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.