Our mission to explore all Espoo’s nature trails (luontopolut) continues! We headed to the South-West of Espoo last Sunday and explored a new trekking path in the forest Hannusmetsä. The path extends for about 2,4 km and is divided in a easier part – the one we walked – and a harder one. It’s round and smartly designed with some shortcuts, so that you can adapt if the kids grow tired. There’s no unique start, but we began from Hannusranta, which is very close to the upcoming metro station of Kaitaa.
The path is easy to walk, with not much elevation, except for a couple of points, and it’s definitely not stroller-friendly. R. (4 years old) managed with no problems, while E. (2 years old) got tired after about 1 km and I took him in the baby carrier. If you plan a picnic, I suggest to get close to Lake Hannusjärvi, it’s an amazing view to look at.
The forest is covered in blueberry bushes and the season has just started. A fun thing was meeting some locals who were going back home with a small bag of fresh blueberries to eat for breakfast. Isn’t that the best life? E. tried blueberries but wasn’t enthusiastic, he still needs to be “finnishized”. R., a veteran of Finnish marjat, couldn’t stop. We had to drag her away from the bushes to get to the end of the path!
We saw many ants nests, which are interesting to observe. Here some species of ants build their mound nest on a stack of ground and pine needles. The nests are huge compared to the ants and after R. asked, I realised they actually build the nests themselves by carrying a tremendous amount of pine needles. We also spotted two small frogs and held them to look closer. A sign explained the forest is populated also with flying squirrels, which we unfortunately didn’t spot – must be quite hard, especially on the move.
It was a great way to spend a Sunday morning. Finnish nature may seem “uniform” at first eye, but we found different plants and animals in every nature trail we walked. I am really glad we are discovering all these hidden pearls in Espoo. If you want a closer look at our trip, I made a short video for you to enjoy.