Pääjärvi Recreation Area. Bild: Outi MäenpääThough Pääjärvi Reacreation Area covers only a small area the nature and landscape are very diverse. The area is located on the northern edge of the vast Pernunnummi Meadow and pine forests are the area's dominate woodlands. There are however also spruce mires and young birch forests along the area's trails.

Ridgebacks are a dominant feature of the area and trails meander up and down the slopes of ridges. There are also small forest lakes and small mires in the area. Hikers can admire a view of the lake from between trees as the area's trails run the length of the Lake Pääjärvi.

Traces of the Ice Age

There are still visible signs of the Ice Age in the Pääjärvi area. The area's ridges were formed 10,000 years ago when melting waters and glacier rivers piled sand into cracks in the glaciers. There are also numerous dislodged boulders and suppa-depressions which are signs of the ice age. The entire vast Pernunnummi area is a large river delta from the Ice Age.

Photo: Pinja Pirttilä

Inhabitants of the Forests and Water

Numerous water birds such as the European Goldeneye (Bucephala clangula), and the Red-Throated Diver (Gavia stellata) and the Crane (Grus grus) nest at Poikamonlahti Bay. In the area's forests a constant chirping and the tapping of woodpeckers is sure to greet hikers.

Moose (Alces alces) and wild reindeer (Rangifer tarandus) are abundant in the sparely settled surrounding area and wander along their own paths along the area's edges.

The Timid Nocturnal Inhabitant

Very quiet and lucky hikers may be able to spot the mysterious and threatened Flying Squirrel (Pteromys volans). Groups of these large-eyed creatures, which glide from one tree to another live at Kynnysniemi.

The Flying Squirrel generally only leaves its nest after nightfall, but during mating season and when it is feeding its young they can be seen out and about during the day. The animal is difficult to spot as it moves almost soundlessly.

The Flying Squirrel is a threatened specie and its population is continually decreasing in size. The main reason for this is that its habitat is growing smaller with the logging of old mixed forests.