Birgitan Polku, or in english, Birgitta’s Trail is a 55km trail southside of Tampere, Finland. It has many lean-to’s, fireplaces and some closed shelters. Couple of wilderness shelters, which you can rent. Trail is named after a 500 years old church in Lempäälä.
Trail is a circular shape and part of the trail goes thru the city areas. 2006 it was chosen as outdoor place of the year.
My friend has been hiking this trail few times and been asking me with him. So last saturday, he picked me up and we started from south part of the trail, Lempäälä. Trail passes his home only 500 meters away. I wasn’t sure about going whole trail, because of my weight and i wasn’t so good shape. But still, packed 3 days worth of food with me.
This part of trail was partly fitness trails, so we used small unmarked trails instead. Some of them made small shortcuts. But after one kilometer, we got in to the forest trails finally.
First 3km were mostly uphill, but not so steep. Trails were full of big and small rocks, also lot’s of roots of trees. So basicly, couldn’t look around much, because needed to see where to set my foot.. Also this part has lot’s of Viper snakes, so better watch where your step! First break we had top of the Siisjärvenkukkula (159,6m).
After the break, it was downhill, but got steady. Couple of times we had to go thru the big forest logging areas. Made me a really sad. Also got problem to stay on the trail, because some of the yellow marking have been cut down. We saw one couple sitting on the big stone, middle of the logging area.
Some of the log trails were new, old broken ones been replaced with new. Also they have added some long straps of coarse tape, which prevents slipping. I think that should be done on other places too. My friend Lev have slipped couple of times on old wet log trails.
Trail itself didn’t offer much of great views. Some small lakes, which had nice little pier. Trail was quite wide all the time, so it’s been used quite a lot. After all, it’s short way from second biggest city of Finland, Tampere.
We had a short break at the Ammejärvi shelter (bathtub lake). We had 10km behind us. My legs we ok, but already felt a bit fatigue in them. We have only 2 km to Sääksjärvi, where we have to walk 2km on asphalt roads.
So far it’s been good time, lot’s of different kind of forest types. Devil’s Yard (pirunpelto) also, which mean field of rocks. You can see marks from ice age in the rocks.
When we got out of the trail, the asphalt was really a murder to our feets. I had to change my socks too, but still felt that i will get some blisters. A bit funny situation, when i sit on the big rock to change my socks, i felt a bit sting on my feets after i let them rest on the soft moss. It was full of small fire ants! Got couple of bites, it sting for awhile but was ok. We were laughing about it later.
Last 2 kilometer we walked in the trail again, my feets were killing me. Maybe i should take my sneakers with me next time. Friends feet were aching too.
And finally we were in Kirskaanniemi! 16.4km behind us. It was almost 9pm, our start was 3pm. Time to set my hammock and have a goooood eating!
This time i took my Ticket To The Moon Double with me. Found a good place near the Lean-to, where my friend was going to sleep. My friend sew some loops to my TTTM, so i got my DDunderblanket attached.
When we arrived, there was a family doing some food in the fire. But they left soon and we got whole shelter to ourselfs. Wind came from the lake and blew all the smoke into the shelter. So we just pour lot’s of water before my friend were going to sleep.
Got some chicken with me, fried it and added to the pot, where i had some Italian style of stew coming. I was stuffed! After eating, went to wash plates etc. I sat down a bit and put my aching feets to the water…boy that felt good…
Sun was peeking thru the clouds, breath of wind felt good in my face. I really like to be near water. I enjoyed the sound of the waves, wind in the leafs of the trees. Only thing i was missing was my girlfriend, who lives 130km away. But i am sure i will get great time with her on this summer.
Couldn’t get a good sleep, because my feets were aching too much. Fell in sleep 4am, woke up around 9am. My friend was up until 6am! He got a loooong talk in the phone lol
Got up and decided that i will go home. I am not so good shape that i could go whole 55km trail. But was fun! Made some breakfast, while my friend was sleeping. He got up soon and pack everything. We said bye and i had a 7km walk to Hervanta (part of the Tampere on south) where i get a bus to home. Surely people were watching me because of my backpack. And probably smell the strong smoke from my clothes lol
In the future, i will be doing only 8-10km walk a day. I want to see more great views instead of getting lot’s of kilometers. This was nice experience to me and i learn a lot.
I hope you enjoy my story 🙂 Under this you can find a link to youtube, where i uploaded video from this trip. Music is from my friends album, Jussi Syren & The Groundbreakers – Factories And Fields (Song : Walkin’ In)