Escape the city with a hike in the woods on one of RMK’s many trails.
Hiking in Estonia is beautiful any time of year, but it’s particularly nice in spring. The days are longer, the forest is starting to come back to life, and best of all, the sun is shining --well, at least some of the time.
RMK or the State Forest Management Centre maintains, grows, and manages about 40% of Estonian forests. That’s quite a lot if you think that approximately half of the country is covered with forest. Within these forests are national parks, nature reserves, and hundreds of kilometres of hiking trails to be discovered.
Even within an hour’s drive of Tallinn, there are plenty of trails to explore. There is something for every skill level and distance. Põhja-Kõrvamaa Nature Reserve, for example is located about 50 km east of Tallinn. In addition to the many hiking trails, the longest of which spans 36 km, you can also get around by bicycle. Bikes can be rented from the Kõrvamaa hiking centre.
Located one hour east of Tallinn, Lahemaa is the largest national park in Estonia. The visitor centre is located in Palmse, where you will also see an impressive restored manor. One of the most popular destinations is Viru bog nature trail, as it is very conveniently located just off the road, making it not only easy to access, but also easy to find. RMK parks and trails are very well marked. Viru bog, or raba as it’s known in Estonian, covers about 1.4 km, part of which is covered in boardwalk to a tower where you can climb to the top and look out over the bogs.
Kakerdaja nature trail is another popular destination, though a little bit further from Tallinn (60 km southeast of the city). The trail takes you through from Noku campsite through Kakerdaja bog to Kalajärve Lake. 3.3 km of the trail are covered in boardwalk.
Particularly fun are the trails that run along the cliffs at Rannamõisa Landscape Protection Area / Tabasalu Nature Park (15 km west of Tallinn). The trail starts along the top of the cliff and then goes down a set of stone stairs to the foot of the cliff, returning to the start of the trail. Here you will certainly find stunning views of the seaside, as well as different campfire spots.
To plan your trip, RMK has created a very easy-to-use website: https://loodusegakoos.ee/where-to-go/.
TEXT KRISTINA LUPP, PHOTOS ANDREI CHERTKOV, KRISTINA LUPP