Iso-Valkee is a spectacular little lake with nature trail and lean-to shelters

An island in Iso-Valkee lake

Iso-Valkee is a beautiful little lake with sandy beaches, lean-to shelters and a nature trail. This area is especially popular among swimmers and divers, ice-skaters, dog owners and geocachers. The trail around the lake is 3,7 km long. Water in the lake is crystal clear, which is not that common in the Finnish lakes.

I went to Iso-Valkee in November, a day before the snow, and I didn't see any swimmers. The lake was partly open as it is up to 24 meters deep and has some natural springs....

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Pääjärvi recreation area has traces of the ice age

Pääjärvi recreation area

Pääjärvi recreation area is a perfect spot for day visits or short overnight stays, when you want to be out in the nature in Southern Finland. Pääjärvi provides clearly marked trails and nice resting spots around the lake. It's a good place for picking berries and mushrooms, hook and line fishing, skiing, cycling, swimming, and camping. Pääjärvi is also a multi-cache location, in case you are into geocaching.

I headed to Pääjärvi last weekend to enjoy the autumn day and have...

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Juveninkoski waterfall in Jämsä

Juveninkoski in Jämsä

Juveninkoski is a waterfall located in Jämsä. It gets its water from a small Nytkymenjoki river in the village of Partala and it is the largest waterfall in Central Finland. The water plunges down a rocky cliff for about 7 metres. Juveninkoski is a nice sight especially in spring (April-May) when the water level in the river is higher. I mean, let's be honest here, Finland is not exactly the go-to country for waterfalls, but it's nice to have some beautiful rapids to see. I visited this...

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The Finnish sauna experience

Did you know that sauna is a Finnish innovation? The earliest versions are believed to be from 7000 BC, but one of the first written mentions of what is believed to be the sauna customs of the forefathers of the Finns was written by the Nestor the Chronicler in 1112:

“In the country of Slavs I saw wooden spas, very much warmed up, where people took their clothes off, poured leaven on themselves, took some brooms or some sticks, and were whipping themselves” K.J. Erben...

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Cranberries are the world’s healthiest food

Cranberries freshly picked

Cranberries are said to be the world's healthiest food. This is of course open for debate, but nobody can deny that cranberries have very good fiber content, very low sugar content, and they are known for their concentration of antioxidant and anti-inflammatory phytonutrients. This superfood grows in bogs and the best part is that in Finland anyone can go and pick them.

I have recently been picking cranberries at Torronsuo National Park. In some years bogs have red mats of cranberries,...

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Kyynäränharju is a scenic ridge in Liesjärvi National Park

Kyynäränharju

Kyynäränharju ridge is one of the top attractions in Liesjärvi national park, which is located in Tammela, approximately 95 km from Helsinki. Kyynäränharju is a low sandy shored ridge, which separates Lake Kyynärä and Lake Liesjärvi from one another. There are several hiking trails in Liesjärvi National Park and they depart from multiple locations. I recommend for example Pirttilahti parking area, from where you can reach Kyynäränharju easily.

A large part of the...

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Tepasto nature trail in Kittilä is a home for gnomes

If you happen to be driving by Tepasto village in north of Kittilä, have a little walk at Perhejärvi nature trail. There is a nice few kilometers walk to Kaakkurilampi (kaakkuri=red-throated diver, lampi=pond) and a nearby fire place. You might also encounter some gnomes in this trail!

I went to Tepasto when it had already been snowing a little, but it was still possible to walk in the forest. The moose hunting was about to start soon, so this was the perfect moment to head to the...

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Find your inner sherpa in Kanavuori, Chicken Mountain, in Jyväskylä

Kanavuori Chicken Mountain

Kanavuori, Chicken Mountain, is a hill and nature trail located in Jyväskylä, Central Finland, and in the western part of the Finnish Lakeland. So it is not a mountain, let's be clear on that. The hill may not sound high at 197 meters, but it totally surprised us with its steepness.

Kanavuori is located in Vaajakoski about 9 km from the Jyväskylä city centre, just off from a a Finnish national road number 4. You can reach it by bus or by bike from Jyväskylä centre. Bus lines 1, 3...

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Metsäkoivula trail is an easy day trip from Helsinki

Metsäkoivula trail

Metsäkoivula trail is an easy day trip from Helsinki as it is located in a small town called Somero, about 100 kilometers from the capital area. Nearby are the national parks of Liesjärvi and Torronsuo, but Metsäkoivula has some unique characteristics that make this small trail worth a visit. Not only this trail is located in my hometown but there is a beautiful view to a small forest lake that occasionally attracts swans, a Moonshiners' Creek now serves as a perfect spot for a barbecue,...

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Mushroom picking in Finland is fun!

Mushroom basket

Mushroom picking in Finland is a popular hobby and even an income for some. It is allowed by everyman's rights, and Finland really is mushroom picker's paradise. There are thousands of types of mushroom and few hundred of those are edible. Most of the edible mushrooms are collected from end of August to October. Mushrooms mainly grow in forests, but they can also be found in parks, fields and roadsides. Many Finns avoid picking mushrooms from the side of the roads as the mushrooms absorb...

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