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Sights to See in Helsinki
Nuuksio National Park

With the possible exception of New York City's Central Park, and a few others, you can bet fairly safely that most major cities cannot offer a natural, forested park as a tourist attraction. Nuuksio National Park in Helsinki is another great exception to that fact. Full of astounding plant and animal life, it is just one more thing that makes Finland's capital exceptional.

Nuuksio National Park in Winter

Brimming with lakes and ponds tucked inside of thickets, Nukksio is a great look into Finland's ancient past. The country, after all, is made of up of thousands of islands that arose as the land mass broke up a geological era ago.

Nuuksio is one of the finer results of that upheaval.

The park is about 40km northwest of the city center. Located near several of Helsinki's suburbs, Espoo, Kirkkonummi and Vihti, the park is a wonderland of flora and fauna. There are Hollywood movie-like meadows and pastures. There are equally dramatic ravines, cliffs and trails that will keep the most avid nature buff blissfully active for days.

It is open year round. Dduring the summer one can go hiking or cycling. Canoing is a popular pastime, as well. In winter, skiing through the park is a common practice. You must realize that Finns strap on cross-country skis as readily as those in Southern California lace up roller skates.

Along the many trails and around the water areas you are as likely to see a wild lynx as a Siberian flying squirrel. If you happen to see one of the wild cats take a sip from a pond, just keep a safe distance. These shy creatures avoid contact with humans, but can be fierce and dangerous when cornered.

One of the larger ponds is Haukkalampi, situated in the eastern part of the park. There's a nature cabin and lots of brochures available there. Stop in and ask one of the friendly staff for information about all the things to see and do in the area.

Just in that area alone there is a 8km nature trail called Korpinkierros that makes for an outstanding walk. For another all-day excursion try the 4km-long Haukankierros that winds its way around the pond. There are four campsites that provide cooking facilities and toilets, as well.

In the northern section try Kattila, along the shores of another large pond called Kaitlampi.

On the shores of Lake Pitkäjärvi one can enjoy a 2.6km hiking trail in summer or join in the skiing in the winter. Here you can rent a canoe in summer or enjoy some mountain biking. There's a downhill skiing resort called Swing Hill nearby that is open during the winter. The facilities don't offer any ski equipment rental, however. You'll need to bring your own.

On the southern shore there's a cabin that offers something to eat and drink before you set off on a 5km hike along the nearby trail.


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Sights to See in Helsinki - Nuuksio National Park

Page Updated 4:44 PM Thursday 5/31/2012