Martimoaapa – A morning hike with unexpected follower

As I have described in my previous post I visited the beautiful mire Martimoaapa to follow a circular trail through this nature reserve. I did not make it the first evening, so the next morning after a night in the car I was ready. Weather was still far from perfect, but it can always rain here. At least no way thunder and lighting could show up, so it was safe to go.

Again I followed the trail from the trail head and soon again I reached the wide open landscape of the mire. This time it had a mystical touch from the falling rain.

I followed the trail, but this time I did not take the detour to Lake Martimo.

In the morning and relatively remote from any housing it was a very calm and ‘away’ place. A lot of silence…

… but then I heard a strange ringing. I looked back…. nothing….

I looked to the side… could here some cracking… still nothing…

But then, same direction something was moving and the noises came from there… can you see the white butt in the center?

It was Rudolph and his family on summer vacation to get energy for next Christmas season…!

I have to say, I was really fascinated. Normally I saw them a lot along the roads (actually often very dangerous), but these guys were walking with me. At some point I started to get a little nervous cause they came closer and closer and started to use the duckboards too in my direction. I had no clue if they wanted to come to me or it was coincidence that they went my direction. Anyhow it was a good timing to reach the bird watching tower as I could climb up where I felt much more safe. Reindeers are smaller than mooses, but still impressive large for a human.

From up here you have a nice view on the mire and the trail. You should definitely climb up for this view!

Well, after enjoying the view and after Rudolph disappeared I continued my hike.

A few more bends…

…then I reach back into the forest. What a different landscape!

…. with totally different species!

Well, then I arrived at the parking again and was happy that I made the decisions this way. A splendid time in Martimoaapa and the large circular hike became a big point on my list of things to do on future trips during which I pass by here. Lets see when…

Below again, the map with the parking marked. Come here for the trail head!

For further detailed information about Martimoaapa please check out the splendid pages of Nationalparks.fi (former outdoors.fi).

Advertisements

Martimoaapa – An evening hike through a Northern swamp

Preparing my regular trips to Finland I found a nature reserve in the (for mid European view) high North of Finland just beside the end of the Baltic Sea. The nature reserve called Martimoaapa features an important and large mire landscape. A long chain of duckboards makes this
beautiful but fragile nature accessible to the visitor.

As usual in Finland also here a high standard of infrastructure assures a splendid visit. At the trail head (see on the east of the map above) that leads into the small circular trail marked in violet you will find a lean-to shelter with a fire place and firewood stored. There is another fire place in the South close to this trail.

My stay here in Martimoaapa consisted in two seperate hikes as the evening of arrival the weather looked unpleasant and it became late.
I stayed overnight in my car and continued the next day. So I started with the circular trail, southwards and made the detour to the fireplace at Martimojärvi, then returned via the shortcut in the middle of the circular trail. In a second blog entry I will tell you about the next days circular hike and the visitors (better said ‘followers’) that came to me on the way. Some holidays I hope to make the full large trail.

At the very beginning at the trail head the trail is wide and comfy to walk. Dense forest is still able to grow as the ground is dry enough for the trees.

Shortly after the forest opens up and we suddenly stand in an open landscape. We need to walk on duckboards, not only to protect the very sensitive and slow growing nature, but also not to get wet feet.

At some point it is possible to see an open water surface through the struggling trees. It is the Martimojärvi (Lake Martimo). I wanted to reach the fire place there, but already started to be a little concerned about the dark clouds.

It is always fun to see a crossing of duckboards in the absolute nowhere… This the start of the short detour from the circular trail to the fireplace at the lake.

Suddenly I could see small huts and stored boats. Some people have their boats here to go fishing on the lake. The huts are for us visitors, it is the lean-to shelter, a firewood storage and (not entirely sure) a dry toilet.

The arrival for todays hike. Weather turned darker and darker. I was not really sure if there could be a thunder and lightning which would be highly unpleasant in such an exposing environment. But I can already say it did not happen, only some rain came but I had time to do something I looked forward to …

Yummy!

As you can see by the emblem also this lean-to is maintained by the forest authorities who also take care for the firewood supplies. A great work of them as always!

I was surprised of the size of the lake…

Anyhow, after cleaning up it was time to go back. With the tendencies of the weather I decided here to make the shortcut and not to go all the circular trail the evening, but instead staying overnight and do it in an enjoyable pace the next day. Temperatures were not to high so I looked forward to stay at the fireplace at the trail head a little and enjoy the warmth of a fire there before sleeping.

