|Region||Nuuksio National Park, Finland|
|Start||Visitors’ hut at Haukkalampi Lake, the car park at Siikaniemi or any other point|
|End||Visitors’ hut at Haukkalampi Lake, the car park at Siikaniemi or any other point|
|Distance||7,2 km||Duration||~4 h|
|Easy Spring Summer Fall Winter|
You’re in Helsinki and want to escape the hustle and bustle of the big city for a day, but a trip to Porvoo also sounds too stressful? No problem 🙂 Several national parks can be reached by car within an hour from Helsinki and are perfect for short or long hiking tours. One of the most famous ones is the Nuuksio National Park, named after the district of the same name in the city of Espoo.
Six trails signposted using different colors lead through the Nuuksio National Park, most of them named after animals. I decided to hike the longest one, the seven kilometer Korpinkierros (Finnish for “Raven Trail”). It leads past six lakes and is marked with the color yellow. There are no larger elevations on the way, so this circular route should not be a problem for families with children.
Good starting points are either the visitors’ hut at Haukkalampi Lake or the car park at Siikaniemi. The best way to get there is by car, but there is also a bus stop at Siikaniemi which can be reached from Espoo with the lines 238, 238K and 242. It takes about one and a half hours to get to Siikaniemi from Helsinki by bus and train.
There are no grocery stores nearby, the next ones are located in Espoo. It is possible to stay overnight at the designated campsites, in the shelters (reservation necessary!) and in the two “Laavus” (wooden shelters with walls on three sides). In the summer months a simple sleeping bag may be sufficient. Further information and a detailed map can be found on the official website of the park administration.
I parked at Siikaniemi and walked the circuit counterclockwise, so my first stop was the Big Kolmoislammi Lake. “Big” because there are three interconnected lakes which are collectively called Kolmoislammi (Three Ponds).
Big Kolmoislammi is the largest of the lakes along the route and is surrounded by rugged rocks and cliffs which are rateher difficult to access due to the lack of good paths. There are some amenities on the eastern shore, including a shelter and a toilet.
Of course the toilet was not connected to the sewage system, but only an almost luxurious compost toilet. Neatly built cabin, foam seat, peat, toilet paper, everything you need. The Finns know how to do it right! 🙂
On the shore of the Vähä Romlampi
Right next to the Kolmoislammi lies the Vähä Romlampi. “Lampi” means “pond” in Finnish, but there doesn’t seem to be an exact definition of what’s the difference between a Lampi (Pond) and a Järvi (Lake). Some Lampi can be comparably huge, while there are also rather small Järvi. Vähä Romlampi actually is the smallest body of water on the trail, but one couldn’t tell that from its name alone 🙂
On the 1,2 km long way to the Mustalampi lake one has to climb on top of the Rajakallo rocks. But don’t worry – as is so often the case in Finland, we’re talking about just a couple metres of altitude. The changes in the landscape were clearly visible, though. With every additional metre of altitude the vegetation became drier and drier. The plants on the rock are cut off from the groundwater and have to make do with the little that remains in the crevices after the rain. A big problem especially in the extremely hot summer of 2018.
If there was a perfect example of a natural paradise on the circuit, it was the Mustalampi (Black Pond). Quite a lake for a pond 😯 In contrast to most other Finnish Lakes, there are small islands in the middle of the Mustalampi, which were used as retreats and breeding grounds by birds and insects. There was much more fluttering here than in other places.
However, the birds – first and foremost the ducks, als always – didn’t seem to have any great fear of contact with the bathers and hikers.
The densely overgrown shores were like a botanical garden. I had last seen that many dragonflies and other insects in a single spot in front of my lens during my visit to Brest in Belarus. At Mustalampi I spent a full hour just taking pictures 🙂
Haukkalampi (falcon pond) with the visitors’ hut and the small picnic island is only about half a kilometre away. It was also bustling here, but of water sports enthusiasts. Natura Viva, the operator of the visitors’ hut, offered kayaks, canoes, rowing boats and stand-up paddling boards as well as mountain bikes with oversized wheels (fat bikes) for hire. At Finnish prices, of course. Canoes and Standup-Paddling-Boards cost 20 € per hour, rowing boats were cheaper at 25 € for two hours.
Guided tours and whole adventure weekends were offered as well. If you like it quieter you should probably leave out the side trip to Haukkalampi.
There was not much to see on the small picnic island. Probably nature had fled from the noise to the other lakes…
I went back through the dense forest to Kolmikulmalampi, about one kilometre away. The mascot of the Nuuksio National Park, the European flying squirrel (Pteromys volans), was nowhere to be seen unfortunately. That was no wonder, though. Only about 500 of the nocturnal animals live in the entire park.
“Kolmikulmalampi” means “Triangular Pond”, but no matter how I counted the corners, there were always more than three 😉 Well, another Finnish lake naming mystery. If you have so many lakes that there are over 500 “Black Lakes” (Mustlampi), at least three “Scrap Lakes” (Romulampi) and over 490 “Sh*t Lakes” (Paskalampi/Paskolammi), one shouldn’t be surprised about such things 😉
But I was compensated with a wondeful view, and from here on the trail continued evenly through the forest.
On the west side of the lake there is a large wetland meadow which crosses the hiking trail and then continues to the North. Here I was able to observe nature more undisturbed than at the Mustalampi, however, I had to invest a lot more effort. One wrong step and at least one shoe sank into the water…
The lake seems to have been named after the small Holma island, a popular hiking destination. There are two public campsites free of charge: one at the western end of the lake and one on the island. Holma-Saarijärvi is considered to be one of the most beautiful destinations in the entire national park, so the places can be crowded, especially on summer weekends.
The trail then briefly led past the medium-sized one of the three Kolmoislammi lakes. It resembled the Kolmikulmalampi so much that I had difficulties keeping the pictures apart afterwards. On the last two kilometres back to the starting point the trail then only went through the dense Finnish forest.
This really beautiful hike can be done all year round. Curious about Finland? There are more articles from the country in the far north, including more hiking tours, in the corresponding category 🙂