lovers. Although not the largest lake in the area, Lake Krosino has gained prominence in recent years as a resort lake. The reed-rimmed shoreline holds several guest houses and holiday rentals as well as a growing resort hotel community in Gleboczek near the northern shore. Located in the traditional forestry area of the country, preservation efforts have resulted in many acres of public land where visitors can explore. Lake Krosino makes a convenient home-base for those coming here for holiday.
Lake Krosino is partially surrounded by the Drawsko Landscape Park. This park consists of five separate nature reserves and includes much of the Drava River bank. Only electric motors are allowed on Lake Krosino to preserve the cleanliness of the water. Although only 50 miles south of the Baltic Sea, the water warms early, and the lake is a favorite for swimming. Canoeing and kayaking are the preferred methods of water transportation on Lake Krosino, but rowing, electric pontoon boats, and sailboats are also used. The clear water makes the lake a favorite among divers, and the reed beds along the shoreline shelter a wealth of water birds, ducks and small animals. Anglers enjoy fishing here for bream, roach, perch, pike, tench, and at the mouth of the Drava, lake eels. Fishing licenses are required and may be obtained in Czaplinek on Lake Drawsko.
Gleboczek in particular has become an area catering to holiday-makers. Resorts, some with spas, attract a more affluent clientele who appreciate fine dining and fine wines. Holiday apartments and self-catering villas still attract families and those desiring to enjoy the countryside. Several marked bicycling trails in the area provide hours of cycle touring and sightseeing in the district. Some trails intersect with trails from other municipalities, and the energetic cyclist can travel much of the area via well-marked bike paths.
Lake Krosino is likely best known for canoeing the Drava River. The 115-mile waterway is the most popular canoe route in Poland, made famous in part because the young Karol Wojtyla - later known as Pope John Paul II - canoed here often. The river contains nearly every type of water conditions, from whitewater and rapids in some areas of the Drawa National Park, to a quiet stream just made for lazy paddling. The area that runs west from Lake Drawsko through Lake Krosino is more of the latter nature, just perfect for amateurs.
The Lake Krosino area holds a wealth of historical and cultural locations for the holiday-maker to visit. Just upstream from Gleboczek, a historic mill lies in ruins beside the stream. Two fascinating old churches in Czaplinek are likely the most interesting buildings in this old Middle-Ages village; Holy Trinity Church, built in the late 14th or early 5th century is reputed to stand at the site of the Templars Castle. The Church of the Praised Saint Cross, although not as old, holds one-of-a-kind ceramic mosaics and wooden sculptures created locally.
At the southwest end of Lake Krosino, the municipality of Zlocieniec provides everyday necessities for the self-catered guest. In addition, the town offers arts and music productions, local craftsmen's shops and several historic buildings and ruins, including Hornbeam Alley, a city park featuring rare and unique tree species. The Park is at the foot of the hill where Castle Zlocieniecki once stood. Evidence of more recent history can be seen from Lake Krosino. Two lofty towers can be seen from the midpoint of Lake Krosino. The towers belong to "Ordensburg Krosinsee" and were built by the Nazis in 1936. The fortress was a monastic training and recreation center for the Nazi party, including stadiums, swimming pools, sports halls and residential buildings that would house several thousand people. Hitler developed the complex, one of three, to train his young political warriors. The educational compound soon housed Hitler Youth. The property is now under the control of the Polish Army's 2nd Battalion, 12th Panzer Brigade. Some limited tours are permitted but much is off-limits.
Visitors wishing to spend a week or two at Lake Krosino should be able to find a vacation rental to their liking. Besides the resorts in Gleboczek, the city of Zlocieniec holds hotels, hostels and inns. Lakes in the area host regattas and annual events, and the entire Drawsko Lakeland holds traditional festivals and sporting events on a regular basis. Boats can be rented along the shore, if the rental chosen does not include one. Real estate is often available in the small villages but not necessarily on Lake Krosino itself. So, come and paddle the route of John Paul II. Enjoy the same woods and water enjoyed by the major figures of history. Make Lake Krosino a part of your history-and your future.
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