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.

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

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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.

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

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

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

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

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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.

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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.

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As you see it is larger than a pond.

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Through dense forest…

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

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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.

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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.

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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!

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Evo Hiking Area – Little Nature Trail

I found on a map that there is a very small circular hiking trail in the Evo Hiking Area. It basically follows a little stream for a few hundred meters and then after crossing a bridge it returns back to the parking. As I had time and was curious I stopped at the parking along road 53 just north of Evokeskus and prepared myself for the short round. The first hundred meters were pretty wet ground and I had to find good steps not to have water in the shoes, but then I could enjoy the beautiful dense forest. The trail features that little stream that we follow. As far as I could see on a sign the stream was prepared with obstacles to reduce the speed of the water. If someone knows details, let me know. Anyhow I loved the nature as it was clear to see that the flora adapted to this pretty wet environment giving the feeling as walking in a rain forest.

Luontopolku means nature trail, so we know where to go…

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Hard to see but after entering the more dense forest the ground was pretty wet. Anyhow no issues with wet feet.

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After a short while we already arrive at the first bridge that we need to cross. From here on we are following the stream.

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As you see it is not very big and hardly flowing. I am sure with the melting of the snow in spring the situation is much different.

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The sign from which I interprete the adjustments in the stream…

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…and how it looks in real.

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Whatever it means I enjoyed the nature. It is very calm out here.

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We already have reached the farest part of the hike… the bridge leading us back to the side of the parking. Still we have to walk back.IMG_0615

Some more picture of the second bridge and the view from it over the stream.

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While standing on the bridge this fern was lightend by the sun while most of the rest was in shadow. It is a pitty that reality always looks better than picture. But I hope you get the point.

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Hope you liked this little tour.

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Evo Hiking Area – Staying overnight

Most of the days during my trip I do not know where I will end up staying the night. I keep it open as I don’t want to rush or staying at places that tend to be boring. So I need to be flexible. After Hämeenlinna I planned to have a look at the Evo Hiking Area. Here I had been before, but these places offer so many possibilities, that it was a pleasure to return. As it was to find a place for the night, I checked the map at the Visitor Center. A man passed by and I asked him if he knows any camping places closeby. He pointed out the large camping area, that normally is for big groups, and mentioned it is ok for the night. As it was officially closed also the toilets were closed, but for just the sleep it was ok, knowing I could come to the Visitor Center again the next morning. So I took the car for the handfull of kilometers to the camping place. It is really impressively huge. I set up my tent in a far corner close to the nearby lake, had some food and set down on a log at the sea shore for the evening. It is always a very beautiful atmosphere with the night coming in and light disappearing. As I had a long day, I went to sleep early looking forward for nice hikes here in Evo Hiking Area.

My tent set up. On the left of where the photo was taken, it is only 20 meters to the lake.

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This is how the sea shore looks like. It came nicely that these logs were left here. Ideal for sitting and as table for a beer 🙂

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When I arrived it was still bright day.

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Had time to look at the camping area. You see it is huge. This structure is for having dinner. There are more of these.

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As light started to fade, I went back to my tent and then enjoyed the lake view.

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In the morning a coffee is obligatory. Also in the wild… 🙂

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Now it was time to take down the tent…

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What hikes I did, I will show you in the next blog entries coming soon.

And of course a big thanks again to Metsä for their great help by providing such a valuable internet page giving a lot of information for preparing your visit to Finnish nature. Click their symbol to open their Evo Hiking Area page.

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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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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.

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The parking is remote inbetween farm land.

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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…

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… 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.

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

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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).

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Syöte – On the trace of bears

Hiking in Finland is often a combination of admiring the beauty and keeping an eye on anything that could harm me. In opposite to Germany where you have almost nothing to really worry about when going to the forests, in Finland you have predators roaming the nature. Often talking to people there they say I should not worry as their numbers are really rare and it would be a like a win in a lottery, this time I got a glimpse of what could be the jackpot. On a planned hike around Lake Soiperoinen at the Eastern outskirts of Syöte National Park I found the fresh traces of a bear in the mud of the hiking trail. Being far from any help and alone, I have to say that I was quite afraid. Already having hiked a good kilometer that moment I decided not to risk anything, returned and kept close to the parking at the resting area. Just a few days before after staying at the cottage of a friend, I heard a bear was seen there in the area days before and another friend told me that in Sweden a bear chased a hiker during my trip, but died by rushing against a tree. So it seems that you literaly can get the jackpot. Take care what you do and keep eyes open. They are really hard to see in the dense flora of Finnish nature. To get an idea, I recommend to visit the zoo in Ranua featuring animals of the North. They also have brown bears. Below I linked to the Scandinavian Bear Projekt page where you find some instructions on how to behave in nature to avoid problems.

Photos from Lake Soiperoinen I will post in another blog entry coming soon…

Here a photo from the bear trace. You can clearly see the toes and nails. The size is about an adult hand.

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About Brown Bears on the Large Carnivore Initiative For Europe page…

Scandinavian Bear Project, guidelines on behavior regarding bears in nature…

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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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