Nuuksio National Park

Korpinkierros Trail

Difficulty Rating : 1.6 / 10.0 (Class 1 - Extremely Straightforward)

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Korpinkierros, which means 'Raven's Tour', is a nature walk that usually begins at the Haukanpesä information center, which is located approximately one kilometre along the trail that leads north from Lake Mustalampi. I began the hike at the western corner of the lake however and clocked in 3.4 km for the loop, which should bring the actual total to about 5.5 km (which was still strangely almost 2 kilometres shorter than the official estimates). The trail is marked by yellow signs and, like most of those in Nuuksio, is so well-marked that it is practically impossible to lose one's way. There are oftentimes several markers that can be seen in the distance, which is a little excessive in my opinion and tends to detract from the wilderness experience.

A wood cabin lay just beyond the Lake Mustalampi junction, and the trail turned north-west for a short while on a section that was festooned with both yellow and blue trail markers. The yellow trail separated from the blue just shortly after, and the trail swung south and straight towards the Kolmikulmalampi Lake before curving a little in order to sidle its shore.

Nuuksio National Park trail markers

Despite the trail being quite wide, I kept an eye out for adders, which are also known as common European vipers (Vipera berus). These venomous snakes are extremely widespread, and as a result have a lot of folklore surrounding them wherever one goes in Europe. Everywhere except for Ireland that is. Legend has it that St. Patrick drove all of Ireland’s snakes into the sea, but Ireland has never really had any snakes to begin with, mainly because it is an island. Britain also happens to be an island, yet the adder happens to be Britain's only venomous snake. This is because the post-Ice Age land bridges that linked Europe to Britain 10,000 years ago lasted much longer than the land bridges between Britain and Ireland did, which basically gave animals from Europe, such as the European viper, more time to colonise Britain.

Red-banded polypores (Fomitopsis pinicola) were also quite common along the trail. This fungus infects trees through their broken bark and causes the host tree to rot. It grows on the sides of the tree as a parasite at first, and continues to do so long after the tree itself has died. The fungus has also traditionally been used as an anti-inflammatory. Its look-alike, tinder fungus (Fomes fomentarius), is also fairly interesting to bushcraft proponents as it has traditionally been the main ingredient of amadou, which is used primarily as tinder for lighting fires. Amadou was used for this purpose by ancient people, and was even found on the 5300-year-old remains of 'Ötzi the Iceman'!

A common European viper (Vipera berus); red-banded polypores (Fomitopsis pinicola)

The root-filled trail crossed sections of mud, where planks had been laid out to prevent further trail erosion. The trail passed another campsite as it rounded the western shore of the Holma-Saarijärvi lake, before continuing south-east towards the next lake, Poro-Kolmoislampi. The trail branched off just after, and I kept left as I continued to follow the ubiquitous yellow trail markers. Shortly after, approximately 2 kilometres in, I came upon a road of sorts that was large enough for cars. Cabins were then spotted on my right, and they turned out to be the beginning of the settlement known as Siikaniemi. If one chooses to exit the park from here, there is a bus stop that is located further down the trail to Siikaniemi, just before it reaches the northern shore of lake Siikajärvi.

I continued on the trail instead, before it veered left sharply and away from the cabins.

Stairstep moss (Hylocomium splendens)

Everyman's (person's) Rights

Despite the proximity to people's homes, exploring the vast forests and numerous lakes around Finland comes with very few restrictions. This is because of the traditional Finnish legal concept known as 'Everyman's Rights'. The term may lack epicenity, but it allows everyone, no matter their gender or nationality, to enjoy the Finnish countryside. This freedom does come with responsibilities however, as nature as well as other people and their property have to be respected. This also helps to ensure that Finland's beautiful yet fragile nature remains pristine.

The trail climbed up boulder-filled sections for a while, and I realised then that the only two locations where one could rock climb in Nuuksio were relatively close by. One of the locations lay on the north-east shore of the huge lake Kolmoislammit, that lay immediately to the north. The trail eventually veered left and followed the path of electrical cables and a road that made its way northward. The trail then passed a large junction with an information board, before ascending up a slope and to the tiny lake of Vähä Romlampi. I continued northwards from there, and before I knew it, the loop was done and I had arrived back at the Lake Mustalampi junction!

Route Playback

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Next : Nuuksio (Part 3): Haukankierros Trail