Did you know that Eerikkilä Sports & Outdoor Resort has a few beautiful winter hiking trails in Tammela? Eerikkilä is located by Ruostejärvi lake in Tammela, Tavastia Proper region in Finland. It’s a peaceful area with few nature trails if you want to experience the Häme Lake Uplands region’s beauty, spend some time at a lean-to shelter, or perhaps even go ice fishing. You can depart to the trails either from Eerikkilä Sports & Outdoor Resort or from Villa Eerik parking area. The trails are part of Häme Lynx Trail and also connected to Liesjärvi National Park by 5 kilometers long connection trail. The best part is that these Eerikkilä trails are walkable also in winter. As dog owners me and my friend really value this, as we are not able to take the dogs to the Finland’s many cross-country skiing tracks.
Eerikkilä-Villa Erik 3,5 km circle trail is the best in the area
This time we decided to walk around the orange Eerikkilä-Villa Erik trail, which is 3,5 km long well-marked circle trail capturing the best views in the area. Villa Erik used to be an Outdoor Centre, and that is why this trail in the map is called Trail from Eerikkilä to Eerikkilä Outdoor Centre. The Outdoor Centre is closed and the falicity is now called Villa Erik. It is available for rent for private events.
Eerikkilä-Villa Erik trail’s highlights
- Beautiful bridges and ridges by picturesque Ruostejärvi lake
- A historical wolf hole
- Myllylahti lean-to shelter
Map of Eerikkilä hiking trails
We departed from Villa Erik parking lot (P in the map, below number 3), heading towards the lean-to shelter (number 2 in the map). It doesn’t matter which direction you walk this circle trail, but we wanted to walk it anticlockwise, through the wind-covered forest area first and enjoying the sunshine (and wind) on the ridges on our way back.
The beginning of the trail consisted of duckboards. It was somewhat challenging to walk on them in early February due to the slippery ice and snow. Every now and then someone had missed stepping on the duckboards and fell into the snow, so there were big foot holes next to the duckboards. The snow wasn’t hard enough to carry a person or even a dog, so we all marched along the trail in single file, watching our steps. We soon reached Myllylahti bay with a little bridge over a stream flowing away from the lake. Despite of the road nearby, it was very quiet and peaceful in the forest.
Next we arrived to a wolf hole, which is an old hole used in wolf hunting. When has it been used, you may wonder.
About wolf hunting history in Finland
Wolves have been hunted in Finland for centuries. It wasn’t uncommon for lifestock and even children getting killed by wolves in Finland in the 19th century. Around the mid-19th century, there were no white-tailed deer or roe deer in Finland. These species only spread to Finland in the 1930s. Fallow deer and wild boars were scarce, and moose had been eradicated from Finland due to excessive hunting. Wolves didn’t have much food, so they were a considerable threat for people and their lifestock. The most recent and presumably most well-known cases of child deaths in Finland occurred in the Turku region where in the years 1880 and 1881, a single pack of wolves consisting of only one pair killed a total of 22 children under the age of ten. According to statistical yearbooks, a total of 5598 wolves were killed between the years 1866-1890. Because of bounty payments and the development of hunting methods, wolf persecution eventually led to the disappearance of the wolf from Finnish nature. In the early 1970s, the annual wolf harvest was only less than five individuals. Finally, in 1973, the wolf was protected.
Myllylahti lean-to shelter
From the wolf hole, it was only few hundred meters to the Myllylahti lean-to shelter. The sun was low on the sky so the area didn’t get much sunlight yet. It was -15 degrees Celcius and sunny, perfect weather for walk out in the nature. We didn’t stop here but continue straight along the trail.
From the lean-to shelter, the trail takes you back towards the road due to few private properties by the lake shore. Soon the trail passes through Eerikkilä disc golf park in a pine forest and then curves towards Leppilampi pond. From there we can see Eerikkilä Sport & Outdoor Centre’s buildings and parking lot. According to the sign, there is a tentsile area by the pond in the summer. You can probably rent them from Eerikkilä.
We spot a man ice fishing on the Leppilampi pond as we walk towards the ridge between Leppilampi ja Ruostejärvi pond. This is my favourite part of the trail, beautiful pine tree ridge between the two lakes. The wind was picking up and we could feel the cold breeze on our faces as we climb on the ridge. The sun wasn’t warming much yet, but the snowy landscapes over the lake were stunning. My pictures never do justice for the beauty of nature in Finland.
Next, the trail leads us to a long bridge that connects the Kurjenniemi peninsula to Eerikkilä area. After the bridge there is another picturesque ridge. From here, you have two options on the orange trail; You can either follow the Myllylampi bay shore along duckboards or continues along wider path to Ruostejärvi beach and pass Villa Erik before arriving to the parking lot. Knowing that the duckboards were currently challenging to walk on, we continued along the Ruostejärvi beach despite of the wind and then headed back to the parking lot passing Villa Erik along the way.
Directions to Villa Erik for Eerikkilä hiking trails
Ruostejärven retkeilyreitit / Ruostejärvi hiking trails (Villa Erik parking area)
How to get there:
- Car: You can find parking areas either by Villa Erik on Härkätie 810, Tammela, or by Eerikkilä Sports & Outdoor Resort on Urheiluopistontie 138, Tammela.
- Bicycle: The Härkätie bicycle route passes the area. The cycling route is the same road cars use so please take care.
- Public transport: The closest bus stop called Eerikkilä is in the intersection of road 2 and Härkätie, about 1,5 kilometers away. Check out tickets and timetables at Matkahuolto.
Accessibility: The trail from the parking lot to the Ruostejärvi lake is wide and suitable for wheelchairs and children’s buggies. The Eerikkilä-Villa Erik trail has duckboards and is not therefore suitable for all. There are some benches and the lean-to shelter along the trail for resting.
When to go: All year round. Parking lots are cleared from the snow but the trails are not.
What to wear: I recommend ice grips for your shoes during winter as the slopes of the ridges are very slippery. Duckboards also have a thick layer of snow on them.
Read more about these additional attractions in the area and make the most of your visit to the region:
Exciting rope-pulled ferry and nature trail in Tammela
Did you know that there is a fun rope-pulled ferry at Ruostejärvi lake in Tammela? It is located along Meidän metsä nature trail departing from Villa Erik.
Historical Ox Road of Häme between Turku and Hämeenlinna
The road that passes Villa Erik is the famous Ox Road of Häme, which combined the historical trading places and castles of Turku and Häme to each other. The Ox Road of Häme has been in use already in Iron Age in the 9th century.
The ultimate guide to Hämeen Ilvesreitti
The Eerikkilä trails are part of Hämeen Ilvesreitti, Häme Lynx Trail, which is a 250 km long trail network that combines many wonderful outdoor areas and national parks such as Torronsuo and Liesjärvi National Parks in Häme Lake Uplands region in Finland.
A local’s guide to nature in Tammela
Tammela municipality is known for two national parks and many other recreation areas that provide plenty of trails for nature enthusiasts to explore.