The petrified forest of the Rhodope Mountains is a unique natural phenomenon in the world, certainly in many parts of the world there are petrified forests or “fossil forests” Similar, but the petrified forest of the Rhodope Mountains is the only one in which the trees still stand, in its original vertical position, like millions of years ago, actually has 30 millions of years said soon…
The natural phenomenon is located next to the town of Raven, near the cities of Momchilgrad and Kardzhali. Do not confuse it with “Stone Forest” which is located near the Bulgarian city of Varna which although it has the name of “Forest” not really petrified trees but vertical cylinder shaped rock and sand formations. The authentic petrified forest we are talking about is located in this region of Kardzhali, a few kilometers by road past the town of Raven you have to take a path that leads to this natural phenomenon, but it is difficult to find and if you do not have the help of a guide or local people it is easy to go unnoticed among the rest of the forest.
The petrified trees are not grouped but must be found separately on both sides of the path for a few 200 meters. He “fossil forest” consists of about twenty copies, with a height of 1-1,5 meters and a trunk diameter of 40 a 60 centimeters. There are specimens more spectacular than others such as the case of two of the trees whose diameter is approximately 4 meters and the height is 1 metro. In the cross section of the petrified logs, the annual circles are clearly visible. To get to see the largest specimens, you have to do a bit of scale up a steep slope.
The origin of the petrified forest of the Rhodope Mountains has a scientific theory to explain it. According to which the trees are part of a forest that disappeared a million years ago, that was on the shore of an ancient sea. In a volcanic eruption, the high temperature charred the trees. Later, the area was flooded and the water carrying stony substance filled the micro-cavities of the burned logs, turning them into petrified trees.
Unfortunately the petrified forest of the Rhodope Mountains is slowly crumbling, Due in part to the climatic conditions to which it is exposed and in part to unscrupulous tourists who decide to break through this protected natural phenomenon and take a piece of rock as a souvenir, If this theft is detected at the airport or by forest guards, it will be fined but unfortunately the place is not guarded by 24 hours.
The magical nature of this place, combining the pine forest “alive” and those from the distant past petrified, is incredible. Here the Nature of the past and the present come together.In this place you can feel the power of Nature and at the same time the weakness of the human being. Besides the magnificent atmosphere, at the end of the path that crosses in “Fossil Forest” there is also a small but extremely beautiful waterfall that is worth visiting, with which the hiking route that we offer you is very complete, instructive and exciting at the same time.
For lovers of archeology and photography, the area is a privileged destination, In the Kardzhali region where the petrified forest is located there are also other natural phenomena such as rocks of “The Big and the Small Cauldron” and historical sites such as the Thracian shrines of “Harman Kaya” and “Tatul”, the latter is known as the “Sanctuary of Orpheus” Although Orpheus is known thanks to Greek mythology, it nevertheless originates from these Bulgarian lands where myth and reality are mixed.… and there is much to investigate and discover… Discover the hidden Europe, discover Bulgaria with us…