Winter hike at Nuuksio National Park with the Woodsbabe

On Saturday afternoon I had the pleasure of being accompanied by the Woodsbabe for a winter hike at Nuuksio National Park in southern Finland. “The Woodsbabe,” you ask? Yep. That’s the new moniker of the “artist formerly known as Woodswife”. :)

Having placed the Woodsboy in the safe care of a local relative, we drove out to the park and hit the trail. The Haukankierros trail, to be exact. This is an easy 4 km/2.5 mi loop trail which encircles Haukkalampi pond and provides some pretty impressive views thanks to the geological formations and varying forest types of the area. Most of the following pictures were taken by the Woodsbabe. Thank you, Woodsbabe! ;)

It has been unseasonably warm lately, and I don’t know if this stream has frozen over at all yet this winter.

The Woodsbabe running away with the map.

The wily and elusive Woodsmanicus Weekendus.

We weren’t quite sure what tore this tree apart.

More of nature’s ice sculptures.

The sun peeked out from time to time.

A steep drop-off close to the trail accompanied us on the last leg.

Evidence of the recent thaw and re-freeze: frozen water droplets.

Upon completing the loop trail, we struck out in a different direction down a short trail leading to the Haukanholma fireplace and open shelter on a cliff overlooking Haukkalampi pond. Here’s the nearby wood shed.

And the pond below.

The open fireplace was deserted, but I noticed smoke rising from the open cooking shelter nearby, so we headed that way. Expecting to find some other hikers there, we were surprised to find the place empty, yet a small fire and hot coals were still burning in the fireplace.

It was a good thing, too, because we were running low on time and were hungry to boot. I split up some wood to put on the small fire to create more coals so we could grill some sausages.

The ambient temperature was -4*C/25*F, i.e. not very cold, but a warm fire is always welcome in the winter. :)

In all, we hiked about 5 km/3 mi. A short distance, to be sure, but still a great chance to get some fresh winter air, see some beautiful scenery and spend a little time just the two of us.

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16 comments on “Winter hike at Nuuksio National Park with the Woodsbabe

  1. Chris Major says:

    Stunning photographs, thanks once again for sharing your adventures!

  2. OZme says:

    I have seen similar digging done and my guess is woodpecker.

    I was wondering what is the common practice on that kind of well organized cooking shelter. that type of fire place often have live fire or coals without anyone attending it. Considering that type of fire place is quite safe, would it be so that you should / can leave the fire not extinguished for next person?

    • The Woodsbabe suggested that it could have been woodpeckers. Thanks for the confirmation. :)

      Good question! I really don’t know for sure. It could very well be that it is common courtesy to leave a fire burning in those types of shelters as a convenience to the next person/group. Some other hikers arrived before we left, and they continued to use the fire, so we didn’t have to do anything with it. I’m not sure what I would have done otherwise! Leaving a fire burning is generally a no-no, of course. Maybe a Finn can answer this question for us!

  3. Nice trip report. It’s been unusually warm here in Germany the last two winters, too. Kind of makes me uneasy about future weather patterns.
    It’s always a good thing to make couple time. Good that Woodsbabe enjoys the woods, too! I’ve nicknamed my wife “Kitchenbabe”, since it’s so hard to get her out of there.
    Thanks for sharing!

    Hyar’s luck!
    Montana

    • We have also had unusually warm weather here. The snow you see in the pictures is just a fraction of what was there around Christmas.

      Couple time certainly is much appreciated. :) The Woodsbabe is a native Finn, so she is very much accustomed to the forests here, which is great for me!

      Vielen Dank für die Kommentare. ;)

  4. Beautiful place and a great way to spend a day

  5. There is something about a fire, even when not needed- especially in the winter.

  6. Ron says:

    Howdy neighbour!
    That looks just like the woods around here… Did you drag her off into them or did she volunteer? All joking aside, it is a good way to share some time together without offspring claiming all the attention. Too bad you don’t find cabins like that around here. Maybe a derelict windbreak, but that’s about it.
    By the way, you’re wearing your gaiters on the wrong legs. Zippers go on the outside and the leather patch at the ankles go on the inside. Just so you know…

  7. OutdoorEnvy says:

    Love the pics. Great little getaway. That’s great your wife will get out with you.

  8. Finnman says:

    I normally wait that fire is dead before I leave or someone else comes into fire which often happens in Nuuksio cause it’s very crowded national park (around 200 000 visitors per year).
    It’s quite safe to leave small fire there especially in winter I think and could be very ankward for next visitor if you have poured a lot of water into fireplace before leaving.

    But I’m not sure if it’s habit to leave fire there maybe more like few glowing embers..

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