In addition to the Estate’s own nature trail there are numerous nature sites nearby where you can go for a hike. The clean, safe natural environment invites you to exercise and experience nature’s benefits for wellness.
Bicycles are available for rent in the summer and snowshoes in the winter, along with various games like Frisbee golf and pétanque.
Lake Hautajärvi and Mount Hautavuori rising behind it are fine local sites for nature lovers. The location was named after a depression in the earth at the southern end of the mountain – in Finnish “akonhauta” – a broad, round sink-hole left by the last ice age. Ancient Finns believed that such a sink-hole was the beginning of a rainbow.
In the spring Lake Hautajärvi is home to swans as well as common water birds like seagulls and ducks. Year after year, the same swan couple returns to the late in the spring and in the fall we are enchanted by their gosling. The lake is a nature preserve, with hunting prohibited.
Lake Hautajärvi is also home to a Canadian beaver community, with its abandoned nest and dam at the northern end of the nature trail. The current nest is also along the nature trail and is shown with a marker.
There are magnificent distant views from the top of Mount Hautavuori. On the other side of Mount Hautavuori there is a magnificent formation of boulders that makes you feel tiny in comparison. The formation has a number of caves and the mountain is covered with virgin forest.
Lake Lapinjärvi is among Central Finland’s best bird-watching lakes, including common pochards, tufted ducks, Slavonian grebes, Northern Shovelers, garganeys, etc. The lake is an important resting spot for migrating birds with a diverse population of water fowl. In the spring you can find jack snipes, and often Bahian Nighthawks in the summer. Spotted Crake can also be heard singing in the summertime. Lake Lapinjärvi is about 5 kilometres from the Taulu Estate.
The Siikajärvi nature trail offers exercise and relaxation for every season, with a tended cross-country skiing trail in the winter. The route passes by both virgin forest and the results of efficiently managed forests. There are two lean-tos for resting. The length of the trail to the turning point is 6.3 km, i.e. its full length is 12.6 km.
The trail starts at the Toukola community centre, 5 km from the Taulu Estate.
The Haapsuo-Syysniemi nature preserve (surface area 24 km²) in Leivonmäki is one of Central Finland’s most valued nature sites. The area has large areas of virgin swampland, diverse lake and river areas as well as beautiful ridges and forests.
The broad, ecologically significant entirety is made up of various smaller areas: the Syysniemi shared forest area in the north, the Haapasuo ombrotrophic raised bog in the south and groups of ridges several kilometres long. Haapasuo is an internationally significant bird and swamp-life preserve.
Haapasuo and Syysniemi is home to many species of forests and swamps. Treeless bogs are the territory of cranes and golden plover. Bright pine ridges hum with nightjars. The hollows of old trees are home to flying squirrels and many owls. The shy red-throated diver nest in small ponds and otters patrol the riverbanks.
Slowing and calming down, mindfulness. The ability of forests to increase people’s well-being and reduce stress has been well documented.
Experience the invigorating and calming effect of Finnish forests by rocking in the cradle of the forest.
Metsänkehto is a journey into quiet contemplation that begins with a moment together to prepare for the coming experience. Through conversation, we create a safe atmosphere and we go through how the Metsänkehto experience proceeds. We slow down with a mindfulness exercise through which we leave everyday things behind and prepare for quiet contemplation in the forest. We then go into the silence of the forest with our guide.
Participants make themselves comfortable in the hammocks provided for them in the forest and relax while watching the swaying tree tops above them and enjoying the sounds and smells of the forest.
The guide is nearby throughout. The time spent in the forest is according to individual experience: from five minutes to half an hour, after which we return to the meeting place. To finish, we gather together and there is a voluntary feedback ring chaired by the guide, where each person can share something of their experience.
According to research carried out by the Finnish Forest Research Institute (Metla), even relatively short periods spent in forest have an effect on a person’s body and mind. In addition to reducing blood pressure, 20 minutes spent daily in the forest increases feelings of vitality. It has been shown that just seeing forest through the window is enough to raise the spirits. “Just five minutes in the forest has an effect on energy levels,” says Kati Vähäsarja. The essential oils exuded by forests have been studied in Japan and they are thought to have beneficial effects. The same could be thought to be true in Finland. The scents and relaxing sounds of the forest reduce stress, as do seeing forest scenery and experiencing the tastes of the forest.
According to project manager Kati Vähäsarja from Metla, just entering a forest is enough to improve mental well-being.
“Just being there is enough.”