Circular hiking trails in Western Estonia

Source: Sven Zacek / Visit Estonia

Circular hiking trails in Western Estonia

Western Estonia has at least 27 circular hiking trails beginning and ending in the same spot. There are many walkers who can never say no to a circular trail - you don't have to worry about public transport or where to park your car. Whether you come out for a solo hike or a family trip - all you have to do, is enjoy your time in nature.

RMK Tammiste forest trail and campfire site

Pärnu maakond, Pärnu linn

The 2.8 km long hiking trail close to the city is a favourite place among both locals and visitors. The information board at the beginning of the trail provides an overview of the basic concepts of forestry. On the forest trail, you can get acquainted with various forestry and nature conservation topics and admire the 160-year-old protected forest as well as the native alders by the river. Next to the trail, by the Pärnu River, there is a campfire site with a campfire grill grate and a table and benches with a roof for a pleasant stay. You can also fish here.

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RMK Laiksaare Forest Study Trail

Pärnu maakond, Laiksaare küla

The forest trail is equipped with information boards and its aim is to introduce the type of forest called ‘lammimets’ in Estonian. These types of forests grow in flooded valleys and are quite rare in Estonia. Hiking on the trail gives you the chance to see the plant communities characteristic of such forests. You also have to cross footbridges and fallen trees on the trail. There is forest hut on the trail where you can rest and make a fire, or even stay for the night. Useful information: Laiksaare (Patchy Island) was named like this because farms in the area were dotted like little island patches among the swamps and forests.

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RMK Rannametsa–Tolkuse nature and study trail

Pärnu maakond, Rannametsa küla

The dunes of Rannametsa have always been a popular place among hikers. It includes a nature and study trail with information boards in order to better introduce the Luitemaa Nature Reserve to visitors. The circular trail, which partly runs on a boardwalk, passes through the pine forest on the dunes and Tolkuse bog and leads to the largest bog-pool of the bog. The trail includes several points of interest, bog lakes, and rest spots. Next to the trail, there is an 18-metre-high observation tower on the highest dune in Estonia, Tornimägi, which provides a magnificent view of Tolkuse bog and Pärnu Bay. Be careful on the trail as the boardwalk is old and needs some renovation.

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Riisa study trail in the Soomaa National Park

Pärnu maakond, Riisa küla

You will find a sign by Jõesuu-Tõramaa Road that directs you to a boardwalk to the beautiful Riisa bog. The trail passes 8 rest stops and a watchtower. A motorway, a car park, and an outhouse are located right by the gate at the beginning of the trail. The hike begins in a spacious bog and briefly runs through the forest. In places like these, you can see the forest turning into a bog and vice versa – dry ground is replaced by wetland, and swamp plants with ancient spruce forests. You can also see some beautiful wetland pools along the trail. This is the perfect location for a family picnic! The Riisa study trail is also accessible with a wheelchair and a baby scroller until the first wetland pool at the 1.2 km mark.

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Penijõe River hiking trails

Pärnu maakond, Penijõe küla

Matsalu National Park is a popular birdwatching area. Come and see the various bird species, as well as the wooded meadows, reeds, meadows, coastal pastures, and alvars. The trail has a campfire site, a campsite, resting areas, information boards, and the Penijõe watchtower. You can choose between different trail lengths ranging from 3 km to 7 km; the duration of the hike is from 1.5 to 4 hours. During rainy seasons, you will need rubber boots and binoculars for bird watching. Dear visitor! As the trail is located in a herding area, dogs are not allowed on the trail.

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RMK Kilingi-Nõmme hiking trail

Pärnu maakond, Kilingi-Nõmme linn

The 3 km forest trail starts from the Kilingi-Nõmme forest hut of the State Forest Management Centre (RMK). You will find a map of the trail on the wall at the start of the trail. Wooden paths help you cross the wetter parts of the trail, wooden steps protect the delicate surface of hills, and a wooden bridge leads across the stream where beavers have been building dams. The study trail consists of 12 lookout areas and was created by the naturalist Hendrik Relve. There is a nature class at the start of the trail. Hikers can rest on the benches that have been arranged in a circle, have a bite to eat and schools can use the area for lessons about nature. After the hike, you can prepare food and camp at the nearby Kilingi-Nõmme campfire site.

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Kaisma Exercise Track

Pärnu maakond, Kaisma küla

Lake Kaisma Suurjärv is a 1.2 km² fen lake in the northern part of Pärnu County. It is connected to Lake Kaisma Väikejärv in the middle of the fens and the area between the two lakes is a prime example of untouched nature. The 6 km exercise track runs around Lake Kaisma Suurjärv and gives you the chance to enjoy the beauty of the lake, fens and forests. 1.5 km of the track is a boardwalk. You will find a map of the track at its start. There are many information boards introducing the nature and a watchtower on the track. You can hire a boat from the rest area next to the lake and go out onto the lake. You can also spend the night and go to the sauna, set up a tent or stay in a caravan.

