Nature expeditions have become popular now that coronavirus-related restrictions mean that many places are closed and events are cancelled. Consequently, the car parks, break areas and campfire sites at the most popular outdoor recreation sites in Helsinki Region have become very busy. At the moment, the best outdoor destinations to visit are local green spaces, which do not require a car. The second-best alternatives include more secluded, less well-known recreation areas. Popular nature sites, break areas and campfire sites should be avoided, because they tend to gather crowds of more than ten people. The way to view expeditions at the moment is to consider the journey the destination rather than place where you are going.
Coffee in your flask, picnic ready to eat
At campfire sites, break areas and car parks, it is impossible to avoid close contact with others and the risk of viruses spreading increases. You should aim to avoid places that are likely to overcrowd. Choose picnic items that do not need to be cooked on an open fire or can be heated using your own camp stove. You can take a break anywhere, not only at the sites marked on a map as break areas. There are rocks, tree trunks and stumps on which to sit and enjoy your picnic. You may also want to bring a seat mat with you. During your excursion, you can make observations for the Nature League’s spring watch (Luonto-Liitto kevätseuranta).
Bugs can spread at the toilet facilities of very busy outdoor recreation areas. Take your own toilet paper and hand sanitiser with you. If you decide to avoid the toilets and go behind a bush, make sure you carefully hide anything you leave behind and take with you all non-biodegradable rubbish.
Local nature sites
One kilometre from your home and you are already on an excursion. Take with you the same picnic you would have taken anyway but stay in your local area. Allow your local green spaces to amaze you and enjoy the bright spring days with an open mind. Cities’ own websites provide information on outdoor areas, urban parks and nature trails. Have you already heard about the Soltorppi nature trail, Kasavuori nature trail or the Vantaankoski nature trail? You should also take advantage of the themed mobile guides when exploring your local nature sites.
You can kick start this year’s cycling season now, since the roads are already free of snow and ice. On a bike, destinations within a couple of kilometre radius are right at your doorstep. For example, Vantaa has put together a collection of cycling routes around the city.
Helsinki, Espoo and Vantaa city bike season started already on 23 March, so you should utilise the city bikes too for your local excursions. Don’t forget to wear cycling gloves!
Find new sites
For example, the Mustavuori area in Helsinki is well worth a visit. Lauttasaari’s seaside also offers spectacular nature experiences particularly now that migratory birds will gradually start arriving from the south. The Petikko nature and recreation area in Vantaa is a great place to explore.
If you are interested in more full-on activities, such as, trail running or longer hikes, then, for example, the Sipoonkorpi National Park provides a great destination and can be accessed via Hakunila sports park or by leaving your car in the Knuters car park in the southeastern corner of the area.
The Nuuksio area is not limited to the National Park; you can also enjoy the lake district in Helsinki City’s recreation areas such as Vaakkoi, Luukki and Salmi, which are located in the northern part of Nuuksio by Vihdintie road. To the south of the National Park, the lake district extends to the Kauhala area.
We published an article of Uuvi’s own sites suited to the current situation. You should also take a look at Uuvi’s other sites by exploring the site map on our website.