Did a 2-day hiking trip in a Liesjärvi National Park. Hiked some 10km on both sunny days. Exhausted but happy at the end. Felt relaxing. Here's some words about the trip, followed by a map and some photos:
The Liesjärvi National Park was located along Highway 2 in Southern Finland, about an hour's drive north west from Helsinki (there's another National Park very near of it, Torronsuo. Here's my previous day trip there from last year).
The National Park consisted of mostly thick forests, some lakes (Lake Liesjärvi being largest) and few mire. Lake Liesjärvi had only few islands so to me it wasn't so attractive place for paddling (in addition being relatively small, too). Thus I decided to hike. Preserved season for protecting birds nesting was to begin which prohibited you to enter into these few islands, too. There's a large variety of different species of animals living there. Didn't see the 'big ones' (although saw their fresh waste) but saw some smaller ones, check some photos below.
Weather forecast predicted pretty good Spring weather, mostly sunny and quite warm (considering for Finland in early May). Wanted to visit there before a real visiting season was opened. Went there by car. However, as its location is near Road no 2, it would have been easy to reach by public transport, too.
Chose the starting point to an old Korteniemi Heritage Farm. A lovely old farm on the shore of Lake Liesjärvi. The farm was about 3 km off from Highway 2. There's a big sign guiding you at the right crossing. The farm was not opened yet, as its public season would start 9th of May. However, nice place to visit, to see how farming looked like and was done about 100 years ago.
About stuff that I carried with me; selecting a bivy bag instead of a tent gave me opportunity to take a smaller backpack than usually. Other stuff in the backpack were mattress, sleeping bag, a down jacket and some spare clothes, 5 litres of water and some food. Then I carried a small camera bag, too. And of course a paper map with a compass, too (and a GPS device just to record distance). Wasn't sure about getting fresh water so decided to carry all water from the beginning. Smaller backpack and bivy saved about 3-4kg already. Considered long time about shoes and selected Haglöfs' Vertigo GT approach shoes. Now thinking afterwards selection was the right one. Carried an extra pair of Gore-Tex socks, as I wasn't sure how wet paths were. However, forest and hiking paths appeared to be dry, being in perfect condition.
Didn't plan any exact route or place to reach for each day. Instead, picked up a nice looking place on the map near in ad-hoc style.
First wanted to explore hiking routes near the Lake. However, soon after leaving the farm and when the thicker forest had started, had to zig zag off the hiking path to circle trees which had fallen and thus cut paths. About fallen trees, they were everywhere, cutting paths here and there. I couldn't go under them with my backpack. Jumping over them would have needed skills from a pole vault specialist. Such a damage in the forest had to happen on the last Boxing Day when a big storm crossed Southern Finland, creating lots of damage in nature. I estimate that I walked about 15% longer route during two days together due to these fallen trees on hiking paths. That extra distance wasn't basically nothing but some of these fallen were pretty dangerous as few of the trees were bending towards other trees and thus brought a dangerous element to walk under them (had they fallen to ground you being under them would have been life dangerous).
While cooking the first afternoon coffee, heard a hissing sound. Then spotted a snake about one foot of a distance from me. Stepped back quickly and made a shot, with a camera though. Not being a great fan of snakes, I'd say I survived quite well from our sudden rendezvous, both physically and mentally.
Continued walking near hiking path in the forest and came back to path when ever there wasn't a fallen tree on it. Stopped shooting photos quite often. There were lots of different birds, although they were quite scary of human surrounding. Another interesting view was butterflies. Many of them, several species of them. And there was one type of insect which I wasn't ready to meet so early of this season, i.e. mosquitoes (as a matter of fact I'm never ready to meet them). Believe me or not, there were lots of them, quite big ones. Amazingly early. I hope this doesn't mean we'll be having a bug fest season coming in Finland this summer.
For the base camp I chose to be near the lake. The sunset was spectacular, first in red or purple colour, then followed by variations of yellow. While the sun was about to set, the moon had started to rise. Looked like they were competing to each other which one was to be more attractive, the sun or the moon. However, looked like clouds had different opinion, as they tried to steal the show by hiding the sun and the moon every now and then. But at the end clouds lost the competition, bringing the clear blue sky with the bright half moon and stars. Birds continued singing while I tried to sleep, Arctic Loon being one of the loudest ones. They were allowed to do so, with my permission, too.
The morning opened sunny but more windy and more colder than a previous day was. Appreciated by now a down jacket and a pipo.
After packing the basecamp and enjoying the breakfast, started to hike more north. The first thing was to cross the Lake via a narrow sandy ridge called Kyynäränharju. The ridge was about 5 to 20 meters wide and about 1.5km long. As the water level was quite high it brought some challenges via the ridge route. Socks stayed dry. The ridge was a really nice place to stay.
Circled a route which went to Lake Tapolanjärvi and then came back via the same ridge. Stopped every now and then to shoot photos; trees, plants, insects, birds, you name it.
Returning hiking path went through thick forests, went up and down some small hills. The forest was very green, as terrain was covered by green moss and pine and spruce trees were very green, too. Staring at such a greenish environment felt good (mentally, not politically).
Arrived afternoon back to the farm. Did meet only few people during two days. Parking lots were empty of cars. Season was about to begin.
I stayed only in south and west parts of the Park, would have needed a day or two more to explore north and east parts of the Park, too.
GPS recorded route (view in a larger map):
Liesjärvi National Park
Korteniemi Heritage Farm
|The first thing you see after a Parking Lot|
|Where are all lambs and cows?|
|A Finnish version of Alcatraz?|
|Is water level high?|
The Base Camp; from arrival towards the evening
|A Room With A View|
|A Room With Air Condition|
|Who's switching these lights?|
|Last reflections of the sun|
|A moon bridge made by the sun|
|I like this, hold it a while|
Birds and other species
|White Wagtail, I think so|
|A hissing Snake|
|The Master himself and his net|
|ANTS! MORE ANTS!|
|A Fly staring at my camera lense|
|You won't get lost|
|Ridge at south|
|Ridge in the middle|
|Ridge at north|
|Want to try on barefoot?|
|Typical path on thick forest|
|Green moss all over|
|What did a typical path consist of?|
|Duckboards, suppose to be wet there?|
Trees, Forests, Plants
|New trees, this region was burnt 20 years ago|
|Tall and slim|
|Twisted old tree|
|Twins and their little brother|
|... and the hiking path goes straight on here ...|
|Guess who won the Beauty Contest in this Park this year?|