If you are visiting Helsinki and southern Finland, you have plenty of opportunities to explore the nature as well. A few weeks back I never I would have believed we’d be getting such gorgeous winter weather here in the south. So on this sunny Sunday there was no way anyone could get me to a shopping mall when we have all these trecking paths and bonfire places only a few kilometres away at Sipoonkorpi National Park. The Storträsk pond is only about a 20 minute drive from Helsinki, in eastern Vantaa.

As you have probably already heard, Finland is often referred to as the land of thousands of lakes. But we also have a vast amount of unspoilt forests to roam and our national parks are great places to explore the Nordic nature.

There are altogether 39 national parks in Finland (we’ll be getting a 40th park for Finland’s 100th birthday in 2017) and nine of them are in southern Finland. Sipoonkorpi is probably the closest one to Helsinki, along with Nuuksio in Espoo. If you just want a quick half-day trip and a taste of the great outdoors, the Storträsk pond is a perfect opportunity to do just that.

I’ve been told it takes about an hour to walk around the pond along the duckboards. At the moment the pond is frozen over so we just walked right across. But it seemed like the perfect size for a little outing and light trecking. There’s a place for a fire on the opposite side of the pond so it’s a great place for a little camp fire and coffee if you’ve brought some. And the scenery was absolutely gorgeous in the winter! The sun was sneaking behind the trees and the crisp snow crunched under by boots.

Apparently the pond is a popular place for fishing and everyone else besides us was there to carve a hole in the ice and do some serious ice fishing. If you want to try that, make sure to get a permit first for a day fee of 15 euros.

The easiest access to the pond is if you have a car. You can just leave it at a parking lot on Tasakalliontie road in Vantaa. The path to the pond is right behind the information sign and it winds for about a kilometer in the forest before you get to the pond. For more information, you should check out the website of Nationalparks Finland. Here’s a direct link to some info on how to get to the southern part of Sipoonkorpi: http://www.nationalparks.fi/en/sipoonkorpinp/directionsandmaps.

Have fun exploring!