When talking about Hossa National Park, the first vision is it’s endless eskers, rugged paths, clearest ponds and stillness. Yes – stillness and mindfullness are a new global trend, and there is no better place to enjoy these kinds of things than Hossa National Park. Suomussalmi, where Hossa is located, is actually my childhood home town and I know what I’m talking about, cause I’ve been exploring these landscapes countless of times. That’s why I wanted to reveal a few of my favorite must do’s, while you are visiting the 40th National Park of Finland for the next time.
Paddle through Finland’s largest canyon lake Julma-Ölkky
3 kilometers long and 50 meters deep canyon lake with it’s high reaching rocky walls is, in my opinion, something you will have to experience with a boat or a canoe. But don’t you worry if paddling isn’t your cup of tea. You can always enjoy the views by foot and cross the canyon over from it’s narrowest point by a suspension bridge. The best time to visit Julma-Ölkky is in the early morning hours just before the sunrise, or at the summer time during the nightless night. Then you can be almost sure to experience the magical still atmosphere just by yourself.
Breath in the stillness
Imagine yourself sitting by the calm lake witnessing, how the fog is rolling in and covering the whole landscape with its white mantle. Or maybe you could find a perfect spot where to hang your hammock and just lay still listening to the sounds of nature, and hail in the quiet whispers from the surrounding woods. Instructed mindfulness moments and yoga lessons are of course available too, but if you decide to enjoy a healing forest bath by yourself, I think the most important thing is just to be still and breath in peace. This is the place where you don’t have to rush and where time looses its meaning.
Meet the locals
Brown bears, mooses, wolfs and Siberian jays. Hossa is home to many wild animal species. While you are very unlikely to meet a brown bear on the park’s surroundings, you are almost sure to encounter one on an organized bear safari. Santa’s little helpers, reindeers, can be seen all over the National Park and curious Siberian jays will escort hikers through the wilderness.
Taste the wilderness
Blueberry is one of my favorite berries growing on Hossa’s soil. And they are free for you to pick! Can you envision how lucky us Finns are – superfood can be found straight from your nearest forest. Golden cloudberries grow at moist swamps, so be sure to bring waterproof boots with you if you are hoping to find them. Lingonberry is more bitter than other wild berries and it’s usually a side dish to other food, like spinach crepes. In Suomussalmi they actually organize World Championships every fall for lingonberry picking, so you can imagine how much berries are around there. I really don’t want to brag, but my father has been crowned as World Champion of lingonberry picking for eight times now! Talking about the genes – hey?
Explore the clearest ponds you can imagine
Can you imagine that there are over a hundred of lakes and ponds in Hossa National Park? Many of the clearest ones were formed by the Ice Age. You can easily witness fishes swimming in the clear waters while you are just standing on the shore. If you want to spend a night outdoors, I suggest you to find your way to narrow Muikkupuro Stream. Its lean-to is said to be situated on one of the most beautiful camping grounds in whole country.
As you can see, Hossa is the perfect place to spend a week or two. I can guarantee that after your visit your mind will be relaxed and your heart will be full of joy. Hossa’s wilderness will charge your batteries like nothing else before.
If you would like to read more details about Hossa National Park, like how to get there and where to stay at, you can find my article from Go Finland’s blog.
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