Exploring Lahemaa National Park

When I took a day off from working I would usually go on a long bike tour and explore the national park. There are a few small traditional Estonian villages and some fishing settlements at the coast – and many hidden places to discover which are believed to hold  spritual energy: Big or tangled trees, and boulders that lie scattered in fields or on the shore and look slightly out of place.
But a large area of the park is still uninhabited and untouched nature. Lush meadows, moist swamplands, a variegated coast line, but best of all: an energetic and beautiful forest full of mushrooms and berries.
And then there is the other side of the coin: Although the Soviet Union made Lahemaa a National Park in the early 70s they still used it as a military area. I found many ruins from Soviet times in the forest and along the coast, and even a former base for nuclear submarines. It was interesting to explore these abandonned structures, but at the same time a little uncomfortable. And I found it relieving to see that nature has already made good progress in reclaiming it’s rightful territory.



RMK Hiking Route:

I found this long distance hiking trail by mere chance – it is well off the beaten track, winding its way through the forest. Cycling a small part of it, inhaling the rich smell of the forest and feeling the sun flicker through the treetops and warm my skin was an experience I definitely will remember!

Long distance hiking trail

Altja, fishing town:

Here there are preserved some old traditional fishing buildings with thatched roofs, right on the beach. There is also a nice and signed walking trail along the coast and through the forest.

The Baltic Sea shore

Soviet submarine base:

Close to the small village of Virve there is an intersection with a closed road. Following it to the end there are the ruins of a huge quayside, on the way there, somewhat hidden in the forest, are many abandonned buildings, waiting to be discovered…

Soviet submarine base

Kayak tour along the shore:

Estonia has a beautiful shoreline in this spot that is very easy to explore by kayak. So one day I did just that. The only challenge: The water is so shallow that you often touch the ground, if you want to stay closer than 30 meters to shore, that is…

Kayak tour along the Baltic Sea Shoreline


And even more pictures:


One thought on “Exploring Lahemaa National Park”

  1. Wow, thanks so much. the beginning with you as a “seen” narrator was a nice cinematic touch, how the visuals changed to meet your text was well done. i enjoyed the closeups of the nature scenes….i will someday walk through that park !

    so i am writing as i view. this piece might be seen as a “video postcard”, a short letter of what you are experiencing….and with technology at your whim, you are able to bring us sounds, visuals, your words, your emotions “the sub base was ‘scary’, well, in a not in a bad way”, and we get to see the joy and wonder in your face……THANK YOU for such a lovely gift.

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