Going to Tallinn and looking for some easy-to-reach nature trails? The answer, as we learned this August, is to take one of the extremely clean and comfortable trains about 15 minutes south of the city to an area called Nõmme.
From the train station, it’s about a 25-minute walk through a beautiful, quiet suburb full of huge, wood-paneled homes, to reach this short, easy trail through forest and bog.
The trail is called Pääsküla Bog Study Trail when you search for it online, but I didn’t see any signs that marked it as such. Whatever it’s called online or off, the loop is about 3 kilometers and starts with a couple non-descript wooden signposts pointing along a trail that very quickly turns into a raised wooden platform and winds into the bog.
Once in the bog, we followed the first wooden path until it ended in a T along a wide forest trail. We turned left and then very quickly took another wooden path to our right (just past a sign describing, in Estonian, the many butterflies native to the area).
That path also ended in a T, where we turned right along the path and then took another wooden route to our left. When this final wooden path reaches its T, we turned left and followed the forest pathway to a clearing and a wooden tower that reaches above the treetops for 360-degree views of the forest canopy and a couple distant buildings.
By this time, it had started raining. The official route continues to loop back around to the beginning, but we weren’t sure it was a loop at the time, so we turned around and booked it back out of the bog and to the train.
Looking a map later, it would have been faster to continue on. But c’est la vie. It was a lovely walk either way.
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Want to experience the hike for yourself? Here are some relevant details:
Hiking times and local transportation
From Tallinn, we took the train to the Nõmme station and took the train back from the Hiiu station. I think Hiiu was a bit closer to the trailhead, but you can easily get there from either station. Look up the trail on a map before you go so that you can find your way through the suburbs to the trailhead (the way was not marked).
With stops for photos and climbing the tower, I expect the full loop would take most people around one hour, not including the walk time through the suburbs.
The trail is not well marked, but all paths seem to intersect with each other, so I think it would be tough to get truly lost. If you can, take a look at the map beforehand to plot your preferred route.
The early portion of the trail is wheelchair accessible. The second two wooden platforms seemed like they would be too narrow, but the first platform was wide and advertises itself as being wheelchair friendly (on the tourism website) and forest paths were very clear and wide.
Dogs on trails
Dogs are welcome and we saw three or four others on the trail during our walk.
What to bring
There are no water fill-up stations, so bring your own water. And Estonia’s weather can be rainy (and rain seems to sweep in quickly), so I’d bring some rain gear. We were happy to have our ponchos with us on our own trek.
Since I’m hiking with a middle-aged small dog and occasionally she’s had some knee issues, I also hike with a dog backpack.
All photos taken with my Sony a6000.