Nuuksio National Park

The Nuuksio National Park, located at a relatively short distance from Helsinki, is among the most accessible and popular of Finland’s 35 national parks, making Finnish territory of utmost importance to the network of European protected areas and a delight for nature lovers and the global ecosystem. This park is also known by its Finnish name: Nuuksion kansallispuisto, and its Swedish name: Noux nationalpark./

Nuuksio National Park Information

Establishment of the National Park

Established in 1994, covering an area of 45 square kilometers, it encompasses areas of the municipalities of Espoo, Kirkkonummi, and Vihti, being considerably smaller than the Oulanka National Park, another iconic Finnish protected area.

Its unique landscape is defined by swampy and rocky terrain, enriched by the presence of numerous small lakes, numbering around 150 lakes and ponds. This combination of rugged terrain and bodies of water provides a varied habitat for local flora and fauna, creating a fascinating natural environment to explore.

Nuuksio National Park

Due to the terrain features, human development in the region has been limited, leaving much of the area virtually untouched. Human communities are mainly concentrated in areas near the edges of the park and along the roads that cross the adjacent valleys.

Over time, recreational interest in this forest has been increasing, with around 178,000 visitors coming to the park each year to enjoy its trails, lakes, and the tranquility offered by this natural environment.


Archaeologists, when undertaking their research in the spring of 2010 on the history of the Nuuksio National Park area, expressed the possibility of finding traces of Finland’s oldest settlement. The formation of the first islands in Nuuksio over 9,000 years ago suggests that the region may have been inhabited by early settlers at that time. However, as the research progressed, it became evident that it is likely that ancient inhabitants found more attractive places to settle.

Findings of Stone Age objects in Nuuksio and its surroundings indicate that the region was traversed by people shortly after the end of the Ice Age. Although Stone Age villages were established near the current national park, there is no evidence of settlements from that time within the park itself.

Kuusela Beach

Kuusela, located at the northern end of Lake Pitkäjärvi, was believed to be a habitation site belonging to the comb ceramic or corded ware cultures. However, archaeological studies conducted during the summer of 2010 revealed that it was rather a find site, where people arrived by boat from Lake Pitkäjärvi and likely left some of their belongings upon landing on the shore, offering us a window to the past. Discoveries at Kuusela demonstrate that humans already inhabited the area during the Neolithic Stone Age (5000-2000 BC).

During the Iron Age, agriculture emerged as a vital activity alongside gathering and hunting. Although the fertile lands around Nuuksio attracted various early settlements, the highlands around the lake remained primarily used as a hunting area.

Historical Trails

The increase in visitors to the Nuuksio National Park, with over a hundred thousand people exploring its trails each year, contrasts with its historically sparse population in a generally densely inhabited region. Since the early Middle Ages, around the 12th century, rural communities were established in Velskola, Takkula, Tervalampi, Ollila, and Salmi.

Although the development of the land lease system in the 18th century drove settlement expansion, the first leased farms in the area of the current national park did not emerge until the late 19th century. The Myllypuro river valley became a favorable place for these leased farms, and remnants of the old Myllypuro sawmill can still be found today, recalling an era of simpler and more rudimentary life.

The slow colonization of Nuuksio is partly attributed to limited road connections. However, the lack of roads did not impede hunting activity in the past. Archaeological studies revealed a stretch of ancient road on the ridge near Haukkalammentie road. Although much of this moss-covered trail has disappeared, it is believed to be part of the old medieval road connecting the villages of Nuuksio and Ollila. History suggests that people often lost their belongings while traveling, so exploring this trail may offer fascinating discoveries from past eras.

Kattila’s History

In the northern area of Nuuksio National Park, near Lake Kaitlampi, visitors may be surprised to find a functionalist mansion known as Kattila Farm ("kettle"). It is said that the name comes from a large kettle located on the eastern edge of the estate.

Kattila’s history has its roots in a law allowing tenants to claim ownership of leased lands. The estate passed into the hands of the former tenant of Tervalampi Manor, and was then acquired in 1934 by Eljas Erkko, owner and editor of the Helsingin Sanomat newspaper, with the intention of establishing a rest home for his employees. However, this project was thwarted when Erkko’s wife was bitten by a snake, leading to the cancellation of the plan.

