The city of Gusev is blessed with the unique natural resource of Fichtenwald (now known as the Gresovsky Woods). This man-made woodland was established on a large plot of wasteland by Gumbinnen’s business community.
As a mark of gratitude, a memorial plaque for timber rafts-men was put up in the middle of the park, bearing the inscription: “Look after the woodland! It is the sure foundation of our well-being. How slowly it grows, and how quickly it can be destroyed with an axe.” Visitors to the City Park were particularly drawn to the Lesnoy Zamochek and Yodlak cafes, as well as to the Bolshaya Peschanaya Gora – a sizeable dune-like hill that children loved to sledge down in the winter.
One of the features of the City Park was the Bolshoi Kamen stone. This legacy of the Ice Age was discovered in 1935 when homes were being built in the Annahof district. The stone, measuring 1.8m high and weighing 8 tonnes, was removed and set up in a clearing in the Fichtenwald. Today, the stone stands in the square by the railway station as a war memorial.
On May 12, 1900, the woods were ceremonially handed over to the city. Since then this wonderful woodland corner has been a favourite place of relaxation for more than one generation of the city’s inhabitants.
Today, the city woodland park Gresovsky Woods, which covers 57 hectares, is actively being improved. The paths through it are equally popular for exercise and for their natural beauty.
The well laid-out woodland walks, cycle-ways, and clearings where one can simply relax in the pine forests offer unequalled opportunities to enjoy the natural world.