The Wonderfully Weird Crooked Forest of Poland

Warped Trees of Crooked Forest

Welcome to what may just well be one of the strangest places in Poland. Found a little way out of the western Polish city of Szczecin is Krzywy Las, known in English as the Crooked Forest. I first learned of this bizarre and obscure attraction in an in-flight magazine and had written it down in the hopes of one day visiting myself. When I decided to spend time in Poland in September, there was no question I was going.

 

The Crooked Forest

So what exactly is the Crooked Forest? An unexplained phenomenon that’s what. For some unknown reason, a small forest by the Oder River grew in an exceptionally bizarre manner during the 20th century. The pine trees were all planted in the 1930s and as you can see below, have all grown in a warped and curvy way. I take the name Crooked to have a double meaning: Firstly they are crooked in the wonky sense, but they also kind of look like shepherd’s crooks.

Kyzywy Las Sign, Crooked Forest

I’ve read multiple reasons theorised for why the trees have grown the way they have. One is that the trees were stunted by an exceptionally heavy snowstorm, causing them to warp. Other theories involve the trees being deliberately shaped by humans to creative curved timber. I’d actually thought it had something to do with World War I and tanks rolling over them and bending them in the process before learning of the timing. But who knows, there’s apparently no consensus as of yet.

 

Day Trip from Szczecin

My visit to the Crooked Forest started by hopping on the train from Szczecin south to the minor station of Dolna Odra. I say station and not town, because it really felt like it was in the middle of nowhere, with no people about and just a small gravel road heading off towards the forest. I wandered down the unsealed road until I arrived at a small apartment building on a regional road and noticed my first, underwhelming sign to the Crooked Forest. The sign pointed to a dirt path heading into a forest that looked absolutely normal. Following the path, I basically circled around the lonely apartment building before quickly reaching my target.

Crooked Forest of Poland

At first glance, I had somewhat of a mixed reaction. While the trees were definitely as warped as I had been expecting, the forest (or should I say grove) was smaller and more sparse than I had expected. In my head, the Crooked Forest had been much larger, rather just a grove among a larger forest. I had anticipated somewhere epic and possibly had my hopes too high. Yet after exploring for a while and taking a few photos, I did begin to properly appreciate the unusual sight in front of my eyes. In fact, the unexpected surroundings began to frame just how unlikely of an experience it all was and made me grateful I had come to at least see it all with my own eyes.

Bent Trees of the Crooked Forest

With regards to getting here, apparently there is a local bus that runs the route from Szczecin past the forest but I was never able to find information online about it. Also, while I’ve been unable to re-find the train schedules online, I do recommend checking them at the Szczecin main station in order to get the most accurate travel information.

So, while it may be a little obscure and a minor challenge to reach by public transport, I still feel the sight of these trees is worth the trip. For me, I always find it immensely gratifying to visit somewhere that I’ve wanted to go for a while and not come away disappointed. In that case, the Crooked Forest in the west of Poland definitely fits the bill.

Crooked Forest Trees

 


Have you ever been to a place of nature that was utterly bizarre like the Crooked Forest? Please share your experiences in the comments below.

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The Wonderfully Weird Crooked Forest of Poland via @travelsewhere

 


This post is part of The Weekly Postcard over at Two Traveling Texans. Please head on over for more great posts.

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34 Comment

  1. Midori says:

    The nature is amazing! love these trees!

  2. Wow, so unique!

    1. David says:

      Most definitely Shona!

  3. Wow, this is truly nature doing amazing work! And I’d love to know the real reason of why they grew so warpped, but i guess that’s the mystery! I know what you mean about being slightly disappointed. That was kind of how I felt when I went to the famous bamboo forest of Kyoto… it was a lot smaller than I imagined!

  4. This is an amazing place to visit, I absolutely love it and I’m pinning it for the future! I have taken a note of many places to visit from in-flight magazines and it’s great that you did the same and were able to share this fantastic place with us, thank you so much! #feetdotravel

  5. I love weird places, so this is right up my street! What a cool place.

  6. paulandcarolelovetotravel says:

    Wow what a weird place, nature is an amazing thing! #feetdotravel

  7. Wow this is so cool! Whenever I see crooked trees like this, I always think it looks like a nice little spot to take a rest and enjoy the forest!

