Orrai nature trail

My mother and I went to Orrai nature trail in Savitaipale. It is 10 kilometres long and there is a high cliff with a magnificent view to a narrow strait. In addition, we climbed Tolskanvuori cliff in Kouvola that we had passed a couple of times while driving and had thought it would be nice to climb one day.

The photos can be enlarged by clicking.

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The way there

On the way we had to stop at the same gas station as on the last trip because I didn’t dare go inside the helicopter then. I don’t know if it was actually allowed, but the window was already open and I didn’t do any mischief. Here I am sitting on the pilot’s seat. The photo was taken by my mother.

Buttons and switches. A lot of buttons and switches.

Cargo hold.

The next stop was for a morning swim in Lake Kinkjärvi (for my mother it was already the second swim of the day). After leaving there I noticed that Lake Maijärvi that I had seen on the map on the last trip was right next to this lake. I like the name of the lake (partly because the Japanese female given name 舞 Mai ‘dance’ is one of the most beautiful names I know). I had also noticed that the lake has a cape called Susiniemi (‘wolf cape’) and since the wolf is kind of a power animal for me, I had to go check the lake out. There was a small road going towards the shore, but it quickly changed to a mere forest harvester track. The view at the shore was like this. Cape Susiniemi is on the opposite side of the lake behind the cape that is seen on the left side of the photo. The shore was not suitable for swimming.

Beside the road there was this big rock that kind of looked like a tombstone. I joked that we could attach a plaque to the rock that says “Here lies Mai, daughter of Orrai”. Future historians would get an explanation for the unusual place names in the area.

Orrai nature trail

We parked the car at the nature trail’s parking area and started walking the trail counter-clockwise. Soon we came to Onkilampi lean-to and we got to swim in the small lake next to it.

Heath spotted orchid (Dactylorhiza maculata subsp. maculata).

Various kinds of blues. The second photo might be a female Amanda’s blue (Polyommatus amandus). The two last photos are of the same individual, which most likely is silver-studded blue (Plebejus argus). The last photo also has a hoverfly that flew by while I was taking the photo.

There were young birds on tree branches. The second photo has a European pied flycatcher (Ficedula hypoleuca) that was feeding its chick.

Terrain along the trail. The forest was nice and there was also a pond with boggy edges. We picked bilberries for snack.

View from the pier at Luotolahdenkapia lean-to. I have a tendency of not getting the horizon straight, and I didn’t bother to fix it. I went for a swim here as well, so now my mother and I both had swum three times.

A big tinder fungus (Fomes fomentarius). As scale is my hand, where the span between the little finger and the thumb is about 20 cm.

Toothed plagiothecium moss (Plagiothecium denticulatum). It has a nice-looking growth habit.

View from Luotolahdenvuori cliff. The highest point of the trail is about 44 metres above the lake. The white dot near the centre of the second photo is a swan-shaped beach toy of a cabin on the opposite shore. It looked really out of place.

Rock campion (Atocion rupestre) and its habitat. The plant in the second photo didn’t grow in the same place though.

The trail continued along the edge of the cliff. Here’s a view from another point.

A nice group of star-tipped reindeer lichen (Cladonia stellaris) was growing on the edge.

The sun was reflecting off the surface of the lake far below us.

South end of Luotolahdenkapia strait. From there you could get to the more open parts of Lake Kuolimo.

When we continued along the trail, we came to a crossing with a sign to a scout cabin. We went to check it out. We found a small wooden cabin with a nice door handle made of a horseshoe. I tried the door, and it opened.

We peeked inside and found a note saying the cabin was open for everyone to use. We put our names to the guestbook. I climbed up to try the sleeping loft. It was the first time we saw a wood-burning stove that doesn’t need a firewall.

There were nice roots on the path.

When we got back to the car, we wanted to go swim again. Walking to Onkilampi and back didn’t sound inviting, so we drove the car to the parking area of Onkilampi lean-to. This was already the fourth swim. With hindsight it would’ve been better to either walk the trail clockwise, or to leave the car at Onkilampi to begin with.

At Onkilampi we picked some cloudberries that were still a bit unripe and took them home to ripen. Here are my berries at home just before I ate them.

Other stops

I had seen a gravel pit opposite the parking area of the trail on the map. We went to check it out, but when we got there I realised the map symbol hadn’t been a gravel pit but a stone quarry.

A nice angular rock. On the cliff there was a rock that looked like a kneeling person.

On our previous trip we hadn’t stopped at Partakoski rapids on our way to Kärnäkoski Fortress. Now we stopped there. At the mouth of the river there is a small island and next to the road there is a beautiful log cabin.

Tolskanvuori cliff

This cliff is located in Kouvola along road 369 south of Verla groundwood mill. It looks so magnificent that we just had to climb up (even though it can’t be seen from up there).

We walked along the road until the slope wasn’t too steep anymore and started climbing. The place we chose was still a bit difficult, especially because there was gravel eroded from rapakivi granite on the slope and it slid under our feet. The second photo shows a rapakivi granite boulder.

On the top there was nice forest that was easy to walk in.

View from the cliff. It was difficult to see how high we were because it wasn’t possible to go to the edge.

We came back down on the north side of the cliff. The young forest there was pretty dense, but once we understood it wasn’t going to get any easier, it was too late to turn back. It was easy enough after all, and we ended up on this trail which led to the road where our car was.

Here are some shots of the cliff while walking to the car. It had interesting cracks and holes in it.

Myllykoski rapids

Myllykoski rapids are located two kilometres west from Tolskanvuori. We stopped to see what it’s like there.

This structure has apparently been a part of a mill, since Myllykoski means ‘mill rapids’ in Finnish.

It was calm above the rapids.

There’s a partly collapsed cellar next to the river.

The way back

We wanted to go to swim for a fifth time, especially because both of us had seen a tick walking on our skin. We hoped the water would repel any other ticks that hadn’t yet bitten us. We stopped at a beach called Uimila.

We thought we would get home without any further stops, but when we saw a beautiful meadow full of flowers, we just had to stop. Route 46 is under renovation and they had disturbed the soil here as well, which was probably the reason the plants were so eager to grow. The species most easily seen on the photos are dark mullein (Verbascum nigrum), common toadflax (Linaria vulgaris), rosebay willowherb (Chamaenerion angustifolium), meadow foxtail (Alopecurus pratensis), tufted vetch (Vicia cracca), field scabious (Knautia arvensis), stinging nettle (Urtica dioica), large-flowered hemp-nettle (Galeopsis speciosa), meadowsweet (Filipendula ulmaria) and ground elder (Aegopodium podagraria). There were also many other species there.