The Koli National Park in Northern Karelia is said to offer some of the most spectacular and typically Finnish landscapes. And even as a Finn, I have to agree. You’ll usually bump into Koli scenery in Sibelius album covers or Finnish travel brochures. The photos are usually taken in the summer, where pure green and blue take turns to paint a picture of the pure and clean Finnish nature. And that’s all good. The thing is, Koli is really really beautiful in the winter as well.
We did a short trip to Koli with a good friend of mine with snowboot-trekking and skiing in mind. And of course photo- and videography. We found an excellent, peaceful villa to stay, the Mustikkamäki Cottage, which is owned by a really nice couple, Leena and Urpo. Just a 15min drive from the Koli village, it was a perfect spot to serve as a base camp and just to chill out.
I had the chance to do a quick hike somewhere in the Jyväskylä region. After browsing terrain maps and the excellent Luontoon.fi -website I decided to pay the Isojärvi National Park a short visit. The weather was pretty much optimal, not too hot, not too sunny and really calm. Had my drone packed with me to catch yet again landscapes with altitude.
The original intent was to hike to the nearest camping site and admire the views, since I only had about 5 hours for my trip. But a certain fact had me walking for 10 kilometers.
Looking for beavers
Ok, I know, but this time it really is about real beavers. It was mentioned many times in the Isojärvi brochures, that there is a beaver community living by a pond in the National Park. So off I went.
Sadly, none of these natures own lumberjacks were to be found, but it was still an interesting site to see.
Mirror mirror on the w… lake
The beaverpond was interesting, but what really captured my attention was the scene that opened on my tablet’s screen when I raised the drone up to about 100 meters. There was practically no wind at all, so the ponds and lakes acted as clear mirrors that reflected the sky with its beautiful clouds.
I’ve never witnessed the phenomena that clearly. Sure, there’s nice reflections to be found on every water surface, but when the surface was at a standstill, the effect was pretty epic. In the form of a video right here:
A swamp is actually a very interesting place to go hiking. The scents are unlike any other and usually you get a feeling of being somewhere really remote. That’s something I usually look for anyway. The colours are beautiful as well. Here’s something I did with my drone that day:
What I found out was, that the camera on the Mavic Pro drone really, really doesn’t like backlight. Anything shot with hard light in the background came out practically useless. That’s a shame, but just a limitation one has to live with. Still, my DSLR doesn’t fly around and shoot super-smooth video. Other than that, all went well. Got to enjoy my coffee in silence.
A short retreat with a friend to a national park is just your perfect method to take a moment away from it all. And with a recently acquired drone, it was really fun to capture those moments on fil… a memorycard.
Just when I decided to capture some background audio just to make the video a bit more lively, a raven started to “sing” somewhere in the distance. You can actually hear it, if you’ve got your headphones on. The timing was amazingly perfect, it started just after I touched “record” and stopped really soon after the two-minute recording was done. So thanks, anonymous raven!
The national park in question is called Liesjärvi, and it’s located only about a hundred kilometres from Helsinki. You could actually sleep in the hut that you can see in the background of the campsite, but while the weather forecast had been pretty grim with continuous snow and slate, we had rented a really nice log-cottage nearby. A pretty different experience to stay overnight than the hut, but suited us reaally well in the end of the day.