National Park rules of conduct
Any outdoors activity involves some kind of impact or perturbation to the natural environment. Therefore, everyone enjoying it must consider actions to make it sustainable and to minimize its impact. In this regard, the Galicica National Park requests all runners of Ohrid Ultra-Trail® to always take into consideration the following points at any time:
>>Always stay on the track or path when running or walking. This helps keeping them open, as well as minimizes the erosion problems usually linked to making shortcuts.
>>Ensure that any food or drink wrapping remains inside your pockets or in the backpack after using it. Not littering will keep the paths free of papers, plastics or other trash, preventing the animals to eat them with the consequent intestinal problems.
>>Try to leave the mountain cleaner than when you found it. Pick the rubbish that you may find in your way (or part of it), and put it in the dustbin.
>>It is quite usual to find domestic animals on or near the path (cows, horses, sheep), observing with certain mistrust, particularly when young ones are present. Avoid altering them, slow your pace, take some distance from the animals and do not touch them.
>>Sometimes dogs accompany the flock, protecting the animals from bear, wolf or wild dog attacks. In this case you must circle around the flock (never cross it), avoid touching the animals, allow the dog to sniff at you and confirm you are not a threat, and continue walking at slow pace until getting enough distance.
>>Wild animals usually avoid human presence. If by chance you come across a wild boar, a deer or any other animal, you should stop and leave space for the animal to escape from you. To prevent a defensive action from the animal, it is not recommended to walk towards it.
>>Mountains have always been a convivial place. Greeting the people you come across helps maintaining a good atmosphere. Commenting any incidences we may have found along the way may be helpful to other users.
>>Moving our body also moves our intestines, which may bring the need to empty them. Please dig a small hole with your heel and defecate inside, then cover your excrement and any paper used with soil, leaves and rocks.
>>Raise your eyes from the track from time to time to look around you and fully enjoy the beautiful landscape surrounding you. Knowing and enjoying nature is the first step to loving and respecting it.
>>Friends and family coming as public or to provide support to runners should also be aware of this exceptional natural environment, which needs to be respected and protected. Please behave respectfully, for example by parking only in appropriate areas (never in non-designated fields), not littering, not being too loud, not trespassing on private properties, respecting the high grass fields, etc…
Galicica National Park a "hotspot" of biodiversity
Galicica National Park has been recognized for the rich and rare nature and unique beauty and in 1958, it was declared a national park in order to preserve the flora and fauna and the natural look of Galicica Mountain. Nearly 2/3 of the Park is included in the boundaries of the World Natural and Cultural Heritage of the Ohrid region, inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List.
As a complex entity, the Park, along with Lake Ohrid and Lake Prespa, is a relatively restricted area of very rich biodiversity, high degree of heterogeneity and endemism and is thus considered a very valuable site in Europe.
The dominant geological substrate of Galicica Mountain consists of metamorphic silicates, overlaid by a layer of porous limestone, tick from 500 to 550 m. Due to the geological substrate there is a large number of surface and underground karst forms. While the surface karst phenomena are diverse and quite imposing, there are few modest underground karst forms. The most striking karst springs of Lake Ohrid are located in the complex of the monastery – St. Naum springs. They consist of 30 underwater and 15 coastal springs, with a total capacity of 7.5 cubic meters of water per second.
The Park is a hotspot of biodiversity in the region, and beyond, globally. The Park distinguishes itself from other areas of similar size by the exceptional abundance of habitats and species in a relatively small territory. On an area of 24,150 ha, there are more than 37 habitat types, 40 plant communities, about 1,600 taxa of vascular plants, over 143 species of lichen fungi, over 480 species of fungi and over 3,279 faunal taxa. The park encompasses 4 taxa of invertebrate and 13 of vertebrate species that are globally endangered. Several hundred rare and protected species in the Park are represented by rather significant populations. Some of them occur only within the Park's borders: 29 taxa of algae, 12 species of vascular plants, 68 taxa of invertebrate and 4 taxa of vertebrate animals. In addition, the Park is inhabited by a large number of taxa found only in N. Macedonia or the Balkans including 46 taxa of high plants, 89 taxa of invertebrates and 14 taxa of vertebrates.
The region from a cultural-historical viewpoint is characterized by several layers of values. They comprise primarily the geographical-ambient features of Lake Ohrid and the mountain ranges that form the boundary of the protected region. Using the lake as their primary source of life, many generations left behind syntheses of the natural, the rural, and the urban. Out of the many cultural and historical monuments in the territory of the Park the most important are the monastery St. Naum, the church St. Bogorodica Zahumska, the archeological sites on the island of Golem Grad and many others.