Day 4.  A Nature Trail from Oulunkylä to Arabianranta

After taking the bus into Helsinki this morning we walked across to the Central Railway Station and travelled the short distance to Oulunkylä from where we started our nature trail (local trains are included in the regional travel pass).  The gravel path passes the ornate pink Oulunkylä Seurahuone (a cafe, but currently closed for renovation) before turning left and heading uphill over a rocky outcrop and then steeply downhill towards the Vaanta River.

Vaanta River

It was quite a dull start to the day but at least it was not raining.  It’s a very peaceful walk alongside the Vantaa River and as you can see from the above photo, there is a small beach for when the weather is warm and sunny.  The first section of today’s walk from Oulunkylä Station to Vanhankaupunginlahti (Old Town Rapids) is about two miles.

Vantaa River Old Town Rapids

Our reward for this gentle stroll was to stop for lunch at Koskenranta Restaurant which overlooks the river rapids.  There’s an attractive terrace overlooking the water but today we decided to eat lunch indoors as it wasn’t so very warm.  After tucking in to a tasty buffet of sausage soup, rye bread, Thai chicken curry, salad,  coffee and cookies we relaxed awhile before continuing on our walk.
The path then took us to the start of the Pornaistenniemi nature walk which veers off to the left.  You will see numerous wheelbarrows leaning against tree trunks and may wonder why they are there.  The reason is that there are numerous summer cottages hidden in the forest in this nature reserve and as there isn’t any road access, luggage and food supplies need to be transported quite a distance, hence the use of wheelbarrows.  The path passes over a small wooden bridge crossing a stream where waterlilies were in full bloom.  The gravelled path then changes to a narrow boardwalk which cuts through the tall reeds.  It’s very peaceful along here and there are many birds and butterflies to be seen.  We felt our legs getting bitten by insects and we had left our repellent back in the apartment which wasn’t much use.   The boardwalks continue along to Lammasaari Island where the majority of the little summer cottages are to be found.

Boardwalk at Pornaistenniem

Below you will see the small jetty on the island which looks across towards Herttoniemi.  Boats are another means of approaching the summer cottages and alongside the jetty more wheelbarrows are available for moving supplies.

Lammassari Island

From here we followed a narrow coastal path that led us to the Lammassaren Lintutorni (Bird Watching Tower) which we climbed to the top of and were rewarded with far reaching views over the reed beds below.  We spotted numerous birds including several herons and some waterfowl.

Bird Watching Tower, Lammasdari

After spending awhile here we continued onto a further viewing platform and a low level wooden bird hide built right out into the water.  This latter bird hide was filled with ornithologists using large spotting scopes so we only stayed here a short time in order not to disturb them.

Bird hide built out over the watet

We retraced our steps back to our starting point at the Old Town Rapids but then turned left along the waterfront of Arabiaranta where you will find a pleasing promenade with modern apartments built further back facing the sea.

Before returning to the city centre we looked in the large Arabia Outlet which stocks a wide range of Finnish brands including those by Finlayson, Fiskars, Arabia, Ittala and Pentik.  We then returned into the city centre by tram (both numbers 6 and 8).

View from the top of one of the birdwatching towers
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34 thoughts on “Day 4.  A Nature Trail from Oulunkylä to Arabianranta

      1. There is another island further in the back where about three sheep live (except in winter). I had been there a few times before a friend took me there.

        I just went through you time in Finland, it seems like you had a great experience and squeezed so much in.

        Liked by 1 person

                1. That’s so nice. We visit at least once a year and always for the whole of July staying both in Espoo and at our friend’s cottage on Lake Saimaa – there’s no better place than Finland in the summertime. Thank you for following my blog, I’m looking forward to reading more of yours.

                  Liked by 1 person

                  1. Ok, nice! Same here 🙂 I am busy preparing my next trip already. Today I posted to see how to include my photos from flickr to save storage space. Works well. Now its time to sleep… I will keep an eye on your blog aswell. I love travelling, not only to Finland…

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