Winter in Estonia is a usually dark and cold time. Sun is rarely out and people tend to stay indoors. But not everyone! Getting out of town in winter can be a wonderful experience. Getting to know your neighborhood is important in any time of the year. Luckily, there are few national parks to explore. The biggest one of them – Lahemaa National Park, is just about 40 minutes drive from Tallinn and is easily done as a half day trip.
The best way to visit is by car, but you can also come by bus from Tallinn (line 151, 152, 152B), just make sure to check the timetable, as the buses don’t operate very often.
When you arrive at the parking lot, you can study the park plan and get all the necessary information before you start on your journey. The trail is 3,5 km long and is comprised of both forest and boardwalk trails.
It’s very easy to move around the Lahemaa National Park. All paths are wide – you can even bring your skis (or bike in summer). Immediately you will feel overwhelmed with how high the trees are! The air is very clean and clear. There was lots of snow when we visited. If you are lucky, you might spot some squirrels.
Blueberries – you will find lots of them in summer!
Every now and then you will come across information stands and signposts. This way you can learn a lot about the park flora and wildlife. It’s a great way to combine nice walk with learning activity for the young and old.
Boardwalk in Viru bog trail in Lahemaa
In order to make the experience more genuine, park authorities have built these convenient boardwalks. Now visitors can enjoy the bog without disturbing the wildlife. These wooden paths are ecological and supplement the park quite well. Beware, there are not many benches for rest, so bring a sledge if you are visiting with young children.
If you visit on a crisp and cold day, you might be lucky to see the trees covered with white powder. The view is incredible and photos can’t really show the whole beauty!
Viewing tower in Viru Bog trail in Lahemaa National Park
In the middle of the boardwalk you can climb the viewing tower and enjoy the scenery of the Viru bog, as well as the forest at the horizon. We were lucky to almost be there alone and have the bog all for ourselves. The view is gorgeous, especially when the weather is sunny. The tower is accessible for wheelchairs and baby trolleys.
Enjoy hiking? Have a look at Pühajärve hiking trail:
Estonia is more than just Tallinn. As much as our glorious capital has to offer, you will miss a lot if you don’t drive outside of the city. Estonian forests, lakes, meadows and seaside are well worth exploring. Luckily, we have so many awesome hiking trails – from easy, one hour walks to serious all day hiking routes with overnight possibilities.