Thanks to the truly wild nature and the developed tourist infrastructure, Finland is one of the best countries in Europe for hiking. But not only that. It is a great place for kayaking, skiing, fishing, mountain biking, and some other outdoor activities.
The first national park in the country was created back in the early 20th century, just after the first national park in the world, Yellowstone in the United States. Finns have picked up the bright idea of the Americans and successfully implemented it in their native land. Today Finland has 40 (and one) national parks, which is quite a lot for such a relatively small country compared to the US, where there are 63 national parks.
If you are not already a fan of Finland and have never been there, it can be difficult to navigate through such a variety of parks. But I am a fan and have been there more than 10 times. So I’ve chosen four of the 40 parks — the main one in each of four of the country’s large natural and tourist regions — and I’ll tell about their main features and hiking trails in this article.
Nuuksio National Park
— Nuuksio National Park is the main national park in Southern Finland.
The park is located in the municipality of Espoo in the Uusimaa region, the capital of which is the largest city of Helsinki, which is also one of the four major tourist regions of the country. The distance from the city to the park is 38 km. Because of its proximity to the Finnish capital, the park is the most famous and popular in the country, because not many people get to its more remote parts, including Lapland.
The main feature of the park is the Haltia Nature Museum, located on its southern borders, where you can learn all about not only this region but all the others. The museum is also considered the largest of more than a dozen such museums in the country. The building is also known for being the first completely green building in Finland: it is built of wood, powered by solar energy, collects rainwater, and so on.
The park has about a dozen marked hiking trails, the longest of which is Korpinkierros, 8 km long, which runs around picturesque forest lakes with small climbs and descends to and from the granite rocks in the central part of the park.
- Getting to the park. You can get to the park directly from the center of Helsinki, first by train and then by bus. Travel time is no more than 2 hours.
- Visit center. The Haltia Nature Center is also the visitor center of the park, which is located at Nuuksiontie 84, 02820, Espoo.
- Accommodation. When hiking in the park you can pitch a tent in one of the specially equipped places, use lean-to shelters or rent one of the two huts for 6–8 people in advance.
Read next about other top three national parks in Finland: Archipelago in Southwest Finland, Koli in North Karelia, and Pallas-Yallastunturi in Lapland, on the Windy.app blog of the leading weather forecast app for wind sports and outdoors.
Text: Ivan Kuznetsov
Cover photo: Unsplash