Rugged Rocky Land

The National Park is located in the border of the oak forest zone and the southern boreal forest zone. The landscape is dominated by valleys and gorges formed by the Ice Age, and barren rocky hills covered by lichen and sparse pine forest. At some places the hills reach the height of 110 metres above the sea level. The breeding birds of the rocky pine forests include Wood Lark (Lullula arborea) and the European Nightjar (Caprimulgus europeaus), which both are threatened species.

Snowy scenery in March. Photo: Markus Sirkka

There are many scenic places on the bold cliffs. On Haukankierros Trail there is a high rock where you can look out to Brook Myllypuro valley in the northeast. If you return to the rock at different times of the year you will see how the landscape changes with the seasons; in the autumn it shines with beautiful colours. You can also see the Högbacka farm, built in 1930´s, which nowadays serves as a maintenance base for the National Park. Near Högbacka there is Giant's Kettle, which is still the boundary mark between the towns Espoo and Vihti. (Giant´s kettles were formed during the Ice Age by water making stones whirl around which grounded a deep hole in the rock.) It is located by the road Kattilantie, near Kattila area.

Lush Herb-Rich Forests

The rocks descend vertically or step by step to damp gorges, which are dominated by moist forests, and spruce and pine mires. Under the water seeping cliffs, the dense spruce forests are cool, damp and dim. On the base of the rocks and in the brook hollows rich in nutrients, the vegetation is luxuriant. There grows the Alpine Currant (Ribes alpinum) and other currants, the European Honeysuckle (Lonicera xylosteum), the Mezereon (Daphne Mezereum),and trees like the Hazel (Corylus avellana) and the Littleleaf Linden (Tilia cordata). In May the ground seems all blue and white with Liverleafs (Hepatica Nobilis) and the Wood Anemones (Anemone nemorosa). In the dells sing the Blackcaps (Sylvia atricapilla) and the Red-breasted Flycatchers (Ficedula parva).There are also Flying Squirrels living in the area.

White-backed Woodpecker (Dendrocopos leucotos). Photo: Reijo Juurinen

Small Lakes and Mires

There are over 80 little lakes and ponds inside Nuuksio National Park. Some of the lakes have brown water and are surrounded by open bogs, while some have clear water and rocky shores. There are also many pine and spruce mires. The largest mire is Soidinsuo, which is in its natural state and surrounded by old-growth forest. Most parts of the National Park have been commercial forest, but some parts have already had a long time to develop into proper old-growth forest. The best old-growth forests can be found around Lake Haukkalampi and Brook Myllypuro on the slopes and the bottom of the fault-line valleys.

The turf floats of Lake Mustalampi are a special feature of Nuuksio National Park. A dam that was built 1950s caused the water level to rise and the turf floats around the lake to get loose. Now they float freely on the lake.
Photo: Vastavalo/Jaakko Vähämäki

Nuuksio National Park

  • Established 1994
  • Area 55 km²

The Emblem of Nuuksio National Park - Siberian Flying Squirrel

The Emblem of Nuuksio National Park is Siberian Flying Squirrel