3 reasons to come to Estonia for bogshoeing

Source: Seikle Vabaks

3 reasons to come to Estonia for bogshoeing


Elen Juurma
Tourist Information System Specialist in Estonian Tourist Board

Estonia is rich in nature, it always has been. The roots of Estonian people are in nature, it is where they draw energy and strength from, so it should come as no surprise that they tend to escape to nature every chance they get. There are no high mountains in Estonia, however, there are plenty of smooth marshes and bogs. Estonians even have a saying: all Estonian roads lead to the bog. Into the bogland they go, to free their mind and find their soul! You can visit bogland using wooden boardwalks but then your entire route has been decided for you. Real hikers want to decide themselves where their route should go, so they put bogshoes on and go bogshoeing!

Photo by: Seikle Vabaks

1. Bogshoeing – the most nature-friendly form of hiking

Bogshoeing 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, bogshoes (or snowshoes) help you walk on snow.

In the old days, bogshoes were made from leather or woven from wicker, modern bogshoes are made from durable plastic with non-skid teeth attached underneath. Maximum convenience! Step right ahead, because bogshoes allow you to go where no boardwalk can take you and lead you to places you could never reach on foot. What makes it especially great is that bogshoeing does not require any special knowledge or skills. It is simple and suitable for people of all ages who can move around by foot.

Soomaa National Park

Photo by: Sven Zacek, Visit Estonia

Did you know..

that bogs generate peat which is considered to be the best natural remedy for human skin according to various sources?

Why should I go for a hike in a bog at all? Because it is a place where peace and quiet, and untouched wilderness still prevails. Have you every stood in the middle of a bog and heard... nothing? Exactly. No cars, people, bells and whistles surrounding you. It is the best antidepressant in the world and a great place to recharge.

2. Year-round beauty and charm

Autumn and winter are said to be the best time for bogshoeing, however, just like every season is different, bogshoeing can also offer fun experiences during each time of year. Come in the winter and admire frozen bog lakes and discover animal tracks in the snow. Come in the spring when the nature is awakening and bog plants blossoming. Come in the summer to search for cloudberries and bathe in bog lakes. Come in the autumn and enjoy vibrant colours and pick cranberries. You will surely experience something special if you come bogshoeing during sunrise on an early morning. At that time, the bog landscape acquires a particularly magic and enchanting aura – bog lakes are steaming and thousands of spiderwebs are covered in dew drops. Once the sun rises, they magically disappear. No, it is not a fairy tale, it is completely true!

3. Trust yourself in the care of your hiking guide

You can also rent bogshoes and go to the bog on your own, but it would be best to go with an experienced hiking guide. They will provide you with bogshoes and take you to the most exciting places. They can also tell you great stories of bygone days, bog monsters and legends, as well as share knowledge of bog flora and fauna. Hiking guides can draw your attention to places you might just walk by on your own. Since the air in the bog is always clean and the water always fresh, you should not be surprised if your hiking guide makes you tea from bog water. A fire is often set up after a couple of hours of hiking and hikers are offered a refreshing meal. What could be better?

Bogshoeing 101

What should you keep in mind when going bogshoeing?

  • Put on your regular hiking clothes, the most important thing is to feel good and comfortable. However, if your favourite attire includes jeans, heels or flip-flops, I recommend you leave them behind. The correct outfit is sporty, layered and chosen according to the weather.
  • You should also wear or carry clothing that would protect you from sudden drizzles.
  • It would be good to wear a hat to protect you from the sun during hot summer days. A hat should also be worn during wintertime hikes, gloves are also recommended.
  • The best footwear would be hiking boots. Rubber boots might be a good option on rainy and wet days, this will ensure that your feet will stay dry.
  • It would be a good idea to also carry a pair of light shoes and extra socks, so you could change into them at the end of the hike.
  • You may also want to use trekking poles to help you keep your balance and move forward in order to ensure maximum convenience.
  • You may also pack a small water bottle and a snack if you so wish. Do not forget to come in good spirit and bring your camera! :)

Photo by: Seikle Vabaks

Did you know..

that bogshoes are estimated to date back ca 6,000 years? On the other hand, it is believed that bogshoes existed before skis which are considered to date back 8,000 years. So which came first, skis or bogshoes?

Great selection of bogshoeing options throughout Estonia:

Last updated : 27.03.2020

In category: Nature & Wildlife