Canoeing in Espoo – a day trip to the gate of Nuuksio national park

I made a day trip to lake Saarijärvi in Espoo at the first weekend of June by canoe. The aim was to paddle three lakes; Saarijärvi, Sarkkinen and Suolikas with my friend. Lakes Sarkkinen and Suolikas are inside Nuuksio national park and parts of lake Saarijärvi belong to Nuuksio np.

Lake Saarijärvi (there are tens, maybe hundreds of places called Saarijärvi in Finland) has very clear water and a sandy beach on its northern shore. Saarijärvi is popular diving place in southern Finland. One diver suddenly emerged with his harpoon (?) when we got our canoe off water after our trip. There are quite many cottages on the shores but the southern shore leading to the national park is quite peaceful. Lake Saarijärvi is small, only about 2 kilometers long and has an one big island.

You can launch your canoe to water by the public beach and then leave your car at the parking place across Vihdintie road. The local cottage owners are quite eager to watch the use and parking along their private road by the lake.

From lake Saarijärvi you have to carry your vessel to another lake Saarikas. The longer wider path (about 300 meters) was blocked by several fallen logs and the shorter path (about 200 meters?) goes across a little ridge. Both paths are pumpy with roots of trees on them so canoe carts are of no use here. Due to several reasons we decided not to drag our canoe to lake Saarikas and after that from lake Saarikas to lake Suolikas which transfer would have been shorter (about 30 meters?). Well that leaves room for future plans to visit a few of these 43 smaller lakes of Nuuksio national park. And yes, there were already those little friends, mosquitos waiting on the shore. Good mosquito summer is to be expected..

The weather was warm and sunny with only a small breeze from northwest. At the break I tried to paddle the canoe alone from rear with no weight in front. When the small gust of wind hit the front it turned quickly the canoe to the opposite direction and to the rocks. Fortunately I had my kayak paddle with me to get me back to the route. Again it was proven that with wrongly balanced weight on the canoe it is beyond steering.

The trip was shorter than planned but worth it.

Take off at the beach of lake Saarijärvi
Clear water attracts divers and swimmers
Moss on cliffs by the shore
Cliffs on the southern shore of lake Saarijärvi
Island of lake Saarijärvi
Persistence to grow
Another moss formation
Break at the transfer point
Geocache found nearby
Path leading to lake Sarkkinen - looks good at the start, gets trickier after next corner
Underwater logs and vegetation

Took some underwater video of the log. Weird sounds come from the paddle.


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