While the word may have various meanings, a bog in Estonia is the oldest local organic landscape, reaching in some cases up to 10,000 years of age. Originating from the Ice Age and forming for thousands of years, bogs have been a source of food, refuge, and more recently – holidaying. The water in bog lakes is extremely pure - bog water has low mineral content and a very high concentration of organic matter. A bog is also a stomping ground for Estonian wild animals, including foxes and rabbits, as well as moose, deer, wolves, badgers, and lizards. Bogs are top destinations for birdwatching. Keep in mind that you will be entering their home so tread carefully and respectfully.
Estonian folklore is full of stories regarding bogs – such as the lighting phenomenon called virvatuled, also knows as fairy lights. This can usually be observed at night in wetlands, especially in marshes and bogs.
1. Bogshoeing – the most nature-friendly form of hiking
Bogshoeing is pretty unique to Estonia, and it is the most fun and nature-friendly form of hiking in Estonia. Bogshoes are racket-shaped footwear you put on your feet in order to help you walk on soft surfaces. Since bog soil is soft and wet, you would most likely sink into it if you were to walk on foot. Bogshoes help you move across the surface of the bog without damaging it. In wintertime, bog shoes (or snowshoes) help you walk on snow.