kurjenToday, I went hiking to the Kurjenrahka National Park in Finland which is located around 30 km north of Turku – heaven for mushroom lovers! I parked my car at Kurjenpesä where I found an information board about the National Park. In the Kurjenpesä visitor center, I was able to pick up a free map and then I started my hike on the Savonjarven Kierros which goes around the Savojärvi lake. I discovered the Kuhankuono boundary stone which has been an important boundary mark for 600 years.
My hike continues along mires and spruces and at some point I found some sort of monument – A. Jalosen Muistomerkki was written on it …
Where I finally reached Rantapiha which is just located on the opposite site of lake Savojärvi, where my adventure started.
I decided to walk along the Luontopolku which goes through an old-growth forest before continuing my hike along the shore of lake Savojärvi. The markings in the Kurjenrahka National Park as excellent.
After strolling along the Luontopolku, I decided to continue my hike along the Savonjarven Kierros. On the trail always a view towards the lake Savojärvi and the smell of spruces in my nose. There were colorful plants along the trail as well as plenty of mushrooms.
To sum up, this was a great hike and I will come back another time in order to explore the Takaniitunvuori outlook and Vajosuo. 2 years later I went for another hike to Kujenrahka National Park.
The second visit
My second visit to the Kurjenrahka National Park was with Caj has just finished his “official work duties” where he was talking on the 25th Nordic Symposium on Tourism and Hospitality Research in Turku and decided to stay a few more days. Patrick has already visited the Kurjenrahka National Park 2 years ago for a day hike but this time we were planning to stay overnight in a lean-to shelter. After we parked our car nearby the Kurjenpesä Nature Information Hut from where we walked to the old boundary mark of Kuhankuono.
The trail continued through swamps and since we arrived quite late the sun was setting also slowly.
Then we arrived at a dam where we had a nice view of the Savojärvi lake. Those were probably the last warm autumn days in Southern Finland and the nights are already getting colder.
Initially, we planned to camp nearby this hut but the campsite was already occupied so we decided to hike for another 3 km to Läkijärvi where we hoped to find another lean-to shelter where we could stay over night. The trail was quite well marked.
Once we reached Lakijärvi we prepared our campfire and prepared our dinner. On our way to Lakijärvi we have also seen Northern Lights but once we arrived in Lakijärvi they were gone again.
After having had dinner we walked to the nearby Lakijärvi where we took a view pictures from the milky way.
At 7 am Caj and Konstantin were already up and playing with the fire. Patrick and Katja continued sleeping until 8 am. We had Karelian pie, toasted rye bread, ham and cheese for breakfast.
After our breakfast, we decided to go back to the nearby lake and to pick some cranberries.
Then we packed our gear and continued hiking around the lake Savojärvi. The trail looked completely different during the day than it had looked the previous night.
There were rocks and reindeer lichen (cladonia rangiferina) all over the place as well as blueberries so we had frequent stops to collect them.
The trail around Savojärvi was truly beautiful. Hiking through a swamp always reminds me on hiking in Lapland where the trees are small as well.
After a few kilometers, we arrived at the Kurjenpesä Nature Cabin where we walked down to the lake. The infrastructure to the lake was really good and makes the lake easy to reach if you visit it with a pram or as an elderly.
Takaniitunvuori and Vajosuo
On another day, I explored the bird tower at Vajosuo and then I went to Takaniitunvuori which is located west to Savojärvi. I started the first part of my hike in Vajsuo and I followed the red Kuhankuonon Retkelyreitistö band which I found along the trail.
There has been mushrooms as well but I noticed that most of the mushrooms died already or are in the process of dying. The trail was covered with leafs and their colour turned already black. It seems that Nature is preparing for the winter. When I reached the bird tower at Vajosuo, I was able to see a wide open space which was perfect to observe birds.
After the visit to the bird tower I hiked back to the parking area and drove to Pukkipalon where I continued my hike. The area was covered with hills which makes hiking more exciting. There were also small bridges which were crossing my way. I follow the trail towards Takaniitunvuori. It was quite silent … there was only the noise of the tree tops swinging over me.
Then it was getting brighter when I reached a swamp as the weather was not that good on that day. There were quite may fallen trees on my way. And then I reached Takaniitunvuori which is a quite nice place on top of a hill / rock. From here I followed the trail to the Nuotiopaikka where I rested for a while on a fire place.
And then continued my hike on the way back to Pukkipalo on a different trail than the one I came from where I crossed a small bridge. Those bridges are quite slippery when they are wet after the rain.
I reached Huhtaniitunmäki. There is a bench on the top of a rock where you can enjoy the scenery. The bench had some carvings. Then I found an area covered with little rocks.
And finally reach Pukkipalo where I parked my car. Below the map with the second part of my hike from Pukkipalo to Takaniitunvuori.