Despite its pompous (and misleading) name, this trail barely made us sweat, which is saying something since Heikki was a snowshoe virgin and it’s been about 10 years since my last go. So lower your expectations on hills and focus on the forest terrain. They’ve renewed the entire trail in the Summer of 2015 as they switched the rotation to counter-clockwise. It’s a bit monotonous during Winter, save for the heavy snow that’s gathered on tree tops. We’ll give a more detailed tour come Summer. This time around the Walk was good for a low heart rate hike and what better place to test new snowshoes. On Jyväskylä’s website they recommend you to book about two hours for this 2,3 km hike. I’m thinking that two hours includes the drive from Jyväskylä to Tikkakoski and a half meter deep snow! All joking aside, it doesn’t matter how long you spend on a trail.
The city has updated their website recently and it wasn’t as easy to find the Nature Walks as before but you can check them out here.
It’s about a half-hour drive away from Jyväskylä and you should type in the parking lot address (the start of Luonetjärventie) into your GPS. The local buses also take you fairly close. Since it’s the end of February, the parking lot was full of skiers. One could see them criss-cross in the woods, parallel to the Walk, and even crossing paths with us a few times. Each time we had to cross a ski trail, we made sure no one saw us. We were extra careful not to disturb it one bit. At the end the Walk would’ve merged with the ski trail but we decided to stay out of the way and basically walked in the gutter. So if someone did any damage on the trail, it wasn’t us! Just to be clear, the Nature Walk is completely separate from the ski trail even though they both start from the same parking lot (but from opposing ends). The best thing to do is locate the right information board and head into deep snow so you don’t ruin the ski trail.
All 14 information boards were also renewed last Summer. Some of them contain a lot of interesting information. For instance, during the Ice Age a part of a glacier was stuck in one place and slowly rotated, corroding the soil. In Summertime you could probably see it better with all the flora but even now you could tell that there’s a big hole under all that snow.
What proved to be most challenging, was finding where the Walk itself was. In Summertime, you see a distinct path or even boardwalks. This time we had trouble locating the yellow dots, since the other side of a tree it was painted on, was covered in snow. The solution was to occasionally look back.
Yet another Walk for our expanding list. We really need to come back here this Summer.