Subsequently, the estate was sold to the Alsano cooperative, owned by the Bible Researchers Society, and the construction of the functionalist rest home designed by E. Salminen began. It has been mentioned that a religious sect called Hartelavaiset was associated with the estate, as the baths still found in the basement apparently belonged to them.

Alsano intended to cultivate black salsify and other herbs on the estate for sale in their naturalist stores, but the new Pharmacy Act made this business difficult by classifying black salsify as a pharmaceutical product. Alsano eventually sold the estate and the newly built stone building to Mr. Hovila, an agronomist. Over the years, the estate passed through several owners until in the 1970s the city of Helsinki assumed its management, and it was finally acquired by the government in May 1996.

The Origin of the Name Nuuksio

The origin of the name Nuuksio is wrapped in an interesting linguistic history. It resembles the word "swan" (njukca) in the Sami language, suggesting a possible connection with this word. However, it is important to note that Nuuksio is not the original name of the region.

The Finnish name "Nuuksio" was created in the 1930s by a schoolteacher with the purpose of promoting the use of the Finnish language. At that time, Finnish did not have the same prominence as it does today, and this initiative aimed to strengthen its position in the country. Therefore, the name "Nuuksio" was a deliberate invention intended to replace previously used names and to promote the use of the Finnish language in the region.

How to Get to Nuuksio National Park

To conveniently access Nuuksio National Park, public transportation can be used, facilitating access from various directions.

  • The Helsinki Region Transport route guide ( can be a useful tool for planning your journey, providing detailed information on routes, prices, and ticket validity periods. Additionally, the service ( offers pre-planned routes, public transportation schedules, and stop locations, available in Finnish and English.
  • Bus 245(A) departs from Espoo Center towards the eastern and northern parts of the national park, as well as towards the Finnish Nature Center Haltia. During the summer, the bus reaches Kattila in Nuuksio, while in winter the terminal is at Nuuksionpää. You can reach Espoo Center by train (E, L, U, and Y).
  • From the nearest bus stop at Haukkalammentie, Haukkalampi is about two kilometers away on foot. Getting off bus 245(A) at Punjonsuo stop, you can walk about 100 meters towards Haukkalampi to access the connecting route marked with an orange-black diamond, where you will find signs towards Haltia and Haukkalampi.
  • Buses 243 and 244 connect Espoo Center with the southern part of the national park, Siikaniemi. Further south, bus line U275 operates on weekdays between Leppävaara station (Espoo) and Nummela bus station (Vihti).
  • On the western side of the national park, up to Tervalampi Manor stop (Vihti), standard service U280 operates from Helsinki on weekdays. If you follow this entire route, you can purchase a ticket at Matkahuolto ( or from the driver. From the stop, there is approximately one kilometer walk to the park’s edge.

Park Directions

  • Finnish Nature Center Haltia: Nuuksiontie 84, Espoo.
  • Haukkalampi: Haukkalammentie 32.
  • Espoo Högbacka Parking: Kattilantie 31, Espoo.
  • Kattila: Kattilantie 424, Vihti.
  • Siikaniemi: Kolmoislammenranta, Espoo.
  • Hotel Nuuksio: Naruportintie 70, Kirkkonummi.
  • Veikkola: Soidentaantie, Kirkkonummi.
  • Kurjolampi: Valk lamenta, Vihti.
  • Nuuksio, north gate: Salmentie 100b, Vihti.

