Autumn colors this year

Hiking in Finland
Jouni Laaksonen 28.10.2019

During September and October I hiked a lot, and saw great yellow, red and orange autumn colors.

First we hiked for a week in Vätsäri Wilderness Area with two of my friends. We started 7th September, and there was no ruska (autumn colors) yet. This was as predicted, for normally the colors are at their best around 10th or 12th September that far north (see more about autumn colors here and here). During that week it was fascinating to note how more and more of the mountain birches turned from green to yellow, some also to orange. And bog bilberries changed from green to purple, alpine bearberries to deep red, and bilberry to bright red.

Hiking in Finland

Hiking in Finland

Then I spent two weeks home in Kuhmo. Again I got to see how ruska started. Driving a car in Finland is like driving in a green tunnel, except in autumn it’s sometimes a yellow tunnel. 🙂

Hiking in Finland

Then I headed back to Lapland. In the beginning of October the height of ruska was over in Tuntsa Wilderness Area and Urho Kekkonen National Park, for most of the yellow birch leaves had fallen. However, some aspens were shiny red, and the different shades of red and purple in the shrub layer were abundant and great.

Also I visited the smallish, but magically cute waterfall at Kullaoja, and hiked in Martimoaapa Mire Protection Area and Syöte National Park, and some other trails.


In Syöte NP I walked for the first time to Rytivaara crown tenant farm. I love history along trails (see also here, here and here), and there’s plenty of that along Rytivaara trail. I loved how the information boards along the trail told a story of how the first inhabitant of this croft might have been thinking when he was looking for a place of his own. Imagine large uninhabited, roadless spruce forests, dozens of kilometers to every direction. How he thought of getting hay from appropriate bogs to his domestic-animals-to-be, about hunting and fishing grounds, creating small fields by slash and burn technique and so on. After the very interesting path the croft was just as wonderfully rustic and the atmosphere as old as the tale in the info boards had led me to think. Good work, whoever wrote those information boards!

Hiking in Finland

Hiking in Finland

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Next post will be about some more history along hiking trails.

6 thoughts on “Autumn colors this year

  1. Beautiful hike! Although I have spent some time in Scandinavia, I have not been to Finland. The hiking looks amazing!


  2. I hadn’t realised you lived in Kuhmo!
    Last year when cycling the Winter War route, in a state of exhaustion I camped in the grounds of your Sports Centre!! Then the second night was spent in a fabulous little campsite by the Lake! The hosts were lovely people.
    Beautiful place to live….


    1. Yep, here I live. 🙂 The Sports Centre camping facility should be temporary. I mean, there used to be a nice camping ground near there, but that site is in a state of change. Nice that you found the site by the lake! And yes, we like it here, it’s tranquil and forests and lakes are near. I bet you live in a nice place, too. 🙂


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