From beautiful evergreen forests to long swaths of sandy beaches along the Baltic coast, the Baltic States certainly have a lot to offer in their national parks. With approximately one fifth of Estonia protected, visitors are sure to encounter lush environments and plentiful hiking opportunities in these five beautiful national parks.
Lahemaa National Park
Lahemaa is an important conservation area, home to many charismatic mammal species such as moose, brown bears, and lynxes. The varied habitats of seashore, bogs, forests, and wetlands provide homes for different animal and plant species. These environments also provide visitors with the opportunity to enjoy walks through dense forest or along a sandy beach, soaking up the glorious nature and providing numerous photo opportunities.
Birdwatchers and budding ornithologists should add Korvemaa Nature Reserve to their Baltic travel itinerary. Numerous rare bird species migrate through Korvemaa in the fall. The dense forests, marshes and lakes, create habitats for these migrating bird species as well as brown bears, wolves, and other mammals that live safely within the reserve. Korvemaa Nature Reserve is also well known for its cross country skiing trails.
Soomaa National Park is unique as it floods extensively each year, meaning it is accessible only via canoe or kayak. Seeing a national park by boat is certainly a memorable experience! In other (dryer) seasons, Soomaa National Park has areas that are handicap and stroller accessible, making it a good choice for all the family to get out into nature. The Beaver Trail, which takes visitors past beaver dams, perhaps even allowing for an encounter with these furry mammals is one of the most accessible. Visitors can encounter the stunning bog habitat along several trails, but the Riisa Study Trail is perhaps the best choice, and it is also accessible via wheelchair and stroller, although only up to a certain point.
Matsalu National Park is a area of 400 square kilometers, it is protected and was initially created to provide a safe habitat for birds. Though birdwatching opportunities abound in Estonia, Matsalu National Park is rated as one of Europe’s best places for birdwatching and ornithological studies. In fact, 250 bird species have been identified at Matsalu National Park during migration season in the fall, and birdwatching platforms are located throughout the park.
This national park consists of 150 islands in the Baltic Sea off of Estonia’s coast. Vilsandi National Park is an excellent year round hiking destination, providing views of lighthouses, seabirds, and unique flora such as orchids. Vilsandi National Park is also a great place for seal watching. Save Save