By Bus

To reach Nuuksio National Park by public transport, follow these instructions:

  • You can plan your journey using the Helsinki Region Transport route guide (, which will provide detailed information on available routes, zones, prices, and ticket validity periods. Additionally, you can find pre-planned routes, public transportation schedules, and stop locations on the service (, available in Finnish and English.
  • Bus 245(A) departs from Espoo Center towards the eastern and northern parts of the national park, as well as towards the Finnish Nature Center Haltia. During the summer, the bus reaches Kattila in Nuuksio, while in winter the terminal is at Nuuksionpää. You can reach Espoo Center by train (E, L, U, and Y).
  • Haukkalampi is about two kilometers away on foot from the nearest bus stop on Haukkalammentie. You can get off bus 245(A) at Punjonsuo stop and walk about 100 meters towards Haukkalampi to access the connecting route marked with an orange-black diamond. At the intersection of the route and the road, you will find signs towards Haltia and Haukkalampi.
  • Buses 243 and 244 connect Espoo Center with the southern part of the national park, Siikaniemi. Further south, on road 110 (Veikkola and Lamminpääntie stops in the HRT area), bus line U275 operates on weekdays between Leppävaara station (Espoo) and Nummela bus station (Vihti).
  • On the western side of the national park, up to Tervalampi Manor stop (Vihti), standard service U280 operates from Helsinki on weekdays. If you follow this entire route mentioned above, you will need to purchase a ticket at Matkahuolto ( or from the driver. From the stop, there is approximately one kilometer walk to the park’s edge.

By Car

To reach Nuuksio National Park by car, follow these directions:

  1. To head towards the eastern and northern parts of the national park, turn north from Nupurintie (road 110, Vanha Turuntie) onto Brobackantie in Nupuri. Brobackantie becomes Nuuksiontie, which passes by the Finnish Nature Center Haltia. If heading towards Haukkalampi, turn left a few kilometers from Haltia. To reach the northern part, towards Kattila, continue on Nuuksiontie (Kattilantie) until the end of the road.
  2. To reach the southern part of the national park, you can take the route from Veikkola or from Brobackantie, following the signs towards Siikajärvi.
  3. To access the western part of the national park, you can head through Veikkola.

It is important to note that the roads of Nuuksio National Park may be congested at certain times, especially during weekends from May to September. It is strictly prohibited to park on the side of the road to allow continuous passage of rescue vehicles. It is recommended to park in designated areas such as Haltia, Högbacka, Kattila, Kurjolampi, Salmi, or Siikaniemi as a starting point for your excursion. You may also consider walking from Haltia to Haukkalampi.

Please remember that parking is only allowed in designated parking areas, and unauthorized roadside parking is subject to enforcement.

Map Downloads

Information booklet: download.

Map: download.

Nuuksio’s Fauna

Nuuksio National Park hosts several dozen threatened species of animals, plants, and fungi. A standout among them is the flying squirrel (Pteromys volans), which has been found in nearly 200 inhabited groves in the area.

Flying squirrel (Pteromys volans) in Nuuksio National Park, Finland

Nuuksio is also a popular destination for birdwatch

ers, featuring bird observation towers ideal for observing spring and autumn migrations. Among the bird species present in the area are the capercaillie, the arctic loon, and the black-throated loon.

Nuuksio’s Flora

Flora of Nuuksio National Park, Finland

The forests of Nuuksio National Park are exceptional in the Helsinki metropolitan area. Walnut and lime forests are highlights to visit. Large trees can be observed, such as oaks up to 450 years old, especially around Lake Bodom. Additionally, the wooded terrain is dotted with streams, springs, and swamps, contributing to the rich diversity of flora in the park.

What to See and Do in Nuuksio National Park

What to See and Do in Nuuksio National Park

Explore Gorges and Rock Formations

The National Park is located in the transition zone between oak forests and the southern boreal forest. Its landscape is marked by valleys and gorges sculpted during the Ice Age, as well as rocky hills covered in lichens and sparse pine forests. Some hills reach up to 110 meters above sea level. Among the birds nesting in these rocky pines are the common lark and the nightjar, both endangered species.

Numerous picturesque spots adorn the park’s bold cliffs. On the Haukankierros trail, a high rock offers views of the Brook Myllypuro valley to the northeast. Throughout the seasons, the landscape changes, displaying its beauty in vibrant colors during autumn. The historic Högbacka farm, built in the 1930s and used today as a park maintenance base, can also be appreciated in the area. Nearby is the Giant’s Teapot, a remnant from the glacial era, located next to Kattilantie road, near the Kattila area.

