There are no proper instructions on how to get to the Äijänniemi (Dude Peninsula) lean-to but experience taught us not to take the little trail along the lakeside.
There’s a wide old cart path that goes through the woods and you’d get to park much closer. The peninsula itself turned out to be very popular. The lean-to is maintained by Metsähallitus and they provide lumber to the location. This time around there was plenty but it depends on how much traffic it gets.
We arrived on location half an hour later than we planned but we didn’t miss the sunset or the light and color show that followed.
We weren’t alone, thanks to the fellow keeping the fire going. His family had already gone to bed in the boat anchored at the dock – a boat that apparently was too small to accommodate the whole family, so he slept in the lean-to as well. We set up our little bedtime apparatus: hammocks hanging from the ceiling with sleeping pads inside them. They rested against the floor, though but this way the insects wouldn’t bother us. Möykky still doesn’t understand the concept of a bug net – he always tries to go through. But he quickly calmed down and dozed off against me.
I would’ve slept too, but right before I did, another boat came along. A bunch of guys came out and joined the dad at the fire. They cooked and roasted stuff and played extremely loud music until 2 AM, I think. I’ll tell you, I wasn’t a fan. But they left eventually. I suppose you could think of it as another experience. I always thought I was loud but the idea of blasting my favorite music in the middle of the forest had never even crossed my mind. Then again, listening to Yle Puhe does serve as a sleep-aid.
In the following morning we took a look around and located the aforementioned cart path a little way behind the lean-to. Eventually we came to a parking lot which was more like a larger space for cars than an actual…well you get the idea. A more precise Googling revealed that this would be the place to bring the car next time around. So after breakfast, we drove off. The closest to instructions we could find was in here (Minna of Retkipaikka visited the nearby Palstonvuori and its caverns).
The rocks along the lake were slippery after the rain but the landscape was beautiful even on the next day. The view to the lake was amazing and the location has a sense of discovery to it: Geo-hideouts and large boulders all over the scenery. In addition to a cooking shelter, there’s a campfire site in front of the lean-to and another one near the shore. I can see us revisiting this place during Winter.
So if you plan to go to Äijänniemi by car or on foot, put Murtolahdentie 311 (41630 Jyväskylä) into Google maps and take a right from the last intersection. If you turn left, you’ll come across a sign that says “Driving onto property allowed”, so don’t go there. So turn right, drive right to the end of the road, park your car and you’ll see the path going into the woods. The address of the lean-to can be found here. (If you Google Äijänniemi, it takes you somewhere completely different but by the looks of it on the map, it could be kind of nice).
And should you visit this lovely destination, don’t blast music until two o’clock in the morning, okay? It’s a pretty huge violation of the lean-to etiquette.