Lahemaa National Park
Lahemaa National Park is about 50km east of Tallinn and is a place to find some nice forests, seaside, swamps and bogs. One of the most widely recommended places to go there is Viru raba (Viru bog), which has a 5-km foot track and watch tower.
Many forests, swamps, bogs and beaches.
Flora and fauna
The park is large and has many interesting places to go to. Therefore, it is hard to give only one set of directions for getting there.
Drive from Tallinn towards Narva via Peterburi road. About 50km from Tallinn, there is a sign for Loksa (left). You may want to turn there, as after a few hundred metres via this smaller road towards Loksa (direction north), the starting point to Viru bog will be on your right. Or you may want to drive to Loksa and further on to the seaside.
It is a good idea to buy a map from any petrol station in Tallinn before you go.
It is also popular to take a bike tour at the park: 1-day 35-65 km or 2-3 days with easy access from Tallinn. City Bike (bicycle rental and tours) organises daily tours and also offers self-guided packages to the park.
There are no entry fees, all the trails are free to hike.
Just remember to take nothing but photos and memories and leave nothing but footprints.
Viru raba (Viru bog) has 5km foot track and watching tower.
You can also start and finish in same location if you go to tower and back or take a round trip back to start around the bog.
There are good maps and information tables at the track.
The track over the bog is made of wood; generally, no special footwear is necessary. Sometimes there may be more water in the bog, and at those times, waterproof hiking boots are recommended.
There are several marked trails in the park.
- Sagadi Manor. There is a nice restaurant specialized in game dishes at the manor. The complex of Sagadi manor is located on the north coast of Estonia in the middle of the park. The history of the manor goes back to more than 500 years and now Sagadi has become a well-known centre of nature education, culture and tourism.
You can put up tents free of charge in official "RMK" camping sites. Also there is nothing wrong with camping outside the special site, but remember not to have any fires in places that are not meant for making a fire. Putting up a tent on private land is not allowed- you should ask permission from the owner.
On a warm summer night you may want to experience the feeling of sleeping in the watching tower in Viru Bog. The tower has a roof, so there are no worries about the rain. Sometimes there may be mosquitoes here that carry no disease but are just annoying. Sunsets and sunrises in the bog are unforgettable!
There is no settlement in the bog; bring your own water and food.
In there forest there is a great possibility of catching a tick that can carry a disease (Tick-Borne Encephalitis or ehrlichia or borreliosis). Therefore a sufficient repellent is highly suggested. Also it is recommended to wear long, light clothes and examine your body in the evening to find any ticks.
The waterholes in bog may be tricky to get out of, and even dangerous, so better not step off the track!