Wander Through Forests, Lakes, and Ponds

Rocks descend vertically or in gentle steps towards damp gorges, where wet forests and spruce and pine bogs are predominant. Under the cliffs, where water seeps through, dense spruce forests are cool, damp, and dark. On nutrient-rich soils, such as the base of rocks and stream hollows, vegetation is lush, with alpine currants, European honeysuckles, mezereons, hazelnuts, and lindens. In May, the ground is covered with liverworts and wood anemones, while in the valleys, the songs of warblers and red-breasted flycatchers resonate. Additionally, flying squirrels also inhabit the area.

Lakes and ponds of Nuuksio National Park

Within Nuuksio National Park, there are over 80 small lakes and ponds. Some have brown water and are surrounded by open swamps, while others exhibit clear water and rocky shores. Pine and spruce bogs are also abundant, with the largest swamp, Soidinsuo, remaining in its natural state, surrounded by ancient forests. Although much of the park has been commercially exploited, some areas have had enough time to develop into old-growth forests. Particularly notable are the forests around Lake Haukkalampi and Myllypuro stream, located on the slopes and bottoms of fault valleys.

A peculiar feature of Nuuksio National Park is the grass floaters of Lake Mustalampi. The construction of a dam in the 1950s caused an increase in water level, releasing the turf that now freely floats on the lake.

Geocaching in Finland: Outdoor Activity in Nuuksio

Geocaching is an exciting activity that combines technology and nature. In this modern treasure hunt, participants use GPS devices or maps to find geocaches hidden by other enthusiasts in interesting locations. This activity, suitable for people of all ages, is practiced worldwide, including in protected areas and national parks.

Geocachers can access descriptions and locations of geocaches on websites like In Finland, users can register at to get localized information. The treasure hunt includes clues and tips about the location of the containers, which vary in size and difficulty.

Each geocache contains a logbook and often, items for trading. Geocachers sign the logbook and log their find online. This allows other enthusiasts to verify visits and ensures the maintenance of geocaches in good condition.

Responsible geocaching is crucial, following rules such as not posing unnecessary dangers, respecting nature, and obtaining permits when necessary. Additionally, in state protected areas, geocaches must be placed with caution and their location reported to relevant authorities.

This thrilling activity offers a unique way to explore nature and discover hidden treasures in stunning landscapes.

Solve Puzzles in Nuuksio (Lodjaus)

There are 10 hidden mailboxes in the park with puzzles that offer a challenge even for regular visitors.

What is lodjaus?

Lodjaus is solving puzzles, testing knowledge about nature, orientation, and discovering new and beautiful places. The goal is to inspire all hikers to explore nature. In lodjaus, we search for "lodjus" or hidden mailboxes in the terrain using clues. For more information about lodjaus, visit

About lodjus in Nuuksio

In Nuuksio, it’s about a different kind of nature trail, a lodjaus circuit. 10 boxes marked with pine cones have been placed in Nuuksio National Park, each with a stamp and a visitor book. The lodjus are located in different parts of the park, some of which might not be visited otherwise. In addition to stamps, the lodjus in Nuuksio contain information

about nature, stories, historical facts, and experiential activities related to the destination. The stamps placed in the lodjus have letters that, when collected all stamps, form a word related to Nuuksio.

The lodjus stations in Nuuksio are scattered throughout the park, and collecting all the stamps is an excellent excuse for multiple days of hiking. Lodjaus teams include the Nuuksio-Luukkaa map, a compass, and a notebook to collect stamps from lodjus. Traditionally, the lodjus also have their own stamp, with which they can mark their visit in the lodju’s visitor book. The geological map of the Nuuksio Lake area is also a useful tool.

About the Clues in Nuuksio

Clues can come in the form of poems, short stories, and riddles. Some of the Nuuksio lodjus are found with a little reflection and hiking. However, others are more challenging, requiring both ingenuity and good physical condition to find. To reach the most challenging lodjus, experience in navigating difficult terrain is needed. Often, you can start with map work, but many lodjus clues are fully understood only on the ground. So, you can start your journey even if you don’t fully understand the clue from the beginning. Stations and the difficulty of the clues are recommended for different seasons and skill levels to find them.

Below is an example of a relatively easy but hiking-required clue. This lodju is accessible year-round, but the location is more interesting without snow.