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Pärnu coastal meadow hiking trail

Pärnu maakond, Pärnu

The Pärnu coastal nature reserve covers 341 hectares of woods, lagoons, and coastal meadows. This is also a pasture for cattle or city cows, as well as a favourite nesting place for birds and amphibians. A 600 m hiking trail with a viewing platform, which stands right by the sea in the middle of the Pärnu beach, was constructed for visitors to be able to explore the unique ecosystem of the city. The visitors can walk above the backwaters and look for unique protected plants. The trail that rises gradually is accessible for strollers and wheelchairs for everyone to enjoy the outdoors.

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RMK Kabli nature study trail

Pärnu maakond, Kabli küla

On the edge of the beautiful coastal sea in Kabli, there is a 1.8 km study trail introducing diverse landscapes and habitats. The nature study trail begins at the Kabli Visitor Centre, where you will also find the Priivitsa campfire site where you can rest and camp. It takes 1–2 hours to complete the trail on wooden boardwalk. The trail also has two bird observation towers, and the entire trail is equipped with information boards and instructive nest boxes that are used in the smart game of the trail. The trail is accessible with a wheelchair and a stroller. Kabli Bird Station is also located next to the trail, where birds are ringed and their migration is studied.

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Dendrarium of Mihkel Rand

Saare maakond, Neemi küla

Village blacksmith Mihkel Rand began creating a garden on this 0.4 ha limestone hill in 1925. Preparing the ground for rare trees and bushes he dug holes into the limestone terrain and carted thousands of loads of soil in there. In search of the tree and bush seeds, he visited most of the parks and gardens with the highest variety, also making trips to Tallinn, Tartu and Viljandi. Good to know: The dendrarium of Mihkel Rand has over 100 species of trees and bushes. Dendrarium holds an abundance of foreign tree species.

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Koigi bog hiking trail

Saare maakond, Koigi küla

The largest bog in Saare County with its 4.8 km trail is perfect for hiking. The footway and wooden boardwalk covered in wood chips pass through the bog around Lake Pikkjärv. There, you will find a lovely observation platform where you can relax and have a small picnic. There is also a 9 m observation tower overlooking the picturesque bog. In autumn, you can pick cranberries next to the trail. Good to know: it is said that Lake Naistejärv (Women's Lake) is made up of women's tears, including those of Piret, the wife of Suur Tõll. Lake Koigi, however, is said to be located in the place where the owners of Kareda and Koigi Manor argued. Additionally, the whole manor is supposedly at the bottom of the lake.  

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Health tracks and nature trail in Saareküla

Saare maakond, Saareküla

This nature trail, which stretches almost two kilometres, forms part of Kingli landscape protection reserve. It crosses the fish farming channel constructed by the lord of Saareküla Manor and follows the stone fences of the manor and surrounding farms. There is a sandpit at the centre point of the trail, where you will also find a picnic area. There are 15 information boards along the trail showcasing the plants, bushes and trees that line it. Did you know...? *There are 1441 species of indigenous Estonian flora,  of which around 15% can be found on this trail.

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Kudjape-Upa Nature Trail

Saare maakond, Kudjape alevik

The trail is 5 km long. The are forests of broad-leaved trees and pines by the trail. It starts by the Kudjape Cemetery.

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Hiking tracks in Kuressaare Health Park

Saare maakond, Kuressaare linn

Kuressaare Health Park is located in a 36-hectare forest. You can exercise on 0.6 km, 1 km and 2 km running and skiing tracks in the health park. You can use running and hiking trails in summer and the skating rink and lit skiing tracks in winter.

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Loode Oak Forest Nature and Study Trail

Saare maakond, Laheküla

Loode Oak Forest includes an old oak forest, a wooded meadow and a pasture, a coastal meadow, and rare plant and animal species. It can be assumed that the oldest generation of trees in Loode Oak Forest have remained from the fleet construction campaign initiated by Peter I. In addition to oaks, there are silver birches, downy birches, aspens, ash trees, and rowans. Additionally, there are 14 species of orchids. Good to know: the forest was placed under protection in 1955. In 2003, a birdwatching tower was built there. It is one of the few natural oak forests in Estonia.

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Viidumäe Study and Nature Trail

Saare maakond, Viidu küla

The trail is 1.5 km long. You can see the ancient coastal terrace of Saaremaa and ecological forest communities.  It starts in the car park by the centre of Viidumäe Nature Conservation Area.

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Audaku Study and Nature Trail

Saare maakond, Viidu küla

The trail is 2.2 km long. You will find natural ecological communities characteristic of Western Saaremaa Highlands on the trail. There are different forest types, a low swamp that is rich in species and different kinds of meadows. The nature trail is located on the Viidumäe Nature Conservation Area. It starts in the car park of the visitor’s centre of Viidumäe Nature Conservation Area.

