07 August 2011

Sunday hike in Salmi Outdoor Recreation Area, Finland

August 2011

Did a day hike in Salmi outdoor recreation area, visiting shortly in Nuuksio National Park, in southern Finland. Hiked some 20km altogether, all the way in the deep forest.

I've mostly spent Sundays in kayak this summer. Why? Weather's been so warm and sunny that salty water has attracted me most. Haven't done any hiking at all, which was really a shame. Have to admit that after the 10 days sea kayaking trip to Archipelago National Park I haven't got motivation to paddle on nearest waters around Helsinki.  Among very windy weather forecast for today I had a perfect excuse not to go on the sea but instead spend a day in a deep forest.

Decided to have a day hike in Salmi outdoor recreation area, some 30mins drive north from Helsinki. While writing this must say that it was a good decision to stay Sunday in there. Salmi is located in Vihti municipal but is owned by the city of Helsinki. It is easy to reach by bus as Helsinki city bus transports there.

Light rain continued while I drove to Salmi but ended soon after arriving.  Haven't been in Salmi for a while. Was a bit disappointed to notice that all hiking routes off from there were made on sandy surface, almost like mini roads. Perhaps usage has been so heavy that erosion of natural surface was too much.

Went first to Lake Iso-Parikas. Sandy mini road ended and I started to circle the lake via its west shore. Small and narrow path circled around the lake, just a meter or so off the lake. Stones raised tens of meters high just off the path. Smell in the forest after the light rain was very nice, bringing up perfumes from different trees, moss etc.

Had forgotten of how attractive a forest could be and Salmi itself was close to wilderness type of forest. If I was asked which one I liked more, a sea (while paddling) or a forest (while hiking), I wouldn't be able to prioritize them other than this; had I been paddling my answer would be the sea and while hiking my answer would be the forest.

Continued hiking towards Kattila. Near lake Kaitlampi had a quick lunch; nuts and raisins with water and some sports drink. Kattila belongs to Nuuksio National Park. The city of Espoo buses drive here, as they did today (right into the middle of the National Park on Sundays, pretty good service!). Parking lot had lots of cars, bet they were picking up blueberries in the forest.

My route was still towards more south. Wanted to see a Giant's Kettle, that was near Kattila. Its diameter was about one foot and was about two feet deep, full of water. Probably created by the last ice age, although it looked like artificially made.

From there continued sandy road until Högbacka, from where turned to north, back towards Salmi. Return was constantly interrupted by sights of big blueberries. Sights quickly transformed into tastings. Face and fingers got some blue color, but who cared. Circled Lake Pikku-Parikas. There was yet another small path just off the lake. As Finnish name of the lake hinted, it was a small cousin of Lake Iso-Parikas.  On the north shore a good smell of open fire reached my nose as people prepared there Sunday lunch there. Kids were eager to jump in to the lake on any minute.

Nature offered lots of super food. I ate quite amount of blueberries, some wild strawberries, some raspberries and even some lingonberries. There were fresh mushrooms everywhere (which I left untouched).

Happy but exhausted when arrived back at Salmi. It was a great day in the forest. Sun shined after light rain and temperature stayed above +20C. No question would a two or three day hike in there been better (as it would have) but even glad spending a Sunday there (what an anti-stress!).

Hiking route in Google Maps stored by Garmin GPS (View Larger Map):

The very same route in Bing Maps here (select Bird's eye view and start to zoom).

My Gear today
Shoes: after yesterday's 10km barefoot run decided to take a bit thicker shoes, thus Salomon's SpeedCross 2 shoes were natural choice. Socks were Falke's running socks.

Shirts: learnt some time ago that woolen baselayer was the best for me, especially when my clothes got sweated or just got wet due to e.g. rain (or while paddling). Thus only 100% Merino wool has been my choice. In summer time thinner woolen the better, coming thicker as air cools down towards winter. Have used Icebreaker's superfine 150 models some time. This time used Smartwool's Microweight Crew, a long sleeve shirt, very thin but warm and cool.

Pants: were Haglöfs' Intense model. Had some extra clothes in the backpack, all Haglöfs: Shield JacketOzo Pullover and LIM Pants (two latter Gore-Tex).

Backpack: My backpack was Deuter's Race X.

A great place for a picnic

Ferns everywhere

Blooming's soon off

Stockmann's Crazy Days are here?

Spiderman and his net

Mushrooms have arrived!

Lake Iso-Parikas

Was just staring at you, forest

Underwater forest, from Harry Potter?

Hiking route

King of the hill

A beauty


On which side I should stay?

Old storage at Kattila

Giant's Kettle, about 2ft deep

A dead spruce

A meadow

Fruits of Sorbus

Heathers blooming

A beetle crossing a path

Lingonberries and blueberries in perfect harmony (until I ate them)

No riding from right to left, other directions allowed

Lake Pikku-Parikas

Grand Canyon made by rain

A taaaallll tree

O Tannenbaum, o Tannenbaum ...

These become extinct soon in Finland, what a pity!

Where a lake ends

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