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Särkinen Trail

The Särkisen Polku trail leads to the landscape of Levaneva Nature Conservation Area. The trail winds across varied swamp landscapes, passing occasionally by groves, and the forests fringing the swamp. The trail offers a lot to see, and detailed information about nature. The trail is easy to walk on and suitable for walkers with different levels of fitness. Halfway through the trail, there is a wilderness hut where you can rest a while and feel the winds of history. The Särkisen Polku trail is part of the longer Kurjen Kierros trail.

To the starting point of the trail

Starting point 1

Peräkylä parking area
Tainuskyläntie 430, 66350 Tainus (Kurikka, Jurva)

The starting point is signposted (Kurjen Kierros), and there are clear signboards at it.
(WGS84) N62° 44.82013′ E22° 7.51661

Other things to take into account

The trail is a 4.6 km-long combination of a line segment-circle route, whose start and end overlap on a leg of 1.2 km. From Särkisen Polku, you can also start the longer and more challenging trail of Kurjen Kierros (of some 50 km).

Trail description

The Särkisen Polku trail is located at the southeast corner of the Levaneva Nature Conservation Area. The trail winds across varied swamp landscapes, passing occasionally by groves and the forests fringing the swamp. The trail is suitable as a day-trip destination for all people interested in walking in nature, irrespective of their previous experience and level of fitness. In the terrain, the trail is clearly marked by duckboards; the intersections of paths are equipped with signposts. In the forest terrain, the trail is marked on trees with blue dabs of paint. In the Särkinen Courtyard, halfway through the trail, there is a wilderness hut. It features an old outbuilding with a stove, table, benches, and a loft for those who want to spend a night there. In the courtyard, there is also a place for a campfire, well, dry toilet, woodyard, campsite, as well as signboards about the history and nature of the area.

Level of difficulty

Most of the trail is covered by duckboards in good shape. After the crossing of the swamp, the rest of the trail (ca 300 m) goes through a dry forest terrain. The easy trail runs through an even terrain. After the Särkinen Courtyard, the trail becomes somewhat more difficult to walk on. Along the trail, there are some wet depressions which can be bypassed using duckboards. On the track and along the forest section following it, there are tree roots here and there.

Good to know

During humid and cold weather, the duckboards may be slippery and demand caution. On the easy trail, you get on with light shoes and dressing for weather. The trail is passable when there is no snow, but you can also make a winter trip to the Särkinen house on skis or snowshoes. In the nature conservation area, pets must be kept on a leash. The Leave No Trace policy is followed in the area, which means everyone takes their own rubbish away. From Särkisen Polku, you can also start the longer and more challenging trail of Kurjen Kierros (of some 50 km).

Environment

The Särkisen Polku trail leads to landscape of the Levaneva Nature Conservation Area. The trail, which starts from the outskirts of Tainuskylä, descends immediately to duckboards crossing a swamp. The open swamp is fringed with forests and groves. The Pikkulammi lakelet in the middle of the swamp cannot be seen from the trail. After the first swamp, the trail arrives at the Särkiluoma drainage ditch, through which Lake Särkijärvi was dried into meadowland. A wet reliction remains from the lake, in the middle of which there is a small area of open water, mainly in the spring. The forest along Särkiluoma is noticeably more luxuriant than its surroundings. The Särkisen Polku trail follows the western side of Lake Särkijärvi, until it reaches a ridge of dry land. From the ridge, the trail follows on old path, which, passing by an old tar-burning pit, leads to the Särkinen Courtyard. On the ridge, there is a forest, in the middle of which the meadow-like courtyard makes an idyllic impression. Only the stone bases remain from the houses and outbuildings that used to be there, but the old storehouse, used as a wilderness hut free for anyone to spend a night, was brought there as the trail was established. In the summer, a varied flora blooms in the meadows of the courtyard, with accompanying species of old land use. An alternative return route starting from the Särkinen Courtyard dives into stouter spruce woods and pine stands. Turning away from the old roadbed, the route also runs for a short distance in a younger spruce forest. Even though the forests in the area are old commercial forests, they virtually resemble unexploited forests.

Interesting information about the trail

Along the Särkisen polku trail, swamp nature is interlaced with old land use, with the draining of lakes, and small-scale agriculture. On the margin of the wilds, people have heavily relied on the gifts of nature. The trail exhibits the rigour and hard work of life in the bygone days.

Download and print the route description and map here!

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