Returning to our weekend adventure in Seitseminen National Park a few weeks back.
If you missed the first part, you can check it out over HERE!
Now, once again, there’s not a ton of pictures from the day, we were kind of in a hurry, and well, there’s not much to take pictures of in the middle of the woods. So the camera spent most of the day in its dry bag. Some of the pictures are taken with a phone. If you wish, you can check out the trail map of the park linked HERE and maybe keep tabs on whereabouts we are along the story. The light blue trail is what we chose.
There will come a part 3 of this, where we go through together what we learned from this adventure!
Day 2 – Sunday
Early sunday morning. Clear sky, dead calm lake, birds singing here and there. A quiet campsite in the middle of a National Park. There we were, camped up after our yesterdays 12 kilometer hike in almost constant rainfall. I don’t remember whether I woke up to my phone’s alarm or to the pain caused to my backside by a rock under the tent. Either way the awakening wasn’t too bad, birds were singing and Noble and his wife were already up doing stuff outside by the sounds of it. And it was cold as balls!
I’m pretty sure the temperature was around 2 or 3 degrees celsius at 0700 hours, and didn’t really encourage me to get out of the comfort of my sleeping bag. But I had to, since we needed to get to hiking if we wanted to make it through our trail of choice, before the forecasted thunderstorm would arrive in the afternoon, and drench us all over again. None of us wanted that. So we boiled some water with the trangia and had a sturdy breakfast before we packed up our tents and rucks and headed out to conquer the trail ahead of us around 0820 hours. We left the campsite at Liesjärvi behind and headed southwest along the trail.
We headed into the woods and onto the root infested tracks, which soon changed up to more slimey old rotten duckboards once we came next to a small and swampy river. We walked along the river for a while before the trail lead us to a swampy pond in the middle of the woods. The pond (Lieslammi on the map) was very oblong and quite narrow.
It was very peaceful to walk along the duckboards and the trails. The surrounding undergrowth consisted mainly out of Rhododendron tomentosum commonly known as marsh Labrador tea, northern Labrador tea or wild rosemary. There was some blueberries ripening up too, as autumn is getting closer and closer. There’s really something very primal to the smell of the marsh tea and it really felt good to be out in the nature after all this time spent in the city.
Right after Lieslammi we came next to another pond, much smaller than the previous one. Sun was shining and warming up the air after the clear and a cold night, and the walking had already warmed us up again. The low hanging morning sun’s rays were sifted through the evergreen treetops on to the pond, where a single swan swam in quiet solitude, as we quietly walked the duckboards and passed the pond.
All the ponds were connected with small river sections and the river continued from the last pond too, heading into the darker spruce forest. Right after getting into the wood from the pond the trail led us to an old watermill, which was a very peculiar thing to be there, but was something very mystical and beautiful at the same time, being covered in moss here and there.
Into the dark woods we went and once again got alternatingly beware our ankles on the root infested tracks and to skate on the slimey duckboards. Soon we crossed a bridge crossing the small river flowing through the woods and in no time, we were at the Jokiristi campsite for a little break. We had covered about 3 kilometers now and our minds were high. We had had a good pace and we intended to keep it that way. All of us ditched our jackets and enjoyed the rest of the hike in lighter clothing.
Our next stop would be at Multiharju, about 3 kilometers away which was probably the most annoying part of the trail for the day, in my opinion at least. Mostly bland spruce forest and the trail was filled with rocks, roots, wet spots, fallen trees on the trail and pretty much “decayed out of existence” level of duckboards.
But finally we made it to Multiharju, a conserved primeval forest area of the park since 1910, where the oldest trees are around 400 years old. There’s also a nature trail going around the ridge, which was, pretty bad to be honest. But maybe it’s intended for a bit younger audience.
We took a small break and replenished some used energy with more muesli bars, nuts and candy. And of course, not forgetting our brave adventure dog, we kept him well fed and hydrated throughout the day, which surprisingly enough started really warming up and the temperature was getting closer to 18 degrees celsius. We decided we would have our lunch break at the Koverolampi campsite only 2 kilometers away, and the short hike there was very nice and the track was in great shape.
Before getting to Koverolampi the trail goes through an old farm in Kovero which serves as a sort of tradition museum of the Finnish agricultural life in the early 1900’s. The farm itself has been founded in 1850 and later restored to match it’s looks in the 1930’s and is open in summertime for visiting.
We made it to the campsite around noon and the break was well needed. My ruck’s shoulder straps had really started to dig into my neck and we were all hungry. Taking the ruck off my back was a relief. So, we set the Trangia up and and boiled water for our field meals. Sun was still shining and the break was really nice, not to mention how good it felt to eat something warm. We also checked out our status on drinking water and evened it out some so we all could make it through our last big stretch well hydrated.
All the kilometers we had already hiked in the last 24 hours started really feeling in my body as we headed out for the last 7,5 kilometer stretch of trail towards our starting point, the Seitseminen Nature Centre. Luckily the strain I felt wasn’t in my ankles or knees nor in my back, but on my hips, so I knew the rucksacks hip belt had really done it’s job and taken the strain off my back. And the fact that my ankles and knees were holding up was a really good sign.
The trail started slowly ascending along a ridgeline as the vegetation transformed to a more pine dominated scattered forest.
Undergrowth turned to mostly moss and lingonberry and the trail wasn’t as nearly as filled with tree roots as anything we walked on previously. It was really enjoyable to walk there, sun shining and it wasn’t even looking like it’s going to rain. We finally reached the top of the ridgeline after a steeper climb in the trail. We took a short break to catch our breath before heading down the ridge. And boy was it a steep and a careful descend as the trail headed down the steepest side of the ridge and our feet were getting tired of all the hiking.
But we made it and got onto some more duckboards crossing a side of a vast mire opening wide on our left. And there we saw the dark clouds mustering in the horizon, dark grey clouds. For sure filled with plenty of rain, but would it be packing thunder as well? None of us wanted either. So we pushed on and entered the spruce woods once again and soon the trail hit a dirt road. Another short break, hydrating eating some motivational chocolate and checking if the forecast had changed. Nope, the thunderstorm was still coming, so we had to hit the trail again on the other side of the dirt road.
The last few kilometers were mostly more of the same bland spruce forest as the most of the park is and once again, the roots. It feels stupid to mention the roots all the time, but dear god they were real and all over the place and my soles really felt them. Right before the Nature centre the trail had a few little mire crossings on duckboards, before joining up with the nature trail near it. That’s when it started to drizzle lightly from the sky, but never ended up raining in full, before we arrived at the Nature Center’s parking lot.
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It felt so good to finally lose the ruck off my back after finishing a pretty decent hike in very diverse weather conditions. We got us some coffee and soda from the Nature Center’s cafe and enjoyed them outside while letting the feeling of victory sink in. I have to admit, It felt so good. Our gps tracking also said our days total travel distance was 18 kilometers, which was more than the 15 kilometers we approximated from the map. All in all, 18 kilometers took us 6 hours and 47 minutes including all the breaks on the way that day.
We hopped into the car and headed back to the city. And only 10 minutes after leaving the park, the promised rainfall started. No thunder at the time, but lots of rain. And I smiled at the rainfall, since we were inside the car and not out in the pouring rain in the woods, like we were yesterday. We had beaten the rain, ourselves and conquered the trail. We were winners!
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