Hiking in Valkmusa National Park, Finland

June 28, 2017

Valkmusa is a fairly unknown national park located in Southern Finland. It might not be the largest or the most impressive one, but being inaccessible by public transportation and not having a very central location you're pretty much guaranteed to have the national park completely for yourself. Even on the nicest summer days you're not likely cross paths with more than couple other hikers and we all know that there's nothing better than exploring places with no one else around.


Having grown up in these parts of Finland I've visited this national park quite few times - and thus my opinion about it might be a bit biased - but I find it stunning and never seem to get enough of it. Whereas I find wetlands to be quite common in Finland, you don't often get a chance to go and explore them with dry feet. There might be only few paths in this bog and you can barely call the circular trail a hike but what really stands out for me is the landscape. 


The landscape changes quite a lot depending on the time of the year; summer is a great time to visit to see everything in bloom but nothing beats the colors of autumn when the whole bog turns into deep shades of red and yellow. During autumn the forest bits of the national park are filled with blueberries and mushrooms and you can often spot people picking cloudberries in the bog. In Finland the everyman's right gives you the freedom to collect pick berries, mushrooms and other products in the wild so go ahead and help yourself.



Navigating in Valkmusa National Park is easy. There are only two trails, a circular trail of Western Oasis (marked as Läntinen Keidas in most of the signs) and a one-way path to Moronvuori that starts approximately halfway through the circular trail of Western Oasis. No matter which way you'll choose to walk the circular path, you're going to walk through some pine forests that will take you to the edge of the bog and then do a loop around it before heading back to the forest. Most of the circular path has been duckboarded and it's thus almost impossible to get lost. The circular trail is around 2.5km long, has no ascents and even with multiple stops to take pictures and visiting the observation tower it won't take longer than an hour to cover.

 

Tips for visiting Valkmusa National Park

  • The best time of the year to visit Valkmusa is during autumn when the autumn foliage is at its best and you'll be able to find various fungus and berries in the park
  • Valkmusa is a wetland area and you should thus take caution if you choose to wander away from the duckboards. You can sink into the bog and in the very worst case won't be able to get out of there without help
  • The path to Moronvuori doesn't have duckboards and is often fairly muddy so take proper shoes with you if you're looking to explore the national park beyond the nature trail of Western Oasis
  • There are toilets available in the parking lot and Moronvuori but keep in my that these are latrines. No shops or other services are available in the national park

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