The Laipanmaa Nature Path is a 3,5 kilometre ring trail in the Laippa industrial forest area, in between Rajala's hut and lake Ruokojärvi. The route has beautiful forest views for example for an afternoon walk with a nice packed lunch break at the lean-to.
Length: approximately 3 kilometres
Duration: approximately 1,5 hours
Trail markings: the trail is marked with blue-headed marking poles like all Laipanmaa trails, and partly also with blue fabric bands and paint strokes.
Suitability: suitable also for beginner hikers (be careful of the steep rise with many rootstocks at the beginning of the second half of the trail.)
Laipanmaa Nature Path trail description
Like all the other trails at Laipanmaa, the Nature Path also goes trough maintained industrial forest areas. The starting point is Rajala’s Hut, which has parking space and also serves as the starting point for other trails like the the Elamo trail. You can go round the Nature Path clockwise too, but this description talks you through the trail counterclockwise, meaning you start by going back a bit on the dirt road before stepping into the forest at the blue-headed marking stick.
History and varying views
The trail runs through rises and drops and early on you can stop at the Vehmaa cabin and learn about the life in Laipanmaa in the old days. There are 12 informational posts about forestry and Laipanmaa history and nature along the path, which makes the trail educational as well. The path goes through industrial forest areas of all ages, which itself makes the path interesting.
Rest a bit after a steeper rise
A bit after halfway through the ring trail you can stop at the lean-to and camp fire place. After the lean-to you’ll tahe the duckboards to the waterfront of lake Ruokojärvi. The shore is marshy and you can see plants like cloudberries, cranberries or tussoc cottongrasses there. The forests of Laipanmaa are full of usual Finnish flora, but host also some more rare species like lesser butterfly-orchids.
From Ruokojärvi you’ll head back to Rajala’s Hut. There’s a steep rise just after starting the way back – the most difficult bit of this trail. Just be careful, and even kids can manage it. After the rise you’ll arrive to an older forest area, covered in moss, twigs and grasses. Finally you’ll reach a clearing from where the parking lot at Rajala’s Hut is very quickly reached.
Suitability and gear
The trail can be categorized as demanding but only due to one steep and rootstock-covered rise after leavin Ruokojärvi. If you are careful there, the trail is suitable for all levels of hikers and also children, as the terrain is mostly normal forest path and at parts even wide forest road. You can also turn back from the lean-to and skip the rise altogether.
Light footwear is enough, but during rainy or wet weather waterproof shoes are recommended. The grasses and leaves leaning over the paths easily get your shoes and your trouser legs wet. Areas with lots of rock and rootstocks may be slippery when wet – be especially careful in rises and descents with rocks or rootstocks.
Lean-to’s and fire places
There is a lean-to and fire place on the Nature Path. There is also a latrine close to the lean-to. Ruokojärvi lean-to is not located directly on the waterfront: you need to continue on the duckboards a bit and you’ll find the lean-to on a small hill close to the trail. The lean-to is about at the halfway mark of the trail. There is no well in Laipanmaa so remember to bring enough drinking water with you.
You can also stay the night at the lean-to. If you would like to camp in a tent, please do so in the near of the lean-to to protect the terrain from wear and tear.