Admiring Torronsuo National Park

Visiting Torronsuo Nationalpark I decided to make the smaller circular tour that leads the visitor on a 1,5 km long trail through the mires. The park features a really high wooden lookout tower and a nice bbq place with firewood provided. The map shows the route with the points of interest.

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The typical high standard of Finnish National Parks: Signs pointing the way.

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From the parking a wide duckboard leads to a small platform. It allows people in wheelchair or prams to get a very good impression of the area before the trail continues on a narrow path. Take care if wet, duckboards can be very slippery.

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From the platform you can get this good view onto Torronsuo.

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Trees have it hard to live on the wet ground. As you see, once the mire ends, trees get into full size again.

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But we continue the trail.

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At some point it turns slightly back to the forest, its a circular trail… we need to get back.

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So some parts are in forest, but it has also charm.

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Another view of the beautiful mire. It is hard to pass a viewer of the photos the atmosphere in the real environment. Everything is so very quiet. There are no noise sources except the wind and maybe some birds. So on calm days you only can hear yourself.

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It is beautiful to look around, but keep an eye on the small things aswell. It is fascinating how much life has taken the duckboards as their new home.

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At some point suddenly the watch tower shows up. It is one of the tallest I have been on in Finland.

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So a good view is given. You can see the duckboards of the large circular trail meandering through the mire.

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On top you are over the tree tops.

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Below you can admire the size. Not far from the tower you find the bbq place. It is maybe 30 meters. And the carpark about 300 meters.

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-> The official page of Torronsuo National Park

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Kurjenrahka National Park – Lake Access

Kurjenrahka National Park is located at the Lake Savo (Savojärvi). From the visitor center it is possible to follow a trail down to the shoreline. It is very nice that this trail was made in a way that it gives also access to the lake to those people using a wheelchair. The trail is winding down in several curves until it reaches the level of the lake.

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The last part is easier as it is quite flat.

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But any effort is worth it as the views here are really pretty. A beauty of a lake…

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-> Official webpage of Kurjenrahka National Park

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Kurjenrahka National Park – the uncompleted hike

As stated in another blog entry, the Kurjenrahka National Park is a very important place for cranes to stop for their yearly journey. Here I planned to make a short hike after seeing the visitor center and having a look at the lake. The hike itself, if the short cirular hike, is only 1.4 km long. It is not much, but rain started and intensified quite much, affecting my camera and more important the grip of the wooden trail. So I made the decision to return back to the car after reaching the Kuhankuono, the small monumental stone. Still I think I made some nice photos and want to share them with you…

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Knowing it might rain more heavily I started taking the photos quite late to get some meters done. Here is a photo of the Kuhankuono, which is an old boundary marker and according to the official page of the park it is sitting here for more than 600 years!

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Here some wet memories of this really short hike… 🙂

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-> Webpage of Kurjenrahka National Park

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Hiking Pyhä-Häkki Nationalpark

Many of the Finnish Nationalparks feature special flora, fauna or geological features. My hike on a small circular trail in Pyhä-Häkki Nationalpark brought me into a beautiful old-growth forest. Here in the area covered by the Nationalpark the impact of men on the forest is very small, so that people nowadays can admire trees standing here for centuries. Only in some parts trees were cut here as masts for sailing ships as the trees are very straight and therefor ideal for that purpose. One areas name, Mastomäki, still refers to that periode when these trees were cut.

Old trees means that there are plenty of opportunities for woodpeckers to make their housing and to find their food beneath the barch of the trees. No surprise to find one on the symbol of Pyhä-Häkki Nationalpark.

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As stated, my hike was not the big round (good to know there is some option for another visit), but the small one that I marked on the photo of the map, which hangs in the information center of the park. The trailhead is located at the parking symbol, which I colored in the same color as the trail.

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As in all Nationalparks and hiking areas also here there is a very well maintained infrastructure for the guests. You will find these information boards where you can learn about the park and its features…

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… or have a picnic. In my case it was the breakfast. I slept in my car to be here early and to avoid to put the tent into the rain. As I did it several times, I know it is not the most comfy way of sleeping, but it is fully sufficient not to mess my mood the next day 🙂

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So with a good mood and a breakfast in my stomach I started hiking my round.

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A sign at the dead tree states that once the spruce trees die, their liquid can move down to the lower parts and more or less petrify the trunk. This way it can remain standing for a long time.

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As you see the trees here are really long and straight. This is the area call Mastomäki.

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If you have maybe wondered what the star meant on the snippet of the map, it is a sight in the park. In this particular case it is the tree on the photo.

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This tree is now called Uusi Iso Puu, the new large tree. While the old large tree died, the new large tree is still alive with an amazing age as it was born in 1641!

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After admiring the tree and maybe a hug 😉 we continue our hike. As you see the trails are well marked and the ground easy to walk on.

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In old growth forests you find many trees in decay. Nature gets back what the tree took from it. The circle of life.

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Surprisingly, as it is hard to see on the map, we also pass a mire landscape. Mires are wetland areas in which plants die and can not decompost in the wet. The mire grows layer by layer.

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Taking shortcuts is a stupid idea, not only because it destroys the nature, but also because the ground is like a lake.

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You should take some time while hiking for a rest and detailed view on these very beautiful plants.

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After the mire we follow into the forest again back towards the parking. I found this mushroom with that beautiful brown shades. Thought I share it with you.

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If you want to see more of this beautiful park, than I recommend as usual the excellent pages of outdoors.fi -> click here for a new window….

