About the reserve
Stara Reka (Old River) Reserve was set apart on March 19, 1981. With an area of 1,974.7 hectares, it preserves the natural scenery of some of the most picturesque Bulgarian rivers, comprising in full the watershed of the Stara Reka Rivers and its tributaries in the municipal lands of Karlovo. This Reserve is among the richest in rare plant species in Bulgaria, with over 45 listed in the Bulgarian Red Data Book. Another 20 species are endemic to Bulgaria, including Kerner’s thistle, Troyan campanula and Bulgarian betony. The forest contains thermophilic flowering ash and hornbeam coexisting with beech, fir, spruce, sycamore and Norway maple.
Over 100 species of vertebrate fauna have found sanctuary in this area. The Reserve is home to bears, wolves, weasels and wild cats, several predatory birds: the golden eagle, large and small hawks, honey buzzards, and barn owls, amphibians and reptiles- european tree frog, fire salamander, blind worm.