On the 13th of December 2020, I visited Nuuksio National Park with my girlfriend Anna and a friend. Nuuksio is located in the municipality of Espoo, relatively close to the Finnish capital Helsinki. After starting my studies in Helsinki in Augusts 2020 and visiting Koli National Park in November, it was about time to explore one of the National Parks close to home. Read here about Nuuksio National Park in December. It was probably the first day that winter that people set foot on the ice in the park.
Nuuksio, although only 45 minutes away by car from Siltamäki, the neighbourhood in the north of Helsinki where I live, takes over 2 hours to get to by public transport. This is because we first had to go to the central station, from there take the train to Espoo and then again step on a bus to Nuuksio.
In the week prior to going to Nuuksio, the weather had been quite frosty. Because of this, (smaller) lakes and ponds completely froze over. Even in Nuuksio, all the lakes where ice covered. To my surprise, the first people were already ice skating. Because I was not yet familiar with the lakes in Nuuksio and I didn’t expect the ice would be thick enough, I unfortunately didn’t bring my ice skates. This was however not too much of a disappoinment, since we went there with the aim to hike.
Hiking in Nuuksio National Park in December
When we arrived in Nuuksio in the morning, we looked at the map to decide on a trail. Since we were not too familiar with the area, we decided to go with the blue trail, which is about 4 kilometers long. We started from Haukkalampi, which is one of the most common spots to park in case you come by car. The blue trail takes you through the beautiful forest of Nuuksio and along some of the lakes. A part of the trail is located at a slightly higher elevation. At this location, you have the opportunity to admire the Haukkalampi lake from above.
Because the temperature was below zero and had been for several days, the soil was frozen and a tiny, white dusting of frost could be seen on the gras and plants. The cool air felt fresh and crisp, which made the hike really refresing. While a snow cover makes everything more beautiful, the absense of a snow cover in the frozen forest had its own December beauty. Another plus of the cool weather is the fact that there were relatively few people in the park. Especially on the trail we barely met anyone.
Enjoying fire and the sound of singing ice over lunch
After the hike we sat down at one of the many camp-fire places. We chose to sit by one of the camp-fire places next to the Haukkalampi lake, probably one of the most common places in Nuuksio where people make fire and eat lunch. The view was excellent. We were on the other side of the lake compared to the viewing point during our walk. We could see the impressive rocky hill that we enjoyed the view from before.
Despite quite some other people, mainly families, being around at the other camp-fire places next to the lake, the surroundings were really peaceful. Suddenly, we heard the ice making mysterious, beautiful sounds, like it was singing. The sound was caused by people skating on the ice, but we could not see the skaters until a few moments later. In the video below you can see the skaters and hear some of these beautiful sounds from the ice, although the sound recordings of the camera don’t do justice to what it sounded like in real life.
All in all, it was a beautiful, calm day and the cold weather played a major role in this. However Finland’s national parks and specifically Nuuksio seem to attract less people in the winter, it is absolutely worth it to visit Nuuksio in December.