Nahkiaispolku in Nuuksio National Park

A little different nature compared to the other hikes of Nuuksio National Park you find along the 2 km long circular trail Nahkiaispolku. The forest here is quite wet and everything is very green.

The trail partly goes up steep slopes. Some have stairs, some not. But in general it is a very nice hike!

img_8597

img_8592

img_8769

img_8775

img_8802

img_8803

img_8806

img_8811

-> The official page of Nuuksio National Park

gm2

Haukankierros in Nuuksio National Park

In Nuuksio National Park just outside of Espoo there are very fine hiking options. Four different hikes of moderate length are featured by signs. During my visit to the park I managed to make all of them and here I want to show yout one of them, the Haukankierros (Hawk’s Trail) with its 4 km in length. As you can see on the sign, it has some ups and downs giving you the chance to have views over the surrounding forest. I really like the park as it combines so many different features of the parks around southern Finland, but still has its own characteristics.

If you are in Helsinki or Espoo for only a short time, you should take the chance to come here and do some hiking, check out the Hawk’s Trail…

img_8595

img_8638

img_8626

img_8643

img_8649

img_8659

img_8663

img_8664

-> The official page of Nuuksio National Park

gm2

Bronze Age Burial Site Viitakruunu

Quite often when I drive around and see a sign refering to a point of interest, I take the chance to see what is there to discover. Sometimes I fail with it because I simply do not find it or it is nothing really worth to mention. Other times I find really nice things. One of these moments I had when driving a road south of Salo, Finland. I saw a sign pointing into the deep forest saying Viitankruunu. There was a small parking and I had time, so I parked my car and followed the path. It turned out that there were two bronze age grave hills hidden in the forest. Some people might see only simple stones, but for me it is always impressive and there are the moments I think of the individuals that were buried here and those who worked here to build the grave. Wondering what kind of people they might have been… kind or cruel and would they be a friend or someone I should take care of. But before I bring you into such deep thoughts, please follow me on the short walk to the graves…

This is the magic symbol for all the sightseeing enthusiasts… we follow it.

img_8326

Instead of driving I got a nice hike in the forest 🙂

img_8327

For those capable of knowing the Finnish language the sign gives some information about the site. For everyone else there is a map and some sketches.

img_8328

I love the northern forests.

img_8330

Trying to find the bronze age burial site I learned that moskitos are not stupid. They know how to hide…

img_8333

And then suddenly the huge pile of stones showed up. It is impressive.

img_8338

img_8339

Those buried here got a very nice place with a view. I am pretty sure that the choice was by purpose. Not only to place them on a hill, but also to overlook the area around.

img_8340

In fact there are at least two large burial hills here, if you look at the google maps linked below, you will see them on the satellite view.

Mushroomtime 🙂

img_8343

-> Information in Finnish from Museovirasto (use google translate!)

gm

Struve Geodetic Arc at Oravivuori

I think not many people have heard of the Struve Geodectic Arc before, even though it is one of the few Finnish World Heritage sites. Also myself, when arriving to Finland during my expat time, I had no idea that it exists and of course not that it would become a destination of trips and hikes in the months and years to come. My first visit to it was on a trip to Lofoten Islands in Norway. I was checking the internet where to stop on my way north from Oulu. There was a mountain along my road called Aavasaksa and I heard that there is a great view and a special point to visit. But this arc stretches over a huge distance.  Well what is it then? The Struve Geodectic Arc is a kind of measurement device from the first half of the 19th century. At that time an exact shape of the Earth was not known. It was not clear if the globe had an exact ball shape or somehow different. So Struve (a German Baltic Scientist) together with the Russian Officer Tenner [Wikipedia] started to place virtual triangles by placing points in visible distance from the Black Sea to the Arctic Sea. Collecting data of these points they could calculate the shape of the Earth and it is known that they were really close to the actual shape. Nowadays these measurement points are an international cross boundary World Heritage listed by the UNESCO. Several of the points can be visited throughout Finland and the other countries. You will come across more of the points on this blog with the time coming 🙂

Well now let us have a look at the Struve Point at Oravivuori. Knowing that from the points Struve wanted to see the other points implies that the points often are placed on a hill, which means we will have a nice view 🙂 But first we have to get to the top…

The very first part is not really spectacular but curiousity did not let me keep calm …

img_7861

But I was then stopped by this little guy walking over the path. He had to accept a photo session before I continued my hike.

img_7863_crop

Vegetation got more like in a nature reserve when suddenly…

img_7868

…these stairs showed up.

img_7872

They were a great help to get to the top of the hill.

img_7874

img_7876

On the hill you find a lookout tower and several information boards.

img_7879

After Struve had made his measurements several other measurements were carried out here. That is why you will find several measurement points nowadays.

img_7880

img_7882

Information boards explain why it is a World Heritage and you can learn about how it works.

img_7884

img_7885

img_7886

I really recommend to climb the tower. As I hoped, the views from the top are spectacular. Unfortunately it was cloudy, but I stayed here quite a while.

img_7888

img_7892

img_7897

For some information about the Struve Geodetic Arc please check

-> Wikipedia

-> UNESCO about Struve Geodetic Arc

To reach the point you will see signs once you approach. Click on the Google Maps button below to find Oravivuori.

gm2

Enjoying Leivonmäki National Park

One day during my trip after visiting Pyhä-Häkki Nationalpark I passed Leivonmäki Nationalpark. It was around lunchtime and I decided to have a stop here to have a small hike to enjoy the park and at some place to do a bbq. So I drove to the Selänpohjan Matkailukeskus, the visitor or travelcenter of Selänpohja. There I parked my car and started to hike.

img_7812_crop

I made the decision to follow the shoreline southwards until reaching Pirttiharju and from there to take the forest road back to the parking. My plan was to continue further direction Tampere after the hike and weather was not very stable. But as I knew that there will be more trips to Finland in the future, I kept the full circular trip for another visit. Anyhow the hike is very nice, not to difficult but features some nice landscape along the shoreline. There is a nice barbeque place with a lot of space.

img_7815

img_7816

It does not take long to have a first glimpse of the lake. Much of the marked trail follows the shoreline.

img_7820

Rocks along the track keeps the landscape diverse and interesting.

img_7821

img_7824

img_7827

The land of lakes 😉

img_7833

Autumn time is mushroom time, it is amazing how many different sorts of mushrooms are to be found in the Finnish nature.

img_7836

To fight my hunger I stopped at this nice bbq place with a view.

img_7838

It is always good to have a shelter even though it kept dry here.

img_7839

Firewood is very often provided, but you have to cut the pieces with the available saw. Excercise is always good 🙂 It is always nice to provide some firewood for the next. So if you find prepared wood, prepare some aswell!

img_7840

After lunch I continued along the esker before heading back to the parking.

img_7851

 

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.

img_7810

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.

img_7738_crop

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…

img_7733

… 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 🙂

img_7734

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

img_7741

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.

img_7743

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

img_7750

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.

img_7758

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!

img_7759

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.

img_7770

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

img_7774

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.

img_7778

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

img_7786

img_7790

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

img_7795

img_7799

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.

img_7802

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….

gm2