Hiking around Iso-Melkutin

Proceeding my trip northwards through Finland I decided to stop at the lake Iso-Melkutin to hike there as the pages of outdoors.fi sounded promising. Have to say that in the past years I was hesitating a little to go here as the map shows an airport just beside the hiking area and I feared to have the noises to be disturbing. Before reaching the car I passed the airport and I saw not much activity, so I was in a good mood. Later on the day I could hear some planes, but it was not problem. So with my arrival I parked my car at the parking “Pysäkointi” grabbed my stuff and started the roughly 7,5 km hike.

To reach Iso-Melkutin we will first hike about 1 km through the forest, the same way will later be the trail that leads us back to the parking.

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We will pass another smaller lake called Iso-Mylly. It feels very calming to look into the nature.

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Trees stand very close to the shore.

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After completing the first kilometer we get a first glimpse of the beautiful and clean Iso-Melkutin. Here we will have to decide which direction we circle the lake. I decided counter-clockwise.

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From now on I keep the lake located on my left side.

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The trail follows a kind of esker providing a view on the lake from a little higher ground.

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But soon as we get further parts are following directly the shore line.

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I talked to other hikers on the way back to the parking. They only came here to stop at this tiny beach to have a swim. But they also said, it felt cold when coming out as it was a little windy.

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We continue our hike without a swim and keep following the shore.

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At many places you will be able to see what is mentioned on outdoors.fi as a very clean water with a good sight. Here people come to dive.

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That is why I suddenly came to these stairs leading into the water. I used them to have a rest with a very nice view. The colors look quite extrem, but they were like that in real.

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Not far from the stairs you will find a bbq place. I did not use it as I did not go shopping that day and it was still at the very beginning of my trip, but I found it a nice place for a rest and will keep it in my mind for some other time that I pass that area.

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I found the view on the dead trees in the cristal clear water really beautiful…

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And along the shore there were water lilies.

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At some parts we will need to cross small creeks, there are quite massive bridges for us.

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Nature was quite late this year (2017), but some interesting indicators for autumn already showed up.

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With some views over the water we slowly manage the opposite side of Iso-Melkutin and a little later reach the crossing from where we follow the trail that we came from.

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I hope you liked it. For me the hike was very nice as I noticed that the next days at least promised sunshine which is not always like that during my trips through Finland. With a good mood I reached back my car and continued for more adventures 🙂

More information on the area Melkuttimet you can find on outdoors.fi.

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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…

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

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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.

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

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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.

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

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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.

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

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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.

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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.

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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!

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Hiking in Teijon National Park

In Teijon National Park I decided to have a visit to the nature house (luontotupa) and from there to hike a little along the shores of Matildanjärvi. On the map below you can see this lake right in the middle. If you look just south of the lake you find the location of the luontotupa, but it is also linked on the bottom of this post. The hike of which I show you pictures here in this blog entry is the circular trail that circles around the word ‘luontotupa’. It is a little more than 2 km long.

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This is the information center of Teijon National Park. We start to hike from here eastwards along the Matildanjärvi.

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There are many nice views of the lake. Autumn weather made it a quiet and relaxing hike.

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There are many of these ups and downs along the trail. I found them sometimes a little tiring (in a positive meaning) and they make the hike interesting.

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I was really amazed to see that there is even infrastructure for those fishing men that want to smoke their catch right here at the lake. There are several smokers along the shore.

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Roosinniemi is a small peninsula about where we have to leave the lake. You will find a bbq place and a laavu there.

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Another ‘down’ along the trail.

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Along the trail I found it remarkable how many different types of mushrooms are growing here in Teijon National Park. They look really nice and forms vary pretty much.

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At some point we have to leave the lake and follow the trail through the forest. Also here it is remarkably nice. There are duckboards for an easier hiking.

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Unfortunately the last part is on a forest path. But if you keep your eyes open…

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… you can see houses made for particular kind of birds, squirrels or bats. You can see it by the different openings. Depending on their shape, they only allow specific animals to enter.

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-> The official page of Teijon National Park

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Nuuksio National Park

Well, it was the last full day before I had to be at the ferry in Helsinki for the long trip back to Germany. 30 hours on the ferry meant I had to hike to move my body before being ‘trapped’ on it. So I picked Nuuksio Nationalpark as it is pretty convenient to be already in Espoo, which is just outside of Helsinki. My expectations were not really high to find beautiful spots so very close to Finlands capital, but I gave it a try. I arrived in Nuuksio late in the evening and decided to stay sleeping in my car to be close by in the early morning. My ferry left in the evening, so much time to explore the park next day before leaving the country. Right with arrival I noticed that city, traffic and noise seems something far from the park. Here it was calm nice and beautiful. A great place to be. Only the density of services like benches, bbq places was much higher, the trails a little wider, a sign that the city folks come here during weekends. But for me it was really fine.

