"A bog experience......." Tallinn County by leics

Tallinn County Travel Guide: 974 reviews and 1,819 photos

I didn't quite know where to write about my bog-walk. Neither 'Viru Bog' nor ' Lahemaa National Park'exist in the VT database. So if this page is in the wrong place, and you know a better one, feel free to let me know!

Lahemaa National Park is lovely......bogs and forests and old fishing villages. I only spent a short time exploring it, as part of a day-tour with Estadventures, but Ithink it would be a very interesting place to spend a few days.

There are lots of walking and cycling trails: it seems to be a very popular place for Estonians to have 'summer houses', or to spend their weekends.

There are, apparently, bear, elk and lynx is the area though you'd have to be very lucky to see them. There are certainly plenty of birds though......ideal 'twitching' country.....and a profusion of plants and flowers when I visited in July.

It was fascinating to explore the very specific vegetation which grows in bogland. I hadn't seen cranberries before (we don't have them in the UK), had never realised the berries actually rested on the ground. And there was a tiny, very edge-of-the-bog rosemary which smelt beautiful.

The pine trees (several types) were often covered in a grey lichen. I've seen this before in the UK, and don't think it actually damages the trees (as one of my companions suggested): it's more that the lichen grows on parts of the tree which are dying/dead.

The Viru bog is a large area of bogland specifically set up for visitors. A wooden walkway has been laid, so that your feet stay dry, and there is a (rather rickety) wooden viewing tower in the middle which would be an ideal place to spend a few hours birding and/ or animal-watching, especially in the autumn/winter months. Lots of plants and flowers to be seen when I visited, butterflies and moths and some amazing dragonflies too.

This type of landscape is a cvery specific experience............it reminded me a bit of the Scottish Highlands, if they were rolled flat. Boggy bits, and pine forests, and large expanses of rough ground with glacial erratics (huge boulders left behind from the last Ice Age) dotted about everywhere.

It's not somewhere to leave the marked pathways unless you know the area very well (or have a very good map, with skills to match); I could imagine how easy it would be to get lost in the forests, how easily one could get stuck in the bogs. It must be very bleak, and fairly dangerous, in the winter ......... and certainly requires the liberal use of insect repellent in the summer (I was well and truly bitten even after using it).

But worth visiting to get a feel for this type of landscape, even if you don't stay long......and worth remembering also that people have been able to adapt and live in such areas for thousands of years.

More pictures in the travelogue.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Well worth a visit for both flora and fauna
  • Cons:Watch out for mosquitoes in summer!
  • In a nutshell:Lahemaa National Park
  • Last visit to Tallinn County: Jul 2008
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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