Trailbiking around Melkuttimet

Clear waters

The Melkuttimet area in southern Finland is known by trail bikers as a nice place for a day ride, about an hour drive from Helsinki. It is a small area of clear waters of Lake Iso-Melkutin and beautiful pine forests close to the aviation center of Räyskälä. There is a connecting road to Poronpolku Trail which can be combined to your trip.

Around Melkuttimet

The trails of Melkuttimet are connected to larger Ilvesreitti Trail network offering total 200km of trails.

Up that hill

The trails are fairly easy and nice, some more technical paths are on the southern shore of lake Iso-Melkutin.

Some of the best parts of Iso Melkutin

Maybe the most popular photo shoot place is located on the ridge of Tokholmannokka.

Towing glider airplanes

The take-off of glider planes from nearby Räyskälä aviation center brings a touch of urban feeling with some occasional noise also.

Across the stream between Vähä-Melkutin and Iso-Melkutin

Crossing the small stream between lakes Vähä-Melkutin and Iso-Melkutin.

Nice forest roads near Saarijärvi

Easey and nice forest roads near lake Saarijärvi.

Northern shore of Iso-Melkutin

Northern shore of lake Iso-Melkutin offers a nice path close to the lake, passing a popular place for divers to enjoy clear waters of Iso-Melkutin.

Wider trails on the northern shore

Trail cycling in Kylmäluoma hiking area

Kylmäluoma hiking area in the northeastern Finland has very interesting trails for cyclists. You can either follow single tracks along lakes and ponds or take an easier path on snowmobile tracks. There is a longer marked route for cyclists between Kylmäluoma center and Taivalkoski but you can reach great trails starting from Kylmäluoma camping ground.

Kylmäluoma has got about 90 lakes and ponds and is very popular among fishermen. Kylmäluoma camping ground has got good facilities in the middle of pine wood forest and ridges. It’s a good starting point for day rides. The area is full of fire sites by the lakes and ponds.

Kylmäluoma pine ridge

Along the trails there are occasional bog areas. In the autumn the colors are spectacular.

Bog area

If you ride during blueberry time, you can get delicious supplements for your ride snack.

Blueberries by the trail

Single tracks along the lakes are sometimes this easy, followed by rockier parts and lots of tree roots on the trail.

Trail by the Lake Kylmäluoma

If you go further from the camping ground more peaceful places are to be found. This one by lake Kylmäluoma with no other visitors.

Fireplace by the lake Kylmäluoma

It is a reindeer area so you will see a few reindeer by the trails. They usually yield after a moment of curiosity and staring.

Reindeer area

There are trails to nearby areas, used by snowmobiles in winter time. The trails go even to Hossa hiking area, about 55 kilometers away, which is another area for trail biking.

Trails to nearby areas

Near Kylmäluoma camping ground, there are a lot of ponds for fishermen with kilometers of duckboards.

Fishing ponds in Kylmäluoma

Snowshoeing on Kuer fell in Lapland

In the middle of hot July day, temperature reaching +30C, it feels nice to think of last winter’s trips in Lapland.

Kuertunturi is a small fell near village of Äkäslompolo in Lapland. In winter it is approachable by snowshoes or skis, the marked trail starts behind the chapel of the village. The trail is marked but to be sure of directions a skiing map can be obtained at the village.

Start of the trail.

Nice pine forest at the first part of the trail. It’s only under 3 kilometers to the top by the marked trail, going up might take a couple of hours, coming down is a lot faster.

Start of the trail

Through pine forest

Alternative to snowshoes, ski hoks that you can slide down the hill It has skins to help you to ascend.

Ski hoks

The steeper part of the trail may make you want to have a break afterwards.

The steeper part of the trail

Visibility at the top was not the best. Pretty heavy wind at the last stretch. Only few small trees near the top.

Visibility at the top

Reaching the top.

The last stretch to the top

A welcomed break neat the top beside a tree looking for a bit of shelter.

A break at the top

Under the tree

A limited view to the village of Äkäslompolo.

A view to the village

Soft snow for descending with ski hoks. Good place to practice for a few slides.

Soft snow for descending

The day is short in December. Headlight were needed to keep you on the trail.

The day is short in December

The gateway to Kolovesi national park

Nature info hut

Before entering Kolovesi national park you should drop by in Enonkoski. From Kolovesi nature hut you can get kayaking maps and info for your trip. The old warehouse now serves as a Kolovesi information center and is one of the nicest nature centers in Finland.

Old warehouse

There is a nature exhibition inside the house offering info about Saimaa Ringed Seal, only to be spotted in Saimaa lake area and also in Kolovesi national park.

