Valdaysky National Park is a national park in the north of Russia, located in Valdaysky, Okulovsky, and Demyansky Districts of Novgorod Oblast. It was established May 17, 1990. Since 2004, the National Park has the status of a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. Valdaysky National Park, which includes the town of Valday, Lake Valdayskoye, and the northern part of Lake Seliger, is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Central Russia and has well-developed tourist infrastructure.
The park is located in the northern, the highest part of the Valdai Hills. The area of the park is divided between three districts of Novgorod Oblast, with 12% located in Okulovsky District, 62% in Valdaysky District, and 26% in Demyansky District. The landscapes of the park were formed during the ice age and are characteristic for glacial landscape forms. In particular, the park contains 76 lakes of various origin. The biggest lakes are Lake Seliger (only a small portion of it lies within the park limits), Lake Valdayskoye, Lake Velyo, Lake Uzhin, and Lake Borovno. The park belongs to the river basins of the Pola, the Msta and the Volga. The Valdayka River, a tributary of the Berezayka River, originates from Lake Uzhin, and the Polomet River, a tributary of the Pola River, also has its source inside the park.
The area of 1,362 square kilometres (526 sq mi) which makes it 85.9% of the total area of the park, is occupied by forest. Water (mostly lakes) occupies 9.2% of the area, swamps — 2.9%. The most common tree species are birch (Betula pubescens, Betula pendula), alder (Alnus incana), spruce (Picea abies), and pine (Pinus sylvestris). A special type are oak forest (about 0.1% of the total forested area), which are in the park at their northern range. In the park, there are fifty species of mammals, 180 species of birds, and about 40 species of fish. Moose, wild boar, brown bear and grey wolf are all common in the park.