Hiking Near Helsinki: Sipoonkorpi National Park in Winter

Hiking Near Helsinki: Sipoonkorpi National Park in Winter

The best views in Sipoonkorpi unfold from the high cliffs of the popular Kalkinpolttajanpolku Trail, but the beautiful forested nature can be experienced equally on shorter hiking trails.

Located in eastern Uusimaa, Sipoonkorpi National Park is a wilderness destination just a short distance from Helsinki. Sipoonkorpi offers green pine forests, mossy rocks, and rural landscapes.

The trails in Sipoonkorpi vary from smoother and easier nature paths to more challenging routes, where root-covered trails ascend steep cliffs. Typical to the Uusimaa nature are forested areas bordered by fields, lakes, and brooks. Sipoonkorpi National Park is part of the Natura 2000 program.

Sipoonkorpi Trails and Parking Areas

Sipoonkorpi features several short hiking trails, with the 5 km (3 miles) Kalkinpolttajanpolku trail being the longest and perhaps the most well-known. Kalkinpolttajanpolku Trail connects to a marked path leading to Knuters Trail and Bakunkärr Trail, all the way to Fiskträsk Trail, as well as north to Lake Bisajärvi and Lake Kuusijärvi.

Sipoonkorpi National Park is conveniently located just twenty kilometers (12.4 miles) from the center of Helsinki. The easily accessible national park can be reached by public transportation, either by bus or train and bus. The bus stops at Kalkkiuunintie road, near the Tasakalliontie road parking lot.

There is plenty of parking space in Sipoonkorpi, with parking areas on many sides of the national park. The closest parking spaces to Kalkinpolttajanpolku Trail are found on Kalkkiuunintie road. However, these spots accommodate only about ten cars and are often full.

A large parking area is available at Tasakalliontie road 1, providing space for over 50 cars.

Sipoonkorpi hiking trails are not maintained in winter, but the paths are often well-trodden even during snowy seasons. Parking lots and roads are usually ploughed quickly.

Kalkinpolttajanpolku – The Most Popular Trail

Kalkinpolttajanpolku Trail is a circular route with a length of 4.8 kilometers (3 miles). The parking spaces on Kalkkiuunintie road are along the route, but from the Tasakalliontie road parking area, there is an additional distance of just over a kilometer each way. Therefore, the total length of the hike from the most popular parking lot is just over seven kilometers (4.35 miles).

Kalkinpolttajanpolku Trail winds through wilderness-like forests and ascends to rugged cliffs, offering views of Vantaa's Sotunki and expansive fields. The name of the trail originates from historical activities, limestone mining and burning.

Along the route, you will find the popular Kalkkiruukin laavu shelter and campfire site. The rest area includes a dry toilet, several table-bench sets, and a sleeping shelter. Camping is also allowed in the vicinity of Kalkkiruukin laavu.

Kalkinpolttajanpolku Trail is classified as a challenging trail due to elevation changes. Metal grid stairs or railings are installed on steeper slopes. Depending on weather conditions, paths and stairs may be slippery in winter.

The trail is marked with green-white square symbols on tree trunks. From the Tasakalliontie road parking lot, the trail is marked with orange. The markings are visible even in winter.

The popular route attracts many people, especially on weekends and in beautiful weather. Even with a significant amount of snow, snowshoes are likely not necessary on Kalkinpolttajanpolku Trail. Anyway, it’s easier to climb the stairs with winter boots.

Description of Kalkinpolttajanpolku Trail

Starting from the Tasakalliontie parking area, walk along the road for a short distance, following trail markers. At the intersection, turn left onto another road, then turn left again towards the forest. A sign for Kalkinpolttajanpolku is at the forest's edge, 400 meters from this point.

The trail enters a snowy forest and immediately climbs to the highest rock in the area, Högberget. At the top of the rock is a large cairn covered with a layer of snow.

