The Petrified Forest near the village of Raven, Kardzhali province is 30 million years old. And it is unique in the world. In many other places on the planet have been found areas with petrified trees. But the forest in the Rhodope Mountains is the only one in which the trees still stand upright. Unfortunately the woods decreases each year. Besides nature, another reason is the behavior of unscrupulous tourists who want to take a piece of the unique rocks for themselves.
The largest of the remaining 20-ish trees in the forest are with a diameter of 4 meters and a height of a meter. Most of the trees are up to a meter high and with significantly smaller diameter of about half a meter. The forest covers an area of 75 acres. To reach the largest trees you need to climb steep scree.
This is far for the only difficulty you have to overcome before you reach the magnificent forest. The road to it is not marked with any signs and without a guider who knows where the stone trees are it is not easy to find them. Our main recommendation is to stick as close as possible to the river at the end of your journey. You can start the trail for the petrified forest from the villages Raven, Tatul or Gurgulitsa.
The trees are in deep coomb called Gabaz Tepe from the locals. It is believed that the forest has occurred as a result of volcanic activity. There are two theories about its origin. According to the widespread one the trees are part of existed millions of years ago forest that was located on the shore of an ancient sea. In a volcanic eruption it was partially buried, and the high temperature carbonized trees.
Later in the scorched trunks run water that caught flint substance. This jam-packed cavities and result in the stone trees that today we have the chance to see near the village of Raven. According to another theory the forest was not formed by real trees. It insist that these are actually sedimentary rocks.