/ Estonia

Bogs in Lahemaa NP

With the beginning of May the weather got finally better in Tallinn and Estonia in general. For me and my friends that was sign to head out to nature and do some hikes. The biggest Estonian national park Lakemaa was on our radar for some time. Finally on one weekend I had a Couchsurfing guest and Jurajs's girlfriend Zuzka was over as well so we decided to go.

Bus connection from Tallinn

We didn't have car available so we had to use bus. It's a bit more complicated since there are more buses coming at different times and they leave from different places in the city but you can check that at the Tallinn public transportation app. We decided to go to stop further from the main attraction, Viru bog, to have nice day walk. If you come just to see the Viru bog than go to Ulliallika stop which is right next to it.

Once we got of the bus we had to find some forest trails since most of the buss tops in Estonia tend to be in the middle of nowhere on the road with no path to them. At least 90% of those we used outside the city were like that.

Of course cars shouldn't go to park :D

After a while, which was rather long, we finally found our way into forest. Strangely enough you need to have signs telling people not to come into the bog by car. I only guess it makes sense after we've seen people driving their cars all the way to beaches in Paldiski.

After good two hours of walking it was obvious that we got of the bus further than planned but it was nice nature and nice day, so what? Right?

One can find sand dunes even in bogs

When we thought we already must be at the Viru bog, there was reasonably sized sand dune smile at us from the forest. Sand dune. In a forest, where we were looking for swamps, bogs and lakes :D. Quite a surprise, what do you say? There was one special thing about the sand that pictures can't show. It was really warm, perfect place to lay down and chill while getting some tint from sun for those who like it.

Before we reached the swampy lakes nature made us happy by showing that the long winter is coming to it's end and spring is here. It was so lovely to see these tiny flowers after months of rainy and muddy weather.

Spring! Spring! Spring is here!

I bet you are all inpatient to sea the bog itself, so let's move on. Viru bog is located in south-west corner of the Lahemaa park and as mentioned can be accessed by bus to Ulliallika bus stop or by car parked near by the stop.

Very soon after leaving the road and parking you reach these narrow wooden pathways that are so typical for wetland everywhere. These paths made from wooden boards wind through the short pine forests and dozens of small lakes like a infinite snake.

First swamp lake

Sometimes it feels like you don't need them, but make no mistake. Even at places where visible water is far from you a step or two to the side of the path could get you sinking into the mud and peat. If you need to avoid visitors coming from opposite direction you better watch carefully where you step. Couple times we got our shoes wet by not noticing swampy moss next to the path.

Juraj in the bog forest

Bogs are naturally very wet areas full of tiny lakes. Water here has dark color somewhere between black and blue depending on the sky. Peat makes the water acid quite a bit. Thanks to that there is not much life in it, but also it keeps the water crystal clear.

Along the entire circle trail you can find lots of info signs explaining the history and natural phenomena connected with swamps and this place. Besides that we found couple very nice view platforms next to the lakes and if the weather would have been warmer one could even get tempted for a short swim.

Little lakes are everywhere

As you can probably tell even from the pictures the temperature wasn't exactly friendly for dipping ourselves into the cold water of Viru bog. Instead of going down into the water we continued towards the end of the trail where we discovered very nice view tower. Build from plain wood and accessible by wheelchair till about half of it's height. That's very nice touch from the designer. Of course you wouldn't be able to come with wheelchair the way we came. From the other direction which was closer to the parking lot, the pathway was wider and easy to use by baby-carriage or wheelchair.

Oh yes! View tower!

As the time of our planned bus was getting closer we climbed quickly the tower. View to all directions was very nice and quite varied. To the east we could observe all the tiny lakes with the wooden path zigzagging in between them as a ribbon from unwrapped present.

To the west the land was drier and without lakes. As far as we could see, there were short dwarf pines covering the entire flatland. Somewhere near the road the trees got higher and the land have risen a little above the bog. Thanks to that the water is staying here and when future visitors come, they will enjoy the beauty of these lakes.

Viru bog from above

After descending from the tower, it was time to head back towards the bus. The timing ended up working absolutely perfect since we waited near the bus stop for about 5 minutes. Exactly the time to take picture of the trip crew, right. Bus took us back to Tallinn in about an hour or so. Part of the crew fell asleep already in the bus. After all we walked all day, right.

For all readers interested in the places and trail we did, you can check out the map below. The beginning of the trip is not accurate as we got of the bus in the middle of forest without knowing exactly where we were but from point B further it's pretty accurate.

Map of the trip

It's very nice day trip and I hope you like will like it if you come. Let me know if you have questions or suggestions about what you miss in the posts at my FB profile. Until next have a great day ;).

Ondra Brem

Ondra Brem

Information technology student above everything enjoying traveling, photography and playing ultimate frisbee. Born and living in Czech Republic, but counting the Earth as home.

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