I had never visited the northeast part of Nuuksio national park before, but an invitation from Janne for a 2-day lake-hopping tour in the area came to the rescue. To top the experience, Xavier and Anita agreed to join us for the second day, with a packraft. Janne has covered this trip also in his new blog.
We started the trip on Friday evening after work by taking a bus with Janne to Saarijärvi. Once set up, we paddled across the lake, towards Sarkkinen, which we could reach with a short hike through the forest. Crossing this lake, we reached a narrow neck of land, about 10 meters wide, separating Sarkkinen from Suolikas.
Continuing on Suolikas, we paddled northwest, all the way to the end of the lake. We went ashore, left the packs on the campsite, and with wheels under Janne’s Graubner, and packraft on the shoulder, walked to Pyyslampi - to paddle around it, and to view the rock paintings found on the cliff rising from the pond on the northeast side of the lake.
Heading back towards Suolikas, we decided to explore two ponds nearby. Dragging and carrying the rafts, we reached the small Koppa-Suolikas pretty quickly, and paddled around it. Once back on the forest road, we walked a bit further, and took an aim towards even a smaller pond, called Poika-Suolikas. Hunting for the optimal path through the thickening forest, we eventually reached our destination, and paddled around the tiny pond, surrounded with a deceptive bog and an early harvest of cloudberries.
After reaching the road again, we decided to call it a day and headed back to Suolikas to take a swim and set up a camp for the night.
On the saturday morning we welcomed Xavier and Anita who had arrived later at night to the camp, and with breakfast discussed about the possible route(s) for the day. Taking down the camp, we first headed to Sammalkuoho, and then continued to Mustalampi, from which we then backtracked to Suolikas to continue further south. We went ashore on an island and saw traces of forest fire covering almost half of the island.
Next stop was Valkealampi (where water is apparently the clearest in the whole Nuuksio), where we stopped for a lunch and swim.
We then continued hiking to Pöksynhaara and took a sidetrack to visit Iso Majaslampi and Pieni Majaslampi. Returning to Pöksynhaara, we circled around it (saw some Red-throated Divers (Kaakkuri)), and continued to Pikku-Pöksynhaara and started hiking towards Orajärvi.
Reaching Orajärvi, and having found a nice camping spot, Xavier and Anita decided to call it the day (they would continue the next day), while me and Janne continued towards Karjakaivo, aiming to reach the main road for the bus back home. On the way we decided to visit also Meerlampi, while the sprinkle that had started earlier changed into downpour. Once around the pond, we deflated the rafts, packed up, and headed towards Nuuksiontie, the end of our journey.
Total distance covered was around 32 km, of which some 18 km of paddling (in 16 different lakes and ponds). Good match for packrafts and rubber canoes, and nice cross-section of the beautiful surroundings in Nuuksio national park.