Known for its primeval forests, Pyhä-Häkki National Park turned 60 this year. The sun was shining on this joyous day so we decided to pay her a visit. We arrived there at around noon which was also when they happened to have a guided tour at the Park but we decided to go rogue. So we took on the Mastomäki Walk with the addition of seeing the Big Trees and having a nice cup of tea at the Kotajärvi Hut. We preferred being on our own.

The trail had beautiful woods all around and before the famous Trees we spotted a bunch of cotton grass growing on each side of the boardwalk. I’ve seen so many stunning pictures of them on Instagram over the course of the Summer so we took our time taking our own. They’re my favorite, you know.

Seeing the New Big Tree as well as the Old Big Tree was quite an experience. The latter is from the 1500’s and the “new” one from the 1600’s. They’re very impressive. And old. The trail itself was easy to hike and was only 3,2 kilometers long so it’s suited for visitors of all ages. Approaching the Kotajärvi hut we came across multiple groups of people. The extra two kilometers we decided to take proofed worth it since we got an even better look at all the cotton grass.

The shelter at Kotajärvi was like a banquet room. If we ever feel like having a party in the wild, that’s the place to go. Three big tables, a fireplace and a stove for cooking – the best ingredients for even a bigger feast! Not to mention the lakeside view and a well-kept campsite.

We had a nice chat about our past and future hikes with a group of people roasting sausages in the fire. We, naturally, were also carrying marshmallows. We were the last to leave so it was our job to make sure the fire quieted down nice and easy. Which turned out to be for naught since a new group arrived after a few minutes.

So we marched on, clockwise, and came about a beautiful marsh with boardwalks carrying us across. And the cotton grass! My goodness I love those little white pompoms. The rest of the way was fairly broad and wide with the exception of a little bit of woods right before stepping to the parking lot.

//Anne

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