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Rivers


The Dzūkija National Park is a park of rivers and rivulets. Where else could one find such a large variety, ranging from abundant springs to Lithuania’s largest river Nemunas? Several tens of rivers and rivulets – and all of them so different, each with its own character and history! The Nemunas carries its muddy waters through the entire park, from the ruins of the Liškiava castle to the solitary farmstead of Krikštonys, forming a kind of axis connecting the sands of the Dainava plain and the hills of the Dzūkų heights, as well as the lives of the forests, fields and the Nemunas banks. Having collected the waters of all the rivers and springs of the Dainava forest, the Merkys flows into the Nemunas at Merkinė. And how beautifully the Ūla meanders, how picturesque its sandy banks down Zervynos are! Or take the Grūda, another tributary of the Merkys. Making many loops, as if eager to turn back, it flows in a wide valley of an ancient river. And the Skroblus – you will not find another rivulet so short and so rich in water in Lithuania. From the “Old Lady’s Garden” spring in Margionys, where it starts, to the confluence with the Merkys, the amount of water in the Skroblus rises almost one hundred times – so much of it is amassed from the springs hidden in deep shadowy waterholes with steep slopes.

Down from Merkinė, the Strauja, which once spun the wheels of as many as six watermills, as well as the Apsingė and the Kempė flow into the Nemunas. The rivulet of Būkaverksnis, flowing from the swamp of Lizdų Lake, disappears into the depths of the earth. A year when it reaches the small adjacent lake of Krakinis occurs very seldom. For centuries, huge shoals of salmon and salmon-trout had been returning to spawn to the clear and cold rivers of the Dainava forest in autumn, before the Nemunas dam hindered their way.


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