Archipelago lover, environmental planner and kayaking enthusiast Sanna-Mari Kunttu from Dalsbruk shares her hidden gems
1. The nature trails of Dalsbruk and the magical Stora Masugnsträsket lake
The forests of Dalsbruk offers great opportunities for outdoor recreation. The marked nature trails takes you through dense forests, over smooth cliffs and alongside beautiful swamps. On these tracks I do terrain running and peacful walking all around the year. On the scenic lake Stora Masugnsträsket, I rent a canoe for a few hours, tour skate or ski, depending on the season
2. Biskopsö nature trail
The island Biskopsö outside Dalsbruk with its charming, old forests is a place few know about. A free passenger boat takes you there most days (www.ferry.fi), but I often go there by kayak. In the autumns, picking delicious mushrooms in the Biskopsö forests and cranberries on the swamps is a must every autumn.
The view out towards the Finnish Archipelago Sea is stunning from the majestic Purunpää cliffs. Selected as one of Finland's most stunning nature areas, the smooth, ice age shaped cliffs are unique, and the views over the Archipelago Sea National Park are unforgettable. This wild area is a must for the nature lover, and an area where I like to walk, paddle, or tour skate during winter when the sea is frozen solid.
Gullkrona vast waters are at their best between autumn and spring, when you are alone with the nature. During autumns, watching the stars from one of Gullkrona's numerous islands is nothing short of grand. During wintertme, the endless sea ice forms a silent wilderness, and is a fantastic are for tour skating on the ice. In spring, when the ice cover slowly melts and drifts away, I go out with the kayak to meet the arriving sea birds and the baltic ringed seals, as interested in me as I am in them.
5. Hitis outer archipelago
During summertime, the outer archipelago of Hitis and Vänö are the most peaceful waters that you can imagine for us kayakers. There are numerous islands to explore. Most of the islands belong to the Archipelago National Park.
6. Autumn sentiments
The "ruska" the magical and exploding colors of the autumn trees, come to life around one month later on the southwestern coast of Finland than in Finnish Lapland. The leaf of this area multiplies the colors and the spectacular scenery is something you cannot get accustomed to, it is plainly amazinf. It is all amazing, but over all else I recommend experiencing the maple tree colors of Söderlångvik and Dalsbruk.