  8. Anisa says:

    So fascinating! It’s like an unsolved science mystery and looks like it could be a modern art installation. Thanks for sharing on #TheWeeklyPostcard.

  9. Ahila says:

    The crooked forest is so intriguing. Thanks for sharing it #TheWeeklyPostcard

  10. Crazy cool! I am always very curious about a mystery and the theories surrounding it. I love the look of this forest! Thanks for informing us it is more like a grove, not a forest. I can understand being disappointed if you have built up ideas!

  11. I’ve seen so many photos of this and always wanted to know more about it! This post is awesome! Thanks for sharing! 😀

  12. mymeenalife says:

    I saw a photo of these trees for the first time about ten years ago. It was all over social media but no one was sure, exactly, where it had come from. Later, when I was studying horticulture in college, this forest took up an entire class!

    It’s an absolutely fascinating subject and I’m glad to read a traveler’s first hand, realistic account of the place. I hope I also get to visit it one day. #TheWeeklyPostcard

  13. Mother Nature can be so strange! I’ve pinned for later as we are planning to go to Poland later in the year, hopefully. Interesting possible reasons as to why they’re formed this way! #TheWeeklyPostcard

    1. David says:

      It really can be and I love that it’s so uncertain about the cause. Thanks as always Lorelei.

      1. Thanks for your help! 🙂

  14. Anda says:

    I’ll have to go to Poland someday. Your post about this country are quite intriguing. Very beautiful pictures! #TheWeeklyPostcard

    1. David says:

      I really recommend Poland as it’s a highly underated country in my opinion. Thanks Anda.

  15. I haven’t heard of this forest before, but it looks incredible! I would love to see it in person because you get a difference experience and idea about it when you’re in the thick of it.

  16. Lisa (Simple Sojourner) says:

    I love this post. What a fabulous and mysterious looking place. Definitely a place I would like to visit and I could enjoy a hike there!

    1. David says:

      Yeh, if there had been more frequent trains I would have spent some time and hiked throughout the wider forest as it seemed really quiet and peaceful.

  17. How bizarre! I love seeing nature at its strangest.

  18. yogawinetravel says:

    How wonderfully bizarre! I have never heard of this place before but it sounds like it is worth stopping by if we ever make it to Poland!

  19. This is so neat! I would love to see this in person someday. There’s just something so magical about the crooked trees, nature which defies all expectations and norms! 🙂 Great photos; they’ll tide us over until we can visit Poland for ourselves in the future. Thanks for sharing!

  20. So strange – I can imagine, with a little fog, it might be even spooky. But it’s so awesome coming across unique spots like that. Very cool!

    1. David says:

      Oh yeh that would make it very eerie and atmospheric. Thanks for reading Rob!

  21. Garth says:

    How weird, I wander what has caused them to grow like that, what an interesting place to visit. On first glance I thought it was another Game of Thrones location! Nice find, and I’ve also made a few notes from inflight magazines – i normally take a pic on my phone, so Ive got the whole article.

    1. David says:

      Definitely a weird place and I reckon it would make a great film location now that you mention it.

  22. Fascinating, especially some of the trees in your photos that seem to be of about the same width/age are not bent at all. I thought the curve would be more gentle too, no almost angular. I think the difficulty in finding it makes it seem even more like a hidden treasure.

  23. I wish I would have known about this forest when we were in Poland! It looks like you stumbled upon an enchanted forest from a fairy tale. I wonder why they grew in such an odd manner. Fascinating!

  24. Barry says:

    First time I’ve seen this strange but interesting place. I grew up with a forest behind our house and have love exploring since I was a kid. It’s not very often you see trees like this – they are very unique.

  25. How awesome is nature! I agree, it’s the best feeling accomplishing something you have wanted to do. The trees look awesome and I would totally take a trip to see them too! I think I believe the snowstorm theory lol!!

  26. Wow, that’s pretty cool! Despite the difficulties getting there, I definitely think it was worth it – you gotta see things like that with your own eyes! Nature is incredible, isn’t it?!

  27. Hi David I love to travel in outdoors too. I really love nature green leaves and the smell of the forest your blog is awesome

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