Snowshoes have been used for thousands of years. Our ancestors used them for hunting and crossing wetlands. Back then, snowshoes were crafted of any available material. The modern snowshoes that Wanderlust uses have been ordered from France, from a manufacturer called TSL, in order to make moving in the bog as comfortable as possible.
On snowshoes, you will experience the bog in a totally different manner
Snowshoes give you access to locations that cannot be reached via boardwalk. You can admire the most inaccessible locations. You’ll journey between the bog pools and can experience the bouncing of the bog under your feet. During the right season you can also pick berries: cloudberries, blueberries and bog bilberries in July, lingonberries in August and cranberries from September. An experienced tour guide can share stories about plants growing in the bog and animals roaming around, and of course local folk tales. They can also explain the importance of bogs as an ecosystem.
Did you know that the physical effort that goes into walking on snowshoes is twofold in comparison to regular walking? A snowshoe hike is a nice exercise in the wild because we all want to be in shape and in good health. At the same time, snowshoe hiking suits almost every person who is capable of moving in the wilderness.
Silence and fresh air
Close your eyes and listen to the silence. The bog silence. By hiking deeper into the bog, further away from the boardwalk, you can enjoy a feeling as if you were standing at the edge of the world. Now breathe in really deep, then breathe out and repeat a couple of times. Full relaxation! On moments like this you really don’t need anything else to relax.
Pleasure for all senses
The bog has its own scent. You have to experience it for yourself. The bog has its own flavour that alternates depending on the season. One moment it tastes like cloudberries, another moment like blueberries and then like cranberries altogether. In a bog you can touch the softness of the peatmoss, the coarseness of the black crowberry and rub the leaves of the marsh Labrador tea between your fingers. A snowshoe hike soothes all your senses.
The beauty of the bog in all seasons
The bog is beautiful and special during every season. The colours shift, the flora undergoes some changes. Be it the blooming heather, the white fluffs of the hare’s-tail cottongrass or the carnivorous common sundew that hides under the moss carpet when the weather gets chilly. When temperatures fall below zero, you can even walk or skate on bog pools. A refreshing dip into a bog pool brings relief during a hot summer day and later leaves you pleasantly surprised over the silky-smooth skin and hair that this natural spa provides. The spring and autumn offer a rich display of colours. The bog is definitely worth exploring!
There have been times when bogs have been treated as a waste of land that needs to be ‘ameliorated’. Today, the opinion is the direct opposite and bogs are well respected. The importance of bogs to the ecosystem is invaluable, as is their recreational role. In most European countries, wetlands have been drained and in some there are now attempts to recover these lost treasures. As Estonians we can be proud to have so many natural bogs to hike and ‘recharge’ in.
Out of many bogs in Estonia, the favourite bogs of the Wanderlust team are in Lahemaa and Kõrvemaa:
- Viru bog
- Kõnnu Suursoo
- Laukasoo bog
- Kakerdaja bog
- Aabla bog
- Hara bog
If you want to experience the beauty and charm of the bog away from the boardwalk and also learn more about bogs, join Wanderlust on a snowshoe hike!