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Harilaiu hiking trails and camping site

Saare maakond, Kõruse-Metsaküla

Harilaiu Peninsula is the most beautiful and ancient part of Vilsandi National Park. It has been a protected area for fauna, flora, and geological study since 1924. The Harilaiu hiking trail starts from the car park of the Harilaiu recreation site of the State Forest Management Centre. The longer 10 km marked trail passes over the Harilaiu isthmus and runs to the Kiipsaare lighthouse in the northwest. After that, it follows the dunes on the beach to Kelba point and then back to the beginning of the trail. The 6 km trail splits from the longer trail in the middle of the peninsula and runs towards Haabade Bay where it joins the longer trail again in the south. If you want, you can take a break and put up a tent by Laialepa Bay. It would be sensible to visit the Vilsandi information point in Loona first.

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Kalja Karst Land Nature Trail

Saare maakond, Selgase küla

The trail is 0.9 km long. You can see the Karst Land with seven large funnel-shaped depressions and the Selgase Dolomite Quarry. The trail starts on the 2.4th kilometre of the Mustjala-Kihelkonna Road.

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Konati Nature Trail and Camping Site

Saare maakond, Silla küla

Konati Hiking Trail is located by the Konati Quarry where you can also swim and fish. There are benches, tables and 3 campfire spots. You can choose the 1- or the 3-kilometre loop when hiking. Some of the most interesting things you can see on the trail are the scattered boulders, tall ferns, a large ant nest, a 120-year-old forest, the birthplace of linguist Paul Saagpakk, and military establishments. The trail is marked with yellow ribbons and can be passed without a guide.

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Muhu nature trails

Saare maakond, Piiri küla

The nature trails run through a diverse landscape and are surrounded by military installations and groves of trees. The marked nature trails are on a dirt road, which is mainly intended for exploring on foot. The longer trail is marked in blue on trees and stones, and the shorter trail in red. The trails are equipped with information boards that introduce the insects, plants, birds, and animals of the forests. It is time to get to know the beautiful nature around us!

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Vilsandi hiking trails

Saare maakond, Vilsandi küla

The Island of Vilsandi can be accessed by boat from Papisaare harbour or, in the summer, by foot. The marked hiking trail that is almost 5 km long starts from the tip of Kuusnõmme Peninsula and runs across islets to Väike-Vilsandi. Two hiking trails on Suur-Vilsandi start from the lookout tower in the centre of the island. The 8 km study trail leads you down the southern shoreline along the coral reefs to the lighthouse and then back through the woods on the northern shore. The second hiking trail goes to Vesiloo island and passes an ICP integrated monitoring zone surrounded by a fence. The Vilsandi National Park is the oldest nature reserve in the Baltics as well as the one closest to the sea. It would make sense to visit the Vilsandi information point in Loona first.

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Sooääre forest trail

Hiiu maakond, Palade küla

After a visit to Soera Farm Museum it is interesting to look around in old farmlands. The trail runs in the forest close to the farm on former hayfields and grasslands and enters the marsh every now and then. You will get to know which landscapes were once in use of the farm. The trail is approx. 1 km in length and it takes about 30 minutes to complete. There are also information boards on the trail. You may need your rubber boots while on the trail.

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Neljateeristi nature trail

Hiiu maakond, Mägipe küla

Neljateeristi nature trail runs along the northern coast of Kõpu Peninsula. It is possible to examine the communities characteristic to Kõpu there. Möirasoo is a little coastal spring fen, where it is possible to see the yew tree that is under protection. Mägipe boulder and Süllasoo Jaanikivi stone on the beach date back to the Ice Age. There is a unique fishing hut on the beach. It takes approximately 1 hour to complete the trail which can be completed without wellies in the dry season. The trail has been equipped with signposts and information boards. Near the trail, you will find the Kalurikoda forest hut, which has a fireplace, benches, and a table. There is a camping area and a campfire site next to the hut.

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Orjaku study trail

Hiiu maakond, Orjaku küla

Orjaku study trail runs mainly on the shore of the Gulf of Käina. The avifauna of the Gulf of Käina, which consists of 192 species, is interesting and biodiverse. In the autumn, 10 000 - 15 000 water and coastal birds stop on the Gulf. The trail consists of a longer, Orjaku (3 km), and a shorter, Roostiku, trail (0.7 km). The trail also has a birdwatching tower, three observation platforms, a mud bridge, a recreation site with a shelter, and a boardwalk of approximately 0.4 km in the reed field. The study trail is perfect for families with children – the shorter trail is manageable even for the very young. Watching the water birds from the observation platform is an interesting experience for both the young and the old. The trail is marked with arrows and can be completed without getting one’s feet wet.

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Vanajõe valley study trail

Hiiu maakond, Õngu küla

The Vanajõe valley study trail forms part of the Tihu landscape reserve and winds along the banks of the prettiest river on the island of Hiiumaa and the tops of its valley, which are up to six metres high in places. It does not take long to get from one end of the trail to the other, but it has many ups and downs, providing physical exercise as well as an interesting learning experience. The trail is 1 km long and fully marked with wooden arrows. It does not cross through wet areas.

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Last updated : 22.03.2021

In category: For bicycle travellers