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Hiking to Tiilikkajärvi

The huge list of beautiful spots on Outdoors.fi brought my attention to Tiilikkajärvi Nationalpark. It combines very beautiful scenery with a touch of history as hiking here will bring you to a farming ground and a place where people produced iron.

At the trailhead you will find an information board that informs you about the fauna, flora and history of this area. I remember reading about how bear tracks look like as they are passing through Tiilikkajärvi Nationalpark. So, time to make some noise 🙂 I took out the part of the map in which my more or less circular trail lead me through this nice piece of earth. You can see the bright red track with arrows.

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From the trailhead with its fireplace, drytoilet and boating access I started hiking the Uiton Kierto leading me along the western shoreline of Sammakkojärvi towards Autiojärvi.img_7136

The views here are breathtaking and with the silence around you it is very relaxing.

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Some parts of the hike lead you through dense forests. I wonder if I was close to a bear on the hike. I guess I wouldn’t have noticed if it kept calm hiding somewhere.

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Quite typical and also a result of the iceage are these edges. You see it goes down on each side. These are deposits from glaciers placed here during and after the iceage.

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After passing Autiojärvi you can make a short detour to see the shores of Tiilikkajärvi. Here at the beach it is allowed to bring a tent and to stay overnight. Of course it means (same applies to hiking) no littering. Everything brought here has to leave the place with you.

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Back on the trail we have to cross this bridge at some point. It helps us to cross the connection of Autiojärvi with Tiilikkajärvi.

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Take some time on the bridge for the scenery.

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As you can see, autumn colors start end of August. Nature has to start preparing for the long cold winter.

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The cottage that you pass, is a rental cottage. The hike took place in 2011, some changes happend in the rental of cottages from the Wild North (cottage rental of forest authorities). So I hope it is still open for rental.

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Not much further we suddenly come on a huge farmground still with cottages that remained. One of them is a Open Day Hut. It means it is open for the people that pass by to have a rest or to take shelter. Staying overnight is not the purpose but in emergency cases permitted.

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Inside the hut you will find again information about the area. I liked the place.img_7212

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Check out the things that are pieces of a tiny exhibition. As stated at the beginning here close to the hut people made iron from ore that was a deposite of iron oxyd in the sea.

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I found the area really idyllic like in an old film on TV.

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As I thought the hike would be a little too short, I added that triangle loop in the north that you can find on the map. Trails here are quite straight forward.

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Nevertheless always something to see 🙂

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Often it is good to keep an eye on the ground…

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… while still admiring the landscape.

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During the time I mostly come to Finland it is mushroom time, but dont eat the following.

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Well, I conclude this blogentry with the beauty of wetland shortly before returning back to the trail head.I have to say, it is a very nice hike and fully recommend it.

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Please follow this link to the webpage of the forest authorities page about Tiilikkajärvi Nationalpark. Another window will open…

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Hiking Surkansuo

Surkansuo is a mire area in the very beautiful Patvinsuo Nationalpark of Eastern Finland. There are three major circular hikes in the area of Patvinsuo Nationalpark, all of them are highly recommended to be seen! Coming to the park I recommend to spend the night in a tent in the visitors area (see other blog post of mine) and split the three hikes over two days. But back to Surkansuo. It is a few kilometers away from the visitor center. At the trail head you will find a parking area and a very wellmade information plate. Have a look at it and take a picture so you have an overview of the hike while you walk.

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The map shows you the circular hiking trail. Most of it is leading over wooden duckboards. Olet tässä, the small marker on the left bottom, locates your position standing in front of the information board. It is the trail head.

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Luontopolku means nature trail in Finnish. We follow the sign.

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As written, much of the trail is covered with wooden duckboards. If you wonder why, just have a look at the following photo.

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Most of the area is mire, that means walking off the trail makes you sink. Also of course the nature has to be protected. Finland has a harsh climate as moderate temperatures at which plants can grow are only a short periode each year. Distroyed nature needs much longer to recover compared to warm climate. So people have to take much care to preserve this very beautiful place.

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Duckboards seem to reach into infinity.

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But at some places they are reaching islands in the mire. Here trees can grow.

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In the mire they often struggle and at the end they die forming these monuments of wood given into decay.

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The islands are often formed of rocks that were deposite here from glaciers during the iceage. There is so much in the Finnish nature made or shaped by the glaciers in the iceage. It is phantastic.

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From the dry islands you will see areas that are something inbetween lake and mire.

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In Patvinsuo Nationalpark you are only visitor, but it is home to many animals. The big ones are bears. They hide very well and will notice you much longer before you will notice them and keep distance to you. It is very unlikely to see one, but it is not impossible. I kept my food in the car while sleeping in the tent for security reasons cause I dont trust into that example of anti-bear action…

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It is hard to fid an area in Finland not covered by these delicious berries. Also here you will find them. Taste them!

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This is the nordic moss. It is very beautiful and grows in many places. Just dont step on it. Like I wrote before, nature is very fragile!

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Valkmusa National Park

On the way from Helsinki towards Hamina you come close to the small but nice Valkmusa National Park. It is a swamp area through which a 2,5 km circular trail leads you into the wetlands. It has been my first National Park on my 2011 trip to Finland. Along the trail you will pass by a watch tower for bird watching. There is also a table beside the tower where you can take a snack during a rest. For me the park was a special feeling as it was my first stop during my first long trip only dedicated to Finland after moving back from there to Germany. I kind of felt to be back.

The walk through the park takes about 45 min if you don’t stop too much. Take some additional time for the tower. Finland is good for bird watching.

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Further information about the park and its nature you will find on the official page of Metsä.

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