There are two national parks in the vicinity of Tampere, Seitseminen and Helvetinjärvi, where you can go hiking for a couple of hours or exploring for a couple of days – find out more about the national parks in our article. There are other possibilities for taking a hike in the nature around Tampere, and you don’t even have to go too far!
The newest addition to the outdoor areas in Tampere is the Kintulammi outdoors area. Kintulammi is located about 20 km from Tampere centre, in the Teisko area. Altogether, there are some 15 km of nature trails, duckboards, lean-to’s and campfire sites as well as all new signposts and info boards.
About 20 kilometers from Tampere, in Lempäälä, there’s a nature trail suitable for longer hikes: the Birgitta Trail is a circular route in beautiful lake and forest scenery. There’s about 50 kilometers of marked paths along the way, and in 2006 Birgitta Trail was voted the nature destination of the year. Birgitta Trail offers a diverse terrain as well as campfire sites and huts. Some parts of the trail goes near residential areas, so it’s fairly easy to reach the Trail with public transport. Along the route there’s for example the magnificent Kirskaanniemi cape, close to the bus route to Vuores (2 km walk from the bus stop). From the road, there’s a wide path leading up to the cape, where you’ll find several campfire sites, hut and outhouse, all in a proper vantage point on the shore of the lovely lake. Find out more about the Birgitta Trail in here.
In Kangasala, also some 20 kilometers from Tampere, there’s the 60 kilometre long Kaarinanpolku trail, which is connected to Birgitta trail so with these two combined, you can even spend a whole weekend hiking! The trails are marked in the terrain and the sceneries vary from forest to lake, and there are campfire sites and huts along the way too. You can print the map of the trail (in Finnish) from here.
Rapolanharju ridge is located in Valkeakoski, the neighbouring town of Tampere. Rapolanharju is a part of the national landscape of Vanajavesi lake and the historical area of Sääksmäki and Tarttila. In addition to the largest ancient hill fort remains, there are also relics of pre-historical dwellings, burial grounds, sacrificial stones and an ancient field. From the ridge, there’s a magnificent view over the Vanajavesi lake as well as the medieval Sääksmäki church, Voipaala mansion and Rapola mansion located nearby. The different elements of the scenery form a unique, layered, cultural entity from the pre-historic to the modern times. There are marked routes around the hill area, depicting a story about all the fascinating pre-historic cultural heritage that the Rapolanharju area offers. The nature trails and ancient routes are 1,6 km and 6 km long. The paths are marked with signposts. You can read more about the area in here.
Between Kangasala and the neighbouring town Pälkäne, there’s one of the Southern Finland’s vastest connected forest areas, Laipanmaa. Laipanmaa covers altogether an area of 15 000 hectares, and there are various marked trails, campfire sites, huts and outhouses. You can hike from Kangasala all the way to Sappee on this trail network. You can find the map of the area (in Finnish) from here.
Just outside Orivesi, some 45 kilometers from Tampere, there’s the lovely Pukala forest area. Pukala is reached easiest with a car, but there are trains and buses going to Orivesi centre, some 12 kilometers from the forest area. The area is maintained by the Finnish State’s Metsähallitus. The area is a quiet area with a clear-water and deep Pukala lake as a centre of the area. Pukala is ideal for fishing or berry and mushroom picking, and there are also several campfire sites there. There’s a fire pit and a hut by the lake Pukala, and if you cross the lovely bridge from the shore, you’ll find yourself in a picturesque little island with a campfire site and table with seats. More information about Pukala and maps (in Finnish) can be found at luontoon.fi.
In Sastamala, some 50 kilometres from Tampere, lies the Ritajärvi nature reserve. The terrain in Ritajärvi varies from small forest lakes to rocks and boulders, and the threes in the area are in mainly in natural state. The well maintained area is popular for example for school trips.
There’s also nice areas for shorter hiking excursions more locally in Tampere too, for example in Hervanta, about half an hour bus drive from the city centre. Around the lakes Hervantajärvi and Suolijärvi there are a few kilometer long nature trails, which are also connected to the bigger Birgitta Trail and Kaarinanpolku trail. The trail around the lake Hervantajärvi is about five kilometers long and marked, with a terrain varying from rocky forests to lakeside. The lake itself is known to be a good spot for fishing, and there are also quite many species of butterflies that find this area a good habitat. Along the way, you can also visit the forest chapel and if you’re very lucky, you might even find some cranberries! The trail around Suolijärvi lake is some 4,5 kilometers long and on the lake you can also find a nice swimming beach. Nature lovers will be happy about the vast range of tree and plant species growing in the area, and while walking you might also hear a very Finnish sound: a black-throated diver calling from the lake. Opposite to the swimming beach the cliff gets quite steep, highlighting the sceneries even further. You can find the guidebook for these two trails in Hervanta (in Finnish) from here or take a look at the Suolijärvi trail virtually in VirtualTampere website.
Hop on a Serlachius shuttle bus from Tampere city centre and travel to Mänttä, a town full of history and art, in the middle of forest. Visit the internationally awarded Serlachius museums, explore the sculptures, relax in the forest and by the lake. Grab a picnic lunch from the museum’s restaurant and enjoy it out in the sculpture park or on the rocks of the museum’s own island. Row around the lake in the museum boat, hike in the Love trail (2.5 km) or lend a bike from the museum and pedal to the other attractions of the Art Town. Venture out to the trails of the Mäntänvuori nature reserve and enjoy a summery break at the Forest Hut.