With these thoughts I ‘said goodbye’ from the lake and started my return.

Soon the forest was in front of me again.

And looking aside it was clear that the water of the lake was reaching far almost invisible.

Back to the trail head it was time to warm up at the fire. Sitting there I suddenly heard strange noises in the forest and branches cracking. After a short while a bunch of reindeers jumped over the trail in the background. I was fascinated, and of course didn’t know that I would see them again soon.

Below you can see the embedded map of google maps. I marked the trail head with the parking. If you zoom in, you can see the duckboards and the fireplace at the lake. I think it looks fascinating from the sky!

For further detailed information about Martimoaapa please check out the splendid pages of Nationalparks.fi (former outdoors.fi).

Hiking Store Mosse Nationalpark

Close to Värnamo in southern Sweden you can find a beautiful Nationalpark called Store Mosse, the large moor. Within this park there is the Lake Kävsjön around which a highly recommendable circular trail of 14 km brings you into a fascinating nature. No worries, most of the trail is prepared with duckboards, so you won’t have the need to step into wet places. Have a look at the map below. I marked you the trail. On the western side you can see the naturum, where I parked before taking the counter clockwise round around Kävsjön.

So our tour starts close to the naturum, which is the wooden building that is easily reached on the wooden trail, which also supports handicapped to have a look.

Just after the naturum we can have a first look at the vast moor. It is hard to see that there is a lake, as the moor is very flat and gradually turns into open water. By the way it is recommendable to check the weather forcast as the 14km hike takes a time. Have a look at the sky on the following photos. I was glad to reach back safely.

You will note that not all of the trail is in the swamp, but that there are also dense forests here. The combination of so different biomes make the hike a very interesting experience.

Where the forest meets the swamp, coniferous trees struggle with the constant moisture in the ground and more water resistant trees take over, see the birch trees with their white bark.

But at some point trees almost entirely give up. For us this part would be also very tough to reach, but helpful people have prepared this extensive network of duckboards, so it is easy to hike.

The vegetation here loves water!

And we love the wide open landscape, so different to a city or village…

It is so easy to tell where there is swamp and where there is solid ground…

We continuesly follow the edge of the swamp, sometimes more within the forest, sometimes more within the wet. It gives a great variation.

Latest at this point I noticed that I might have some trouble with the weather if I do not speed up a little.

Still I took the time to keep an eye on details… It would have been a shame to step on this guy!

The wet ground and the climate are harsh on the duckboards. Having been here you will know how much there is to be maintained. Therefore always take care in case the duckboards are in a not well maintained condition. Have to say thank you here to the people who put such an effort in the maintenance to allow us enjoying this beautiful piece of Sweden!

The typical vegetation of a swamp…

Oi, dark clouds and you can’t hear the roaring in the distance while looking at the photo…

Some drops already, but I already got quite far. Still no time to sit on the bench 🙂

Just a little further along the edge of the swamp, then I was about to complete the round. Weather kept waiting for me to finish my hike. So it was possible to take a picture of the swamp grass…

… and to climb the birds tower. Seems those people and me were lucky this day as weather stayed kind at the end.

Let me finish this blog entry with the beautiful view over the lake from the birds tower, I hope you liked it and got some inspiration for a possible trip to Scandinavia. As usual find the map embedded below and a link to the official page of the national park (click the emblem below to open the page in a new tab).

Hiking in Knisa Mosse

One time travelling along the Swedish coast northwards, I decided to stay a couple of days on Öland, the long stretched island east of Kalmar. On Öland I found a nice Nature Reserve called Knisa Mosse, which features one of very few wetlands that remained on the island during a wave of draining. So the area remained a wonderful place for birds that live here. If you want to visit Knisa Mosse, be aware that it has a periode of access restrictions to protect the bird life. It was from 1st of April to 15th of August during the year that I came here (2009). This time I was lucky being on my vacation off-season, so I could do the hike. For infos about Knisa Mosse, you can have a look on the links that I put on the emblems on the bottom of this blog post.

What I like here is the varying terrain as you have this for Öland so typical dry land, but also the lake landscape. It makes it to a very interesting place. Only the markings of the trail were partly not so easy and I had to improvise from time to time. But as said, it was in 2009, so I hope it has improved. Nevertheless, it is absolutely worth to come here.

