Siikalahti is the most valuable wetland bird habitat of Inland Finland, featuring over 250 bird species and over 20 dragonfly species. Dozens of species regularly nest in the area, and during the busiest migration time the area is full of flapping wings and bustling bodies. You can spot over 100 bird species on the best days. In addition to birds, Siikalahti also hosts many common and rare species of plants and flowers, which shelter over 900 species of butterfly.
- Duration: about 1 h
- Trail markings: There is an information board at the start of the trail. The trail is marked with signposts and the path is straightforward.
- Suitability: Suitable for families with children
The trail first travels through forest groves to the nature house and then over duckboards, which cover a section of an overgrown inlet. The duckboards lead to the observation tower and the hidden shelter. The observation tower offers an extensive view over Siikalahti and good opportunities to observe birds. The hidden shelter, on the other hand, is a place where you can watch birds at very close range as long as you can stay quiet and still. You get to see birds nesting, feeding their young and looking for sustenance.
There are information boards on the area’s flora, fauna and earlier habitation along the trail and in the observation towers. The nature house offers an impressive amount of information on the area, along with a campfire site and tables that function as a rest area.
The trail gives the whole family a chance to admire the bounty of birds, plans and insects of Siikalahti. More information about the birds is provided at the Siikalahti nature house, birdwatching towers and hidden shelter.
Good to know
The trail is suitable for all kinds of footwear. In some places, the drop from the duckboards is quite long, but the duckboards are wide and sturdy.
The E10 long-distance hiking trail goes past the parking area of the birdwatching trail. There is a 1.7 km long Hiitolanjoki Scenic Trail in Simpele. The Great Saimaa Circuit cycling trail and the Eurovelo 13 Iron Curtain Trail, which is part of a Europe-wide cycling trail network, also go past Parikkala.
The trail features a narrow path and wide duckboards. There is no real elevation. The trail is straightforward.
To start the trail
Siikalahti parking area
N61 33.963 E29 33.452