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Soomaa National Park

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Estonia : Soomaa National Park
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Soomaa National Park [1] [2] is in Viljandimaa and Pärnumaa of Estonia. With 390km2 it's the second largest national park in Estonia.

Understand

The national park, situated in South West Estonia, has been created to protect large raised bogs, flood plain grasslands, paludified forests and meandering rivers.

History

Established: 8 December 1993.

Landscape

The territory of the national park is mostly covered with large mires, separated from each other by the rivers of the Pärnu River basin — the Navesti, Halliste, Raudna and Lemmjõgi rivers.

On the eastern margin of the national park lie the highest dunes on the Estonian mainland, situated some 50 kilometres off the contemporary coastline.

Flora and fauna

Trees gnawed by beavers in Soomaa

Soomaa is home to, and a breeding zone for, rare European mammals including roe deer, elk, wild boars, beavers, lynx, wolves and brown bears. Soomaa bog is also a breeding ground for several rare bird species, including golden eagles, black storks, black grouse and capercaillies. It is a habitat for some rare orchids as well.

Climate

What makes Soomaa unique is the so called "fifth season" - the spring flood, which can raise the water level five metres above the low-water level! Everywhere floods - meadows, fields, forests, roads and sometimes even houses.

Get in

The visiting centre of the Soomaa National Park is located in Tõramaa.

Fees/Permits

There are no fees to enter a national park. No fees for using walking trails and other infrastructure as well.

Get around

Canoeing is one of the best ways to explore the watery wilderness of Soomaa and several canoe tour companies operate in the area.

You can also follow the many hiking and study trails on foot.

See

Do

Canoeing is one popular activity and a good way to get to know Soomaa national park. Guided canoe trips are available, and rental of canoes as well.

Buy

Eat

Drink

Sleep

The official Estonian tourism website provides an extensive list of options for accommodation.


Lodging

Camping

Backcountry

Stay safe

Get out


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