Kostomukshsky state nature reserve was founded on December 14, 1983. Its area totals 47.5 thousand hectares. The reserve is located 25 kms to the west from the town of Kostomuksha and shares borders with Finland.
The reserve's main tasks are preservation of typical natural landscapes of northern taiga in their natural condition, protection of biological species, studying of natural processes, stationary supervision over natural process of natural complexes and ecological education of the population.
A remarkable ruggedness is typical for its relief: rocky massifs and starved ridges alternate with lowerings occupied with lakes and bogs.
The landscapes of the reserve are standard for north taiga and represent a valuable genetic material. Pineries predominate in the reserve comprising about 70%. The dominant species is pine. Fir-woods are more rare in occurrence (20%), they locate close to hills and river valleys. Deciduous plantations are rare too. Average age of the forestst makes170-180 years old, while some trees may reach the age of 300 years and older.
There are about 250 lakes in the reserve. The largest (10.5 thousand of hectares) and the clearest is lake Kamennoe. It has 98 islands, lots of capes and bays. The depth of the lake is 26 meters. On its shores there used to be a few settlements of Karelians where small spots of fields and meadows remained.
A short (25 meters), but very beautiful and wide river Kamennaja, which brings its waters to the White Sea, flows from the lake through the territory of the reserve. The most impressive is a majestic Tsar-rapid bound in steep rocks.
In territory of the reserve there are many rare and vanishing species of animals and birds. Among them there are raindeer, otter, lynx, glutton, sea-eagle, golden eagle, osprey, Siberian gray owl, whooper swan and crane. The most prolific in Karelia typical for lake Kamennoe population of salmon, grayling and white-fish are found in rivers and lakes.
Visit Center of Kostomukshsky nature reserve
Address: Priozernaya str., 2, Kostomuksha
Tel..: (814-59) 9-35-24, 7-80-07
An entry in the Karelia encyclopedia