In the eastern fragment of the park

the howling of a wolf pack echoes

from the cliffs of the ravine.

Flee from the wolves to the north,

run to the middle of the swamp!

There you will find puddles for your thirst

and treasures hidden among the twisted pines.

Walk Along Marked Trails

The park’s marked trails allow you to explore the diverse flora and fauna of the area. With over 30 kilometers of trails around Haukkalampi Pond, the Kattila area, and Siikajärvi Lake, there are circular routes of 2 to 7 km suitable for all levels.

Learn in Nature

Nuuksio is ideal for educational and inspiring school outings. The Finnish Nature Center Haltia offers programs like Junior Ranger, where kids can learn basic survival skills and environmental stewardship.

Visit a Nature Center

The Finnish Nature Center Haltia showcases the natural beauty of Nuuksio and hosts exhibitions on the region’s flora and fauna. It’s the first public building in Finland built entirely of wood, with modern ecological solutions.


Skiing is an excellent way to explore all corners of the park during winter. The nearest ski tracks are located in recreational areas managed by the cities of Helsinki and Espoo, on the outskirts of the park.


Ice fishing, hook and line fishing, and lure fishing with a single rod are allowed in the national park, except in protected water areas. However, there are restrictions and a fishing management fee for individuals aged 18 to 69.

Rock Climbing

Rock climbing and rope descent are only allowed at Pitkäjärvi and the easternmost Kolmoislammi of the park. Additionally, ice climbing is allowed throughout the national park.

Bird Watching

The park is home to several bird species nesting in forests, meadows, and rocky terrain. Additionally, there is a bird observation tower located next to Lake Matalajärvi.

Nature Trails

The park features two natural trails, Nahkiaispolku (2 km) and Kaarniaispolku (2.7 km), where you can learn about habitat restoration techniques and forest and wetland ecosystems, along with an extensive network of hiking, cycling, and horseback riding trails.

Berry and Mushroom Picking

There are no restrictions on picking berries and mushrooms in the park, so take the opportunity to enjoy tasty treats like blueberries, lingonberries, and yellowfoot mushrooms from Nuuksio.


Explore the park by canoeing on Lake Haukkalampi or Lake Nuuksio Pitkäjärvi.

Points of Interest and Landscapes

The park offers a variety of beautiful landscapes, including lakes, forests, valleys, rocky hills, and wetlands. The Haukankierros trail is especially picturesque.

Cycling Routes

Enjoy around 30 kilometers of cycling routes in the park. View map (pdf 0.1 Mb, (in Finnish).

Horseback Riding

Explore Nuuksio on horseback through approximately 22 kilometers of bridle paths in the park.

Tour Skating

Enjoy the tranquility and excitement of tour skating in the park’s winter landscape.

Group Guided Tours

Many entrepreneurs offer guided tours of the park for a more informative exploration.


There are no restrictions on swimming in the park, but please note that there is no official beach. Swim at your own risk in the lakes and ponds of the national park.


Organize weekend hiking trips along the park’s marked trails, or simply enjoy nature in your own way. Camping sites, shelters, and cabins are available for rent for a more intimate experience in nature.

Volunteer Work

Contribute to the maintenance of Nuuksio National Park by participating in volunteer events that combine stunning scenery with valuable work.

Best Times to Visit Nuuksio

Nuuksio National Park is attractive during all seasons of the year, including winter. In summer, it’s ideal for hiking and exploring the lakes, while in winter, activities like snowshoeing or relaxing in a sauna can be enjoyed.

Best Times to Visit Nuuksio

In summer, from early June to mid-September, daytime temperatures typically range between 15 and 25°C, with the possibility of rain or sunshine, and frequent changes.

In autumn, from mid-September to late November, daytime temperatures usually range between 5 and 10°C, with the possibility of rain or sunshine, and constant fluctuations.

During winter, from December to late March, daytime temperatures typically range between -15 and 0°C, with snowfall or sunshine, and frequent changes, with snow on the ground.

In spring, from April to late May, daytime temperatures usually range between 5 and 15°C, with the possibility of rain or sunshine, and constant fluctuations.

