The coming week will be my last free week for this years summer vacation and I have been feeling like I haven't done enough before school starts. Me and my friends had been talking a lot about going hiking again after last time when we went to Ruissalo. You can read about that hike here!
This time we wanted to find a longer trail preferably in a National Park where you can really get away from everything and enjoy the silence. One of my friends came up with a place he had heard of called "Helvetinjärvi" that is a National Park and has beautiful hiking trails. After some research and planning we decided that this place was perfect.
Helvetinjärvi National Park
Helvetinjärvi translates to "Hell's Lake" and the landscape there has lots of geological features created millions of years ago by movements in the Earth's crust. This you can see very well at Helvetinkolu which translates to "Hell's Hole". So the park has a lot to offer with activities from nature trails and rock climbing to swimming and camping at the many different lakes. There are also other activities that are only available during the winter like skiing and ice climbing. The park was established in 1982 and has an area of about 50 square kilometers.
One question that came to mind first time I heard of this place was why the name "Hell's Lake" and after looking for an answer I found this short story that explains how this beautiful place got it's name.
There is an old story about a warlock who lived in Sipilä. One day the master of the house Ruokkee went and took a pike from Sipilä´s fish trap. The warlock got very angry, and they had a heated fight. Afterwards the warlock cursed: "There is not going to be any pikes in this hell's lake as long as my nails are still soft." And from then on, nobody caught any pikes in the lake for ages.
I wish I would've had my fishing rod with me. Those hell pikes must be delicious, haha! :D
Now that we had decided on the destination we only needed to figure out how to get there and start packing. One friend got to borrow his family's camper so on Monday afternoon we left towards Hell's Lake.
We stopped a few times on the road since we had about four hours to drive from where we live to the park. Here is the first picture I took on the road with the camper:
When we started getting closer to the park the roads started getting smaller and smaller and after a while we arrived at a farm. We decided to take a short break there because it was an ostrich farm and you don't see those so often in Finland. They all came out to greet us, one even came really close to say hello! They are so cool and big, here is the first brave one that came out to see what was going on.
And then they all came out to look:
This one was really curious to what I was doing so he came really close to greet me. My friends thought he was gonna attack me but I think we became friends, haha.
We continued on the road until we got to the parking lot of the park. When you get there the first thing you see is a small house that says "Ravintola Helvetin Portti"(Restaurant Hell's Gate) but unfortunately it was closed when we arrived there but here is a photo of it:
Close to the restaurant is where the entrance to the park is and it actually looked a little creepy in my opinion but so cool at the same time. It says "Helvettiin" (To Hell) on it:
We arrived at the park kind of late so we decided to find a good camping site and then walk around for a bit and take some pictures. The trail differs a lot and goes through woods, swamps and cliffs so you walk a lot on planks and stairs that are built there. Here is a beautiful place I found close to our first camping spot:
The camping spot was right next to a lake and it was so silent and still the whole time it was wonderful. Here are two pictures I took of the lake before we called it a night. One before nightfall and the other after. We had a beautiful full moon to look at.
After that we just cooked up some food and went to sleep in our tents. We had a long day ahead of us.
So this was the first day we spent in "Hell". I hope you enjoyed the pictures and I hope you all are well! I will be posting Day 2 today or tomorrow so stay tuned for that!
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Peace out, Strawhat