HS Environment You can enjoy Ruska less than a two-hour drive from Helsinki – HS has compiled the best hiking tips for your autumn holiday

You don’t have to drive to Lapland or Koli from the Helsinki metropolitan area to hike, but you can get to many natural gems from Helsinki in a few hours. HS compiled five recommendations for the excursion destination and tips for preparing for the autumn trip.

During the autumn holiday season A lively hiking season is expected in Finnish national parks. While many head for their first trips abroad, domestic glamor has also shown its strength.

“It seems that the people who found hiking in 2020 have come to stay,” says Metsähallitus’ Communications Manager for Nature Services. Päivi Rosqvist.

In addition, foreign hikers are expected to return to Finland to an increasing extent. The agreement gives space and there is enough space for everyone, Rosqvist assures.

He points out, however, that as the number of people in nature increases, hiking etiquette must be remembered. For example, there are no rubbish bins in the national parks, but the hiker must take the rubbish he or she brings with him or her. This is not always the case.

“Often there is just ignorance behind it. However, even small debris, such as whistle wraps and bag closures, are harmful when they decay really slowly or not at all and can end up being eaten by animals, ”says Rosqvist.

Dogs are welcome in the national parks, but should be kept tethered.

HS collected five tips on excursion destinations where you can go from the metropolitan area for a day trip.

Kurjenrahka National Park

Kurjenrahkan In the national park near Turku, you can enjoy the Finnish landscapes, which are especially pulsating in autumn, when the moss glows in the colors of autumn. You can also use geocaches in Kurjenrahka. You can go hiking without your own car, because you can come from the center of Turku, for example bus to the national park.

Driving time from Helsinki

2 h 10 min

Routes

The shortest marked route is 1.7 kilometers, the longest currently fully open ring route is nine kilometers. The routes connect to the Kuhankuono hiking trail, which includes 150 kilometers of marked trails.

Liberty

The 1.7 km ring route is wheelchair accessible with an assistant.

Kurjenrahka National Park is easily accessible from Turku.

Teijo National Park

Teijon in the national park near Salo, in addition to nature, you can get to know the cultural history of the ironworks village. The route network is diverse. There are both shorter trails for buggies and rollators, as well as more demanding and longer routes. You can also fish in Matildanjärvi with a special permit.

Driving time from Helsinki

1 h 50 min

Routes

The shortest marked ring route 1.3 kilometers, the longest 8.8 kilometers. Shorter routes can be combined into tens of kilometers of hikes.

Liberty

Two viewpoints (600 meters and 700 meters in the direction of the car park) are easily accessible.

Teijo is allowed to fish in Matildanjärvi with the special permission of Metsähallitus.

Liesjärvi National Park

Mostly Liesjärvi National Park, located in the municipality of Tammela, offers lake scenery from the narrow Kyynäränharju between the two lakes, but also a protected primeval forest from the 1920s. There are routes in the area for novice hikers and experienced veterans. In Liesjärvi you can also use geocaches.

Driving time from Helsinki

1 h 15 min

Routes

The shortest marked ring route is 1.5 kilometers and the longest five kilometers. Different routes can be combined from the paths connecting the areas of the national park. There are also horse riding and cycling routes in the area.

Liberty

There is a 3.8 km long demanding unobstructed ring route suitable for wheelchair users with an assistant.

Liesjärvi has a lot of protected primeval forest.

Valkmusa National Park

Finland the smallest national park near Kotka is particularly well suited for autumn hiking, as the marshy land of Valkmusa still glows with autumn colors. Due to the swampy terrain, the park can only be reached along long trees. The elongated trees form a ring route along which there are nature towers where you can climb to watch the life of the swamp. You can get to the center of Kotka on weekdays by bus 200 meters from the national park.

Driving time from Helsinki

1 h 35 min

Routes

The longest route is 2.5 kilometers with boardwalks.

Liberty

Not suitable for the disabled.

Valkmusa marshy national park is the smallest in Finland.

Repovesi National Park

Kouvolan the nearby Repovesi has varied routes from short walks suitable for family hiking to more demanding hikes. Longer routes also feature challenging altitude differences and spectacular vantage points. Exciting specialties include the Lapinsalmi suspension bridge and a hand-operated castle, which is part of Ketunlenkki, which is suitable for families, for example.

Driving time from Helsinki

2 h 30 min

Routes

The shortest marked route 800 meters in one direction from the parking area to the rest area, the longest 26 kilometers. In addition, cycling routes.

Liberty

The shortest routes are gravel roads, suitable for people with reduced mobility and prams, for example.

Olhavanvuori is one of Repovesi’s most famous viewpoints.

Tips for autumn hiking

  • Pay attention to detail in nature

In autumn, the landscape is quite different from summer, and even a familiar excursion destination can look new. The leaves of the trees can be observed in the ground, the woodpecker and lichen hang from the trees.

  • Prepare by layering

In the fall, the weather can change quickly. A cold morning may be followed by a warm day when you have to cut your clothes. In case of rain, you should bring a shell or rain jacket.

In humid weather, making a fire is not as easy as in summer. If you want to make a fire at the campfire site, you should book your own firefighting equipment and make sure they stay dry.

  • Mushrooms go best in a canvas bag

Those who are enthusiastic about mushrooming should prepare with a small cloth bag, as moist mushrooms can rot in a plastic bag during long transport. In a breathable cloth bag, the mushrooms stay in better condition.

Twilight can surprise an autumn hiker who set off in the afternoon. In the twilight, hiking is atmospheric, but you should prepare for the situation with a headlamp. It’s not a good idea to rely on a cell phone flashlight alone, as your phone’s battery can run out quickly.

  • Anticipate with parking

The congestion of the parking areas can be avoided by going on an excursion on weekdays and in the morning. Severe congestion can be reported on the social media of the national park, for example, and traffic control is also available in many national parks.

Source: Päivi Rosqvist, Metsähallitus

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