IMG_2971_DxOVP

Clipboard01

IMG_2973

IMG_2975

IMG_2976

IMG_2977

IMG_2978

IMG_2981

IMG_2982

IMG_2983

IMG_2984

IMG_2985

IMG_2986

IMG_2989

IMG_2990

IMG_2991

IMG_2993

IMG_2999

IMG_3002

IMG_3004

IMG_3005

IMG_3007

IMG_3008

Please click the emplems for more details on external pages…

visitoland

thumb_km

 

Isojärvi National Park – Extended Heretty Nature Trail

I had been to Isojärvi National Park in a previous trip, but this time added it to my plans as it was on the route and I had good memories about it. The last time I hiked the Heretty Nature Trail, but this time I decided to extend it by a larger round bringing me further away and back via Kuorejärvi.

The map shows the normal Heretty Nature Trail marked in red, but this time I continued the large loop all the way to the information board marked with the ‘i’ in the top right corner. From there I returned along Kuorejärvi back to the parking. All in all the hike was about 7 km leading me through a very diverse landscape.

IMG_0628

At the parking inbetween several buildings we find the information hut from Metsä. The building complex was a loggers camp in the past.

IMG_0625

Excellent information for the visitors! Plan some time to have a look at the interesting information about the nature and history of this place.

IMG_0627At some point it is time to start the hike. A lot of remains from the ice age are still visible along the hike. Those big rocks were deposite here by the huge glaciers pushing the ice over the landscape.

IMG_0651

We follow the Heretty Nature Trail and after about 1.1 km we head to the right.

IMG_0661

There are no mountains here, but the trail is far from flat.

IMG_0680

After about 2.8 km we get a view on Hevosjärvi, the lake in the far north east of our hiking route.

IMG_0686

Despite Heretty being a loggers place in the past, the nature looks really unspoiled and it is really beautiful.

IMG_0694

IMG_0698

This is the information board that is marked on the map. On my hike I was considering to make an even larger loop and turned right here for some hundred meters, but found the trail in a not optimal condition. So I returned and followed the trail as described in this blogpost.

IMG_0699

From the information desk it is not very far and we reach the next bigger lake… Kuorejärvi. With the weather I could enjoy the view, even took a rest here.

IMG_0716

As you see it is larger than a pond.

IMG_0725

Through dense forest…

IMG_0737

…and along thick moss covered stones I continued my circular hike.

IMG_0762

At some point we will need to take a bridge over a small bay of Kurkijärvi, the Kannuslahti. For a bbq place you need to turn right immediately after. For me it is one of the most beautiful bbq places I have been to.

IMG_0775

It is located on a tiny peninsulae in lake Kurkijärvi. As usual wood is provided and there is a dry toilet. Thanks for this! Just you need to cut it in pieces as it is only made storable there and not already in usable bits. But that is easy as all tools are provided.

The view from the fire place is great.

IMG_0778

From the fire place it is an easy walk back to the parking. I hope you liked joining me through Isojärvi National Park!

Thanks to everyone that helps to make the place so enjoyable!

Isojärvi_tunnus 113x89pxl

gm2

Hiking in Vaisakko Nature Reserve

As so many beautiful places also this hiking destination came to my eyes and mind while doing some travel research on the nationalparks.fi pages that are maintained by metsa. Being close to Salo and therefore somewhere on my track towards the north of Finland I decided to mark it on my travelmap for my trip. After visiting Teijo Nationalpark I arrived here to do this rather easy hike.

You can see on the map the trail leads after about 1,6 km to a 1,1 km loop and we will need to return the same way.

IMG_0281_crop

The parking is remote inbetween farm land.

IMG_0276

I was quite surprised about the good quality of the trail at first, but unfortunately that should change after some minutes. Lets assume that the restoration of the trail will continue soon to make it easier for the visitors of the nature reserve…

IMG_0278

… cause after some minutes I ended up trying to find the duck boards inbetween the high standing grass. Sometimes I step into gaps or simply missed the boards while defending myself from horse flies.

IMG_0280

After the worst part seen on the previous photo things became a little easier and the hike turned more and more  fun.

IMG_0282

I have to say that the nature here is different to many places in Finland that I have been to. It more reminds me of forests in central Europe. Continueing the trail I passed big rocks.

