Finland is a well-known paradise for hikers, as its national parks and nature reserves are open for everyone free of charge.
Kintulammi nature reserve is Tampere’s most popular hiking area. This year, it has even been awarded as the best outdoor area in Finland. It has numerous shelters for overnight stays or a break by the campfire. All shelters are easily accessible and maintained by the City of Tampere, so you will find here coal and wood for fire-making.
The gem of Kintulammi is the Kirkonkivi wooden shelter (literally translated as the Church Stone Shelter). It was designed by the Finnish architect Malin Moisio from recycled materials and without use of electricity. The shelter is just 300m away from the parking lot. What I love about this place is the spirit of adventure and sharing stories with strangers around the fire while watching a coffee pot. The smell of the Finnish “pannukahvi” – a coffee made over the open fire – is absolutely special in the forest.
The shelter is very spacious, so it can easily fit a company of 10 people. The fanciest meal I’ve enjoyed there so far is grilled fish, but an ordinary sausage grilled over the open fire tastes equally great after a forest walk.
There is another beautifully designed lean-to just in 1 km away from Kirkonkivi. Check it out too, as the way there lies in the beautiful spruce forest with moss, lingonberry and blueberries.
Pro-tip: in the summertime, do take with you some repellent!