- Top 5 short eco-trails
- Full day itineraries
- Long routes
- On a note
Estonia is a country that pays great attention to the development of ecological tourism. All main tourist routes in Estonia are monitored by RMK - the Estonian Forest Management Center and are marked accordingly. In total, 13 large recreation areas in different regions have been allocated in the country, where routes have been laid, places for tent camps have been equipped, forest huts and places for making fires have been built, more than 100 educational ecological trails have been organized. Under the auspices of RMK, there are 5 large national parks and more than 150 nature and landscape reserves.
Estonia is the northernmost part of the Baltic States, there are the most traces of the glacier: it ranks first in Europe in terms of the number of huge picturesque glacial boulders. There is an amazingly beautiful coastline cut by bays with limestone cliffs and an incredible number of small islands where birds nest, huge swamps, turbulent waterfalls and rocky gorges.
Top 5 short eco-trails
Walking along the eco-paths of Estonian national parks and reserves is a great way to get a lot of new impressions and relax. Short routes are suitable for families with children, long ones - for hardy lovers of outdoor activities.
- The "Beaver Trail" of the Samaa National Park starts from Tipu Village and the RMK Information Center. It passes through wetlands (and therefore does not work during flood periods: the wooden walkways are heated. Throughout it you can get acquainted with the results of the activities of local beavers: there are dams, ponds, gnawed trees, etc. About half of the trail - 660 m - completely equipped for travel with wheelchairs or in a wheelchair The length of the route is 1.8 km.
- Laari Forestry Trail near Tartu - a study trail through a pine forest tells about forestry: which trees are suitable for harvesting and which are not, that pines also have their own genetic fund that needs to be protected, about how, without harming nature, to cut down an old forest and plant a new one, how to distinguish an elite "plus" tree. There are 17 information sites on the trail in total. The length of the route is 3.7 km.
- The Oandu Cultural Heritage Trail in Lahemaa National Park tells how people have lived and used the forest for centuries. It starts from the center of RMK, next to which you can see old outbuildings: a wine cellar, a barn, a room for drying cones, etc. once were mowing. The length of the route is 3 km.
- The “Rebasey Landscape Trail” in Karula National Park starts from the village of Rebazeimiza and the observation deck, and then goes through the countryside, past farms that have been here since the 16th century and pastures. Here you can climb one of the highest hills in these places - it is as high as 109 meters, and survey the surroundings. On the way, you will also meet an old stone barn with a special bench used for corporal punishment. The length of the route is 7 km.
- Orjaku Study Trail on the coast of Hiiumaa - this bird trail runs along the shallow, reed-covered Käina Bay, which has several dozen other low-lying islands. Many waterfowl nest on them, and even more stop here during the seasons of migration, especially in autumn. The trail leads to one of these islets with a birdwatching tower. The length of the route is 2, 7 km.
Full day itineraries
The Käsmu Trail in Lahemaa National Park is a full-day route for lovers of walking along the sea. It starts at the town of Käsmu, where you can see the chapel near the cemetery, and then goes through thickets of black alder and birch along the coast of the Gulf of Finland. On the way you will meet huge glacial boulders with their own names ("Forest elder" and "Sea elder") and a small lake Käsmu. The length of the route is 15 km.
The Naissaar Nature Park Cultural Trail is a country trail that runs through the entire small island. It starts from the church and passes through the villages of Männiku and Lõuna, as well as the Sepa farm, the birthplace of the famous Estonian (and later German) optician, astronomer and inventor Bernhard Schmid. The length of the route is 12 km.
The Pühajärve Trail in Otepää Nature Park runs along the picturesque small lake Pühajärve, through an ancient oak forest, of which very few have survived in northern Europe. The main attraction of this route is the War Oak. This oak is about 400 years old and is one of the oldest oak trees in Estonia. The height of the tree is 20 meters, and the girth is more than six. The name is due to the fact that in 1841 the local peasants, tortured by their duties, revolted against the landowner. When the demonstration was suppressed, the ringleaders were severely punished near this oak tree. The length of the route is 14 km.
The Kellissaare - Hupassaare trail starts from the Kurgja farm, which houses the house-museum of the 19th century Estonian writer, publicist and politician Karl Robert Jakobson, and a restaurant serving national cuisine in the old barn. The route ends with the house-museum of Mart Saar, an Estonian composer of the 20th century. On the way, there are several sites for rest and making fires, so you can walk the route in a day, or you can spend the night on the road. There will be bathing spots, huge glacial boulders, forest river valleys and much more. The length of the route is 28 km.
Võzu-Nõmmeveski Trail in Lahemaa National Park, the trail leads to the Nõmmeveski and Jaovesi waterfalls. The waterfalls are located in a deep canyon, it is not high, but wide and impressive. Once there was a mill next to them, and then a small hydroelectric power station - its remains can be examined, now it is not working. In addition, the path will run through the smallest town in Estonia (in fact, it is a small village) - Võhma. True, the city is famous only for its meat processing plant, but there is where to eat and relax. The length of the route is 18 km.
Through the efforts of the RMK, several super-long trails have been laid in Estonia, which combine shorter 2-3 day routes into a system. Now there are two main trails: "Oandu - Aegviidu - Ikla", its length is 370 km, and "Peraküla - Aegviidu - Ehiyarve", its length is 820 km. You can go through them in several stages, or you can go at once - in any case, a hike through them involves obtaining a special passport. It is stamped at each stage passed, and the presence of such a passport gives discounts and benefits in places of residence. Such a passport can be purchased (in person or by ordering by e-mail) or received free of charge during promotions (for example, timed to coincide with the tourist's day).
In Estonia, the trans-European route E-9 ends, leading along the entire European coast, starting from Portugal. Its final (or starting) point is Narva. The length of the Estonian part of the route is 590 km.
On a note
In Estonia, as well as throughout the Baltic States, it is quite cool and damp in summer, and on the sea coast, even if it is a beach, it can get downright cold in the evening. This is the third country in Europe in terms of wetland area, so mosquitoes are abundant here. In addition to mosquitoes, you can find a dangerous tick - the Baltic countries are leading in cases of infection with encephalitis, so if you are going on a multi-day hike in the forest, it is best to get vaccinated, and in any case, take insect repellent with you.
In general, trekking in Estonia is one of the most comfortable: all routes are neatly marked, every 10-15 km there are resting places with clean toilets and equipped fireplaces, information posters in Estonian and English hang everywhere.