You can check the current weather and temperatures directly on the official website: Finnish Meteorological Institute.

Entrance Fees and Hours

Finnish national parks have free admission, meaning no entrance fees are charged to access any of them, nor to other state-owned nature reserves in the country. These places can be visited free of charge 365 days a year, 24 hours a day.

The open wilderness huts, most designated campfire areas, and shelters in these areas are also free to use. Although they are free, they are shared facilities and users are expected to be considerate of others.

However, if you wish to rent a complete cabin for your group or secure a bed in a shared-use cabin, rental cabins and reservable cabins are an excellent option. These are available in some national parks for a fee and can be reserved and paid for online.

Some national parks also offer camping areas for groups, which must be booked in advance.

No fees apply for trail use or for picking mushrooms or berries for personal consumption.

To carry out the following activities in all state-owned protected areas, a permit is required:

  • Fishing (requires payment, available at
  • Hunting (requires payment and license, available at
  • Use of snowmobiles (requires payment, available at
  • Event organization (more information at

Where to Stay in Nuuksio National Park

Where to Stay in Nuuksio National Park

Camping and Lean-to Shelters

In Nuuksio National Park, there are twelve free camping areas, nine of which have sites for campfires, a wood shelter with an axe, and a dry toilet. The camping sites are located in:

  • Mustalampi (2)
  • Haukanholma
  • Holma-Saarijärvi (2)
  • Isoholma
  • Saarlampi
  • Urja
  • Vääräjärvi

Camping sites without campfire sites or dry toilets are found in:

  • Valkealampi
  • Pöksynhaara
  • Valkialampi

Reservable Campfire Site

Additionally, there is one reservable camping site, where a fee is charged for camping, similar to the free campgrounds but requires a reservation. It is located at:

  • Kolmoislampi

Cost of reservations:

  • From 11 am to 7 pm: 20 euros (including VAT 10%)
  • From 7 pm to 10:30 am: 30 euros (including VAT 10%)

Reservations can be made on the website

The key to the reservable camping is kept in a locked safe. The box can be opened by entering a code sent by email to the person who booked the camping. The key must be returned to the safe box upon leaving the camping area.

Cabin Rentals

Accommodation Nearby

You can find information about accommodation nearby at the tourist information offices in Helsinki (, Espoo (, and Vihti (

Towns Near Nuuksio National Park and Points of Interest


Espoo is about 15 km from Nuuksio. It is a city located on the southern coast of Finland, part of the Uusimaa region. It is the second-largest city in Finland in terms of population and is known for its unique combination of nature and modernity. It has a large number of green areas and natural spaces, including parks and nature reserves, making it an ideal location for outdoor activities.

It is also a significant economic and technological center, hosting numerous high-tech companies and research centers. The city also offers a rich cultural scene, with museums, art galleries, theaters, and cultural events throughout the year. Espoo is characterized by its high quality of life, modern infrastructure, and cultural diversity, making it an attractive place to live and visit.

Public telephones are located at the Finnish Nature Centre Haltia ( and at Hotel Nuuksio ( The nearest places to buy fuel are on Nupurintie Road (Nupurinkalliontie 1), at the junction to Nuuksio (Brobackantie), and in Veikkola Village.


Vihti is a municipality located north of Nuuksio National Park. It is known for its beautiful natural environment and offers various opportunities for outdoor activities.


Kirkkonummi is another municipality near Nuuksio National Park. It is located southwest and offers beautiful natural landscapes as well as interesting historical sites.


The capital of Finland, Helsinki, is a short distance from Nuuksio National Park. It is a vibrant city with a rich cultural life and a wide range of tourist attractions.

Sipoonkorpi National Park

Sipoonkorpi National Park is located in southern Finland, between the small town of Sipoo and the capital Helsinki. Standing out as one of the most extensive forest areas in the vicinity of Helsinki, it plays a crucial role in preserving the biodiversity of the forests. Established in 2011, the park covers a total area of 20 km2, combining typical Finnish landscapes with wilderness areas. Additionally, it hosts a diverse community of birds and mammals characteristic of the forests of southern Finland.

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