Signs showed me that there are three featured circular trails. After almost three weeks of hiking I decided to make them all that day. Time was enough. So I had a cosy sleep and the next morning prepared myself after breakfast for my hike.

As usual my first visit was to the visitor center. Here it is always very easy to find good information about the park, its nature and fauna. Also they sell nice souvenirs. As you might have noticed, there is a strange grey rat on the logo. But in fact it is the very cute little Siberian Flying Squirrel which roams in the parks environment. I didn’t know before investigating my trip that in Europe animals like that exist…. travelling educates…

Let me put my hikes in seperate blog entries, here some general images of the park…

This is the Visitor Center, go inside!

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Inside you can get a lot of information.

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The ranger said that this tree is the most photographed one in the whole park 🙂

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Late August / September is mushroom time… also in Nuuksio National Park. Here we are in a protected area, so leave them, especially the ones on the photo. They are poisoned!

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Bumble bees do their work also in Finland.

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Forest with Nordic moss.

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-> The official page of Nuuksio National Park

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Staying overnight at Onkimaanjärvi

On my way south towards the ferry I made a visit to Liesjärvi National Park. Here I made the decision to find a nice place in nature to stay overnight. Hotels would have been a longer drive, so the decision came to find the Laavu at the shore of Onkimaanjärvi about 15 km inside the forest. My idea was to have a nice secure place where I wouldn’t be disturbed by anyone during the night.

So after diner I first enjoyed the views of the lake shore with very beautiful colors and the perfect light conditions. Then slowly night fell and it was time to go for a sleep. Everything was already prepared. Almost asleep I suddenly heard a car. I felt it was quite creepy to hear someone coming 15 km into the nowhere at 11pm in full darkness. Well, so I waited and suddenly could hear the noise of someone coming down the trail towards the Laavu. It was a relieve to see that it was someone who had to bring his dog out for a puu. He was not too asure about the situation himself as he didnt expect someone here aswell and got a little suprised to see my car with a german numberplate. He saw the Laavu on a map some time before and was curious about it.

We talked for at least half an hour then he had to continue as the dog was bored and it was time for him. It took me some time still to calm down and then planned to sleep tight. Maybe two hours later I woke up by some very intense cracking of wood. Using my headlamp I could not see anything. I never found out if it was a deer, moose or some predator, but I am sure size was minimum a deer. Well, I decided now to light the campfire and continued my rest. I can tell I did not really sleep much that night, but it was a very intense experience that I do not want to miss.

Here some impressions…

The colors of autumn together with the perfect light and beautiful reflections.

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Preparing the wash water in the morning. If I hate something then it is to wash myself with cold water.

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Coffee in the morning is an essential part of my life, especially while camping.

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The Laavu in case you have not seen it in the other blog post.

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Let me just remind you to keep the experience of nature anywhere in the world alive for the future, so take the short time to keep everything clean after you! Even if there is something not from you, pick it up and put it where it belongs. Nature is luxury that everyone owns. Do not throw it away!

-> Official page of Liesjärvi Nationalpark

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Laavu at Onkimaanjärvi

At the outskirts of Liesjärvi Nationalpark you find a Laavu located close to the shore of Onkimaanjärvi. During my tour through Finland I made a visit to Kortiniemi Farm in the heart of Liesjärvi Nationalpark and then was looking for a good place to stay overnight. I wanted to stay in a shelter the first time ever. So checking the map I found the Laavu at Onkimaanjärvi to be well reachable by car, still remote enough that no one would come at night scaring me. Well, the first was true the second not 😉 But  more in the next post.

To reach the Laavu it takes a quite long drive on a dust road and a continuation on a very stone rich forest track. It requires care not to damage the bottom of the car. Anyhow I managed to arrive. From the parking it is about 75 meters to the Laavu and 50 more to the shore.

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Right at the parking you will find this small hut, it contains a dry toilet and the firewood.

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It is not the high comfy toilet of a five star hotel, but it is very nice to have a toilet here at all providing a minimum of civilization in the wilderness.

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The Laavu has some cooking devices for the fireplace. I prefer to take my own, but still if you don’t have any with you it is a nice thing to find them here.

As you see the typical Finnish creativity for the firewood transportation and storage can also be found here…

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So after arriving I was hungry and it was time to make some food… What else could it be than yumyumm sausages…

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After dinner I enjoyed the beautiful view towards the other lake side fitted in autumn colors.

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My interesting night here in the Laavu you will find in the next post 🙂

-> Official page of Liesjärvi Nationalpark

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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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