Dubysa Regional Park was set up with the aim of preserving the landscape and natural ecosystem of the eroded valley of the river Dubysa, which is one of the most scenic in Lithuania. The river’s loops and old beds, forest-covered slopes, floodplains, abounding and rapid tributaries flowing in deep valleys make up a unique ecosystem rich in plant and animal species. Salmon and brown trout come here to spawn.
The main sites include the unique and extremely impressive old Dubysa valley, with a wide bed, steep slopes and the valleys and gullies of its many tributaries (the Lelykas, Šventupis, Šakuma and Upytė streams and the river Kirkšnovė). Another remarkable feature is the deep and narrow Dratvinis valley, with its numerous offshoots. Plauginiai Reserve has the Gražusis oak (1.4 m in diameter, 28 m high).
The slopes of the Dubysa valley abound in mounds (Lyduvėnai, Barsukalnis, Betygala, Aukštuona and Padubysis) and old burial grounds. All natural and urban features of the park are directly related to the Dubysa, its valley and tributaries. The highlights of the town of Betygala are a monument to Vytautas the Great, and a church with sculptures by B. Pundzius. The village of Ugionys boasts a beautiful small church, which is a combination of folk and Classicist styles. The unique railway bridge in Lyduvėnai is the longest and highest in Lithuania.
The birthplace of the poet Maironis and its natural and cultural environment are preserved in the Bernotai village in Pasandravys Memorial Reserve.
The town of Betygala has the Regional Culture Museum, which offers a rich exhibition of the region’s history, nature and geology, reflecting the past abounding in events and talented people.
Information about the park and its major sites is provided at the Information Centre located in the office building of the administration, at the school in Lyduvėnai and at the Regional Culture Museum in Betygala.
Recreation areas include forest parks (Padubysis and Paturkšlis) and camping sites. Tourists are welcome at the Lakštingala (Daugodai Forest) camping site located 8 km from Raseiniai in the direction of Baisogala. The camping site has volleyball and basketball pitches. Also public festivals and tourist rallies are held here. Other places suitable for swimming and vacationing are the recreation areas of Padubysis, the Lakštingalos valley, Lyduvėnai and Kalniškiai, and the small lakes at Luknė and Ariogala.
Water tourists are attracted by the Dubysa, which flows 46 km through the park. Canoeing with the family is recommended. The Dubysa does not abound in water at all times, in which case it is advisable to begin the trip below the village of Maironiai in the Kelmė district. Certainly, tourists have to bring their own boats or canoes, as the Raseiniai district has no boat rental.
The tourist map published by the administration, with all walking, bicycle and car routes indicated, makes travelling around the park considerably easier. Visitors going on a guided tour will not be tired by the 4 km Betygala-Ugioniai trail, as the unique landscape and the heritage sites on the left bank of the Dubysa will arouse the interest of different age groups.
The birthplace of the poet Maironis in Pasandravys and his childhood home in Bernotai are connected by an oak alley (1.5 km). The crosses and wayside shrines marking the alley are excellent examples of the traditional art of Lithuanian crosses. The staff of the ethnographic farmstead-museum in Bernotai will acquaint visitors with the life of Maironis.
Cyclists are advised to take the weekend route Raseiniai – Lyduvėnai – Raseiniai (32 km). In summer bicycle trips Raseiniai – Dubysa (Daugodai) – Raseiniai are organised.
On the left slope of the Dubysa valley, by the Raseiniai – Baisogala road there is a ski run with a lift.
Accommodation is available at two rural tourism farmsteads: of D. Babilienė in the village of Kaulakiai (at Kaulakiai Reservoir), and of R. Aniulis at the reservoir of the Kirškovė, a left-hand tributary of the Dubysa (near Ariogala).
The water bodies suitable for fishing are the river Dubysa and Kaulakiai Reservoir. Permits can be obtained from the local branch of the Hunting and Fishing Society in Raseiniai, Žemaitės St.1-1, tel. 70271.
Dominikonu st. 2A, Raseiniai
Tel./faks. (8~428) 70330