On the long Easter weekend we went to see Heikki’s family (without sacrificing the chance for hiking, naturally). We took on the 18 meter tall birdwatch tower of Puurijärvi-Isosuo National Park in Huittinen. You could fit 50 birdwatchers in there at once but this time around it was just us. That’s not to say it won’t get busy during Spring. The view revealed a shallow, nearly overgrown Puurijärvi lake (more like a marsh), which is even internationally a vital bird destination. We heard stories about busloads of tourists arriving at the campsite of Ala-Kauvitsajoki lake not knowing a lick of Finnish but a joined passion breaks all (even language) barriers and the more the merrier, as they say.
A little way before the tower there’s a balcony of some description that’s wheel chair accessible during Summer. The trail leading up to it was still partially frozen over, so you needed a steady step to get there but the surrounding forest was almost thawed. The marsh area becomes alive in Spring and even though it was still a few weeks until bird-watching season, it was already pretty damn loud out there. You could hear swansong from the parking lot and those weren’t the only ones making noise. We had binoculars so we caught a glimpse of various birds but photography was a bit challenging, because we only had one lens with us. Additionally, our knowledge of different species of birds is paper-thin so next time we’ll have a little study session before we go. And a birdwatcher’s guide! I need one.
The tower itself was about 400 meters from the balcony. They maintain the area by grazing and since it’s a traditional scenery, they have cattle here during Summertime. Our boots started to get a bit wet when approaching the tower but the trail was fairly easy. Climbing the tower was a piece of cake but coming down… well, let’s say as someone who’s terrified of heights, I needed to watch my step.
You don’t have to have the vastest knowledge of avian species to have a good time up there but they do provide informative plaques. They’ve seen some rare gems over the years so even as a rookie, you should keep your eyes open. Isosuo marsh also has its own tower.
The aforementioned Ala-Kauvitsanjoki lake campsite is located on the far edge of the Park. We enjoyed a few roasted sausages there. We even brought our own logs since on the Park’s website it was mentioned they were running short. If you plan to spend a few hours on a single campsite, this isn’t a bad idea. They fit nicely in the back of your car. There was also about a kilometer long Nature Walk that lead up to the campsite. Walks and trails are a small part of this Park since most of it is restricted, meaning you’re not allowed to go there during avian mating and resting season (Puujärvi/Korkeasuo area 1.2. – 30.11., Isosuo/Aronsuo/Kiettäreensuo/Ronkansuo 1.4. – 15.7.). It’s imperative you keep your dogs on a leash in this area, too. This National Park is an excellent daytime destination but you’re also allowed to pitch a tent near the campsite area.
The balcony is a bout 400 meters from the parking lot and the birdwatch tower about 800. The easiest way to find said parking lot is to enter Yttiläntie 981, 32800 Kokemäki into your GPS.
Have a wonderful Spring, dear reader! Now it begins, the birdsong and green views!