Bükk is our country’s most beautiful, most dramatically rugged and highest carstic mountain range, with a past of 300 million years (according to present research). The range opens a set of uniquely beautiful natural formations and cultural historical heritage for us. Nature in Bükk appears to accumulate all its beauties at once, for us… The naked limestone patches that decorate the green forests of hundred years old, gigantic trees of the Bükk ranges are veritable geological treasures. The vegetation and fauna of the Bükk highlands, at a height of 800-900 meters, is rich in several rare plant and animal species.
The Bükk mountain range is a member of the Northern Central Mountain Range, differing from the rest of volcanic mountains in its geological past. The majority is made up of sedimentary stones, particularly dolomite and limestone. Its highland, higher than 800 meters, are surrounded by sharp, rugged rocks, including Bél-kő, Pes-kő, Tar-kő, Vörös-kő and the other "Kövek" (kő in Hungarian means stone), offering a marvelous panorama to the Southern foot of the range. The national blue tour’s route passes through most of the above mentioned peaks.
The surface of the Bükk-plateau is varied due to different carstic formations. There are more than 850 caves registered in the Bükk ranges. The deepest cave of the country, the 250 meters deep István-lápai dolina is also located there. Other spectacular caves are: the Anna and Szent István-stalagmite caves of Lillafüred, the Tavasbarlang of Miskolctapolca, and the Szeleta- and Balla-caves, free to visit. Its streamlets are rich in water. An important nature site of the area is the Fátyol-waterfall that falls from a height of 17 meters from the lime tuff dams of Szalajka stream.
About 95% of the park is covered in forest. Among the Bükk forests the most extended areas are covered in oak trees, in the higher plateaus followed by areas of hornbeam trees, and above approx. 600 meters, mountain beech trees. A most interesting part of BNP is the Ancient forest, with birch trees as old as 180-200. For the past 100 years, no forestation happened in its area, and even hikers were not permitted to enter. (A long-marked tourist route passed through it, today surrounded by a fence, so it is approachable through substantial bypass, and an ascending hillside.) Besides beech forests the ranges are also covered in extensive, artificially planted pine forests.
The most varied vegetation populates the strata of the plateau divided by dolinas. It includes rare species such as Hemerocallis, Aconitum variegatum subsp. gracile and Aconitum moldavicum, the yellow violet or the Northern Dracocephalum. A characteristic species of the mountain pastures is the Carlina acaulis that also appears in the emblem of the national park. Among the orchids, the most protected species includes Cypripedium calceolus.
An outstanding and previous member of the world of insects in the national park is the Bükk crowfoot. Among indigenous species of the mountain range, particularly fine specimens are the butterfly Lycaena hippothoe, the Alpian capricorn beetle, the Alpian newt, the frog Rana temporaria, the bird a Bombina variegata, the white-back woodpecker, and the mountain bird Motacilla cinerea. Rare species of songbirds and birds nest in the area, including thrushes, ravens, owls and among birds of prey protected species such as field eagle, falcon, and hawk. Almost all species of bats indigenous to our country occur in the Bükk ranges.
Among mammals, lynx has been an indigenous species of the Bükk forests for more than ten years. There is a larger colony of a related species, the also cautious wild cat, which lives in the area. Among larger wild animals, deer and wild boars are quite frequent inhabitants of the forest. And of course, the world famous Lipizzaner stud grazes in the pastures of the Bükk-highlands.
In prehistoric times, the ranges were inhabited by prehistoric man. The traces of prehistoric life are a set of skeletal remains, and tools made by the Neanderthal man. Hunting and gathering was replaced later on by mining, based on stones of large lime content, the combustion of lime; in huts, it was replaced by the production of Cali glass, glass artisanry, in masses the metalwork; and in continuous forest areas, by timber production, charcoal combustion and artisanry. In the mountain tips, castles, forts and the remains of collapsed walls are visible.