At the intersection, you can choose to follow Kalkinpolttajanpolku Trail clockwise or counterclockwise. Going clockwise allows you to enjoy the sun right away, and the laavu shelter is towards the end of the route when hunger sets in.

Paths formed through the snow meander along the tops of the cliffs, leading hikers to picnic areas with tables and benches and a scenic rest stop. Numerous fatbike tracks accompany the footprints along the path. From Högberget, there is a beautiful view beyond the pine tops all the way to the Vuosaari harbor cranes.

Descending from open cliffs, the trail enters dense forest. Even on a bright day, the path is shrouded in darkness by thick spruce branches. Evergreen shrubs peek through the pure white snow cover.

Before reaching Kalkkiuunintie road, a frozen stream is crossed via a bridge. After a small clearing, the trail returns to the woods and climbs a steep rock. Despite the railing, the root-covered slope can be extremely slippery, making the ascent slow.

Following the rock is another frozen stream, where snow-covered branches gracefully arch over. Grid stairs lead down to the road. For a while, the trail runs on the west side of Kalkkiuunintie road on a bright rock.

Kalkinpolttajanpolku Trail curves towards the sights of the limestone quarry. Falling is prevented by fences surrounding the area. Large stone walls, peeking out from the snow, are found right by the road.

The trail arrives at the second parking area on Kalkkiuunintie road. Next to the road is a map of Sipoonkorpi and information about the area's nature and hiking. Just behind the information board, you slip back into the forest.

The northern part of Kalkinpolttajanpolku is traversed on flatter terrain next to the road. Despite the proximity of buildings, the wilderness forest looks as if a lynx could peek out from behind a snowy branch at any moment.

At the junction to Lake Kuusijärvi, the trail turns back towards the laavu shelter. The popular laavu at Kalkkiruukki often has a fire already. In February, the sun shines beautifully on the laavu and the nearby rock around four to five in the afternoon. A rope railing has been built along the edge of the rock, possibly to prevent hikers from slipping into the blueberry bushes.

After the warmth of the laavu and a snack break, you have the energy to continue hiking. Just 500 meters away, you could head towards Bakunkärr. There is still over two kilometers to the Tasakalliontie road parking lot, so if you've enjoyed the late afternoon sun at the laavu, you may need to hurry up to make it out of the forest in daylight.

The trail meanders through the forest and ascends next to a large vertical rock wall. In winter, beautiful thick ice formations appear on the mossy rock wall.

Eventually, the route returns to the Högberget intersection, where the gray sign covered in snow points the way to the Tasakalliontie road parking area. As the clear frosty day turns into evening, the sky's blue fades to pale pink – the quiet local wilderness prepares for the night.

Sipoonkorpi National Park as a Hiking Destination

Hiking in Sipoonkorpi is allowed while respecting everyone's rights. Camping is allowed in designated areas marked on the map, even in winter. Fires can only be lit in maintained fireplaces.

There is no waste management in Sipoonkorpi, so the national park adheres to leave-no-trace principles. Bio-waste can be disposed of in dry toilets, but all other trash must be carried out of the nature. Ice fishing is allowed in winter, except on Byabäcken, Ritobäcken, Hälsangsbäcken, and Storträsk.

Mobile phone coverage is generally good on Sipoonkorpi trails. In case of an emergency, dial 112.

What is the Best Trail in Sipoonkorpi?

The best views in Sipoonkorpi unfold from the high cliffs of the popular Kalkinpolttajanpolku Trail, but the beautiful forested nature can be experienced equally on shorter hiking trails. All Sipoonkorpi trails are also suitable for winter hiking.

If you start your hike early in the morning on Kalkinpolttajanpolku, you can explore another trail in daylight. From the Tasakalliontie road parking lot, it's easy to visit the beautiful Lake Storträsk and its cooking shelter, where fires are often lit.

These Sipoonkorpi trails can be accessed through connecting paths and from the Bakunkärr parking lot:

A bit further away, you'll find the atmospheric Byabäcken Nature Trail, with a length of 2.1 km (1.30 miles) as a circular route.

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