IMG_0284

You will pass some grass areas. Especially there is one located in the loop of the trail. Signs set up there explain that there used to be a farm in the past.

IMG_0285

This is the point at which we reach the loop. You can eiter go clock or counterclockwise. I decided to go counterclockwise, taking the right side.

IMG_0286

Looking at the signs that were put up by metsa, you will learn a lot about the specific plants and animals that live here. There are several really rare ones here making the reserve a special place.

IMG_0288

IMG_0289

I really loved those very big trees that are standing in the reserve,

IMG_0291

After the loop we return the same way back to the parking as it was marked on the map. Note that there is no service like toilets or bbq places in the reserve. Please keep it clean and in shape!

Find the official internet page for the Vaisakko Nature Reserve here (in Finnish only).

gm2

Teijo National Park – Hiking the Matildanjärvenkierros

Teijo National Park is very close to Turku and therefore a very good starting point or end point for a trip through Finland if you enter or leave the country via the Turku ferry. The national park offers easy access and a very pretty nature. You can find several hiking options of which I chose the circular hike around Matildanjärvi. In case you saw an older post of Teijo NP, you might notice that the very first meters are leading the same trail, but this time I continue to follow the shoreline of Lake Matilda counter clockwise. If you see the map below you can see the broken line around the lake in the center. In the west of the lake you can see that you will need to walk some kilometer along the road, but there is hardly any traffic and it is speed limited as it is inside the village. But now everything in the right order…

img_8299

We start our hike at the main parking area of Matildanjärvi, which is located at the camping ground and the visitor center. In case you need some additional information or you want to have a cup of coffea you should stop at the visitor center. To continue you follow the trail leading around the right side of it down to the lake. From here it is about 5 km to walk. I have to say that in the area of the village I lost the trail and basically returned to the parking directly making me not really sure how long my hike actually was. But looking at the map it comes pretty close to the 5 km.

IMG_0172

The trail along the lake is in a very good condition and easy to follow. What I really like here is the very varying terrain.

IMG_0183

Following the trail at some point we come to a crossing. At this place the former hike that I did here in Teijo NP left the lake for a clockwise hike, but we keep following the shore.

IMG_0194

Already here in Teijo NP on my first day in Finland this summer (2017) I noticed fast that this year seemed different regarding nature. I could not remember that the heather was blooming so intense. My friends told me later that spring had a very slow start delaying nature by some weeks. I could not complain with these nice flowers and it also had a positive effect on moskitos and particular mooseflies of which I only caught three during the entire trip of three weeks. That is normally the rate of mooseflies that land on me in some places within one minute when only looking at some information board.

IMG_0197

Along the lake there are plenty of beautiful spots formed by water.

IMG_0205

It is nice when the views open up to the lake and you can admire the large water surface. You notice maybe that there were some clouds. They became pretty dark and I was not sure if thunder and lightning might start, so a little worried I continued my trip. But it stayed ok until the end.

IMG_0206

Quite at the far end of the lake you will need to cross this bridge.

IMG_0210

After forest, bridges, rocks we also have to crosse a remarkable piece of swamp. I loved the view that I took the photo of as it really looks like the trail would vanish.

IMG_0227

More rocks and some ascent for us, but there is not much difference in altitude along the entire trail.

IMG_0234

Looking backwards we can see the rocky nature along the lake. Also here as in entire Finland (and generally Scandinavia) the nature was strongly changed during the ice age when the enormous masses of glacier ice reformed the nature making the surface of the rocks pretty smooth with long scarves by scratching stones.

IMG_0248

At some part we directly follow the lake. Beatiful views!

IMG_0250

After we have passed the village we need to cross the forest to reach back on the shore. To do so you will need to keep going along the road and then following the dirt road that you drove to the parking. At some point the trail will leave the dirt road to the left into the forest back to the shore.

IMG_0254

Here roughly 500 meters before the parking we pass a bbq and resting place. I had no idea that this hut would become the place for my ‘goodby’ bbq before heading to the ferry. But it became so handy to stop here in Teijo NP on my way to the ferry that I could not resist.

IMG_0260

As always for the Finnish National Parks I recommend warmest the official page of Teijo National Park. You can get there by clicking their emblem below. It will bring you to the main page of Teijo NP. Have a look at their downloadable pdf there, which gives a good summary. Enjoy your stay at Teijo NP!

Teijo_tunnus_113

gm2