Exhibition inside

The cafe is run by local 4 H Association and has a very nice terrace by the rapids. Not a bad place to have a break. Be sure to check the old bridge just a few meters away.

Terrace by the rapids

From late June there is an international sand art exhibition nearby the info hut. In Enonkoski you can get last supplies from local grocery stores for you kayaking trip.

Sand art

Photographing close-ups from a kayak

When shooting photographs from a kayak some best close-up shots are made if you approach the shore where there are more details to be found. You can get great pictures with a compact camera by just getting close to the subject and by slowing down.

Shoot upwards from waterline

From a kayak you will reach angles that is difficult to get to by other vessels. Aim to the sky and you might catch nice details of the shoreline rocks.

From below

Reach out at the waterline

Paddle as close to the shoreline and reach out. Use you zoom, keep it steady and shoot. Try not to flip over. These cup lichen were on the top of huge rock. Might get some scratches to your kayak, I usually do.

Cup lichen

See details

Try to see fine details on the surface of water. Slow down while kayaking. I passed these bubbles on the middle of the lake at dusk. Might have been Saimaa ringed seal hiding there underwater.

Bubbles

Find flora

Go amidst the flora at the water. You can get great pictures from different angles. You may have to wait for a while to get surrounding water still around your kayak to get clear reflections.

Waterlily

Take a selfie

To shoot a selfie in a close-up is quite tricky. Balancing your kayak, finding a proper direction of light, zooming and focusing is an interesting challenge on the lake.

Selfie

Let subjects find you

If distances and kilometers are more important to you in kayaking you will not find settings in the nature. While having a break or just resting your eyes in your environment you might see fine details.

Birch leaf

All pictures on this blog post were taken at several kayaking trips in Linnansaari national park.

Skating in the national park of Linnansaari

One of the best maintained skating routes of Finland is in Linnansaari national park on lake Haukivesi. Crossing the lake from eastern side of the lake from Oravi village to the western side to Porosalmi is 18 kilometers long.

In late February the weather was varying a lot during the weekend, from windy snowfall to rain and water on the track. The track was in great condition after snow was plowed. The ice at the start in Oravi looked very good on the first day of the trip.

Oravi start

From Oravi it’s about 5 km to Linnansaari island where a fire site, a small cafe and this old house is located.

Old house in Linnansaari island

After you leave the shelter of Linnansaari island, the route start to cross the vast lake of Haukivesi to the other side.

Across lake Haukivesi

The ice is thick and even though all sorts of formations and cracks are shown on the top of it.

Thick ice

There are benches along the route with a pretty beautiful scenery.

Bench on the lake

The route is well marked with new maps.

Map along the route

Skating in the national park. Not bad at all. Awesome skating on the peaceful lake. Nice to see same place as from the kayak in summer.

Skating in the national park

The next day it rained and there was a bit water on ice but the track was even smoother to skate.

Great track

Biking was an interesting option, spike tires were very much in demand.

Biking on ice

On the middle of the lake 9 km from Oravi there were this ice wall..

Ice castle on the lake

.. which turned out to be a wind shelter for skaters. The cubes were a bit melted due to the rain earlier in the morning. The wind at this place can be very rough.

Ice cube wind shelter

On weekends the small cafe on Linnansaari island is open during the season. Time for the coffee and munkki.

Skaters' cafe in Sammakkoniemi is open

Sammakkoniemi on Linnansaari island

Sammakkoniemi cafe

Coffee break

Last kilometers in the national park of Linnansaari. Hope to be back next year.

Back to Oravi

Tour skating track in Moisöfjärden, Espoo

In February 2014 the 5,5 km route in Moisöfjärden, Suvisaaristo is open and in very good condition. Thanks to volunteers who keep it open with their small snow plowers. There is a good parking place near Hanikka beach. From the same place you can go to Hanikka ski tracks.

The route was in very good condition on 2nd of Feb., 2014 when these picture were taken. For more information on the route see pages of Saaristokauppa or pages of Skrinnari.

Check also other longer, maintained routes in Finland, the list and map has nice tracks all over Finland.

The starting point on Hanikka beach. People started their Sunday trip whether they were going to skating, skiing or ice fishing.

Hanikka beach start

Near Soukanniemi

The route goes past Amiraalinsatama harbour. On Sunday there was also a ski track by the skating track.

Route goes past Amiraalinsatama harbour

Nice Sunday morning

The route is about 5.5 km long and goes past beautiful archipelago views with nice old mansions and houses.

Enjoy archipelago views while skating

The condition of ice could not have been better.

Very good ice

The route goes between small islands.

Past tiny islands

Notes, tips and photographs of outdoor life in Finland

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