Spend a day like a Finn in the nature and go cycling at Lake Tuusula!
At Lake Tuusula, only 30 kilometres from Helsinki city centre, you can sense the whole Finland in miniature. Enjoy rural scenery with plenty of services within easy reach. Take a deep breath and breath in some of the cleanest air in the world! In summer, you’ll see lots of green foliage. Even 70% of the surface area in Finland is covered by forest. In September, it all turns into bright autumn colours. The surroundings are perfect for soothing the mind.
Cycling at Lake Tuusula is easy. The area is relatively flat and the whole route around the lake is only 25 kilometres. The one-day programme provides very Finnish things to do: taking a small walk in the forest, having a picnic lunch, rowing a boat or taking a dip in the lake. The duration is totally up to you — take a full day to explore nature in Helsinki Region or cycle around Lake Tuusula in just a few hours!
We are inviting you to enjoy the nature around the lake! We advice you the best picnic place with the view on the lake and the best place for a walk in the forest.
Cycling at Lake Tuusula takes you through the Finnish cultural landscape, surrounded by forests. This lake view was very popular among Finnish artists at the beginning of the 20th century, even world-famous composer Jean Sibelius's home Ainola is located along the cycling route. So it is easy to learn some cultural history of Finland while cycling at the Lake Tuusula!
Take a seat on the pier and dip your feet in the water. Or stay back in the shadow of some old trees, take a seat on the bench and enjoy the view. If you need more rigorous action, you find piers to do some fitness exercises, yoga or stretches! There are also canoes for rent. If you are cycling with small children, make sure to check out the playpark or play some frisbee golf.
Prepare for your cycling tour
Have lunch Finnish style at 11:00 am or enjoy a cup of strong Finnish coffee before starting your cycling tour. In Finland people drink a lot of filtered coffee. We are one of the biggest coffee consumers in the world. You can have a cup of coffee at any time during the day—it is a big part of our social interaction. You’ll need some water too. Finnish tap water is drinkable and you can fill your water bottle anywhere—as long as you find a tap. There aren’t too many shops on the route. Check out a Finnish small, privately owned chain store! Buy some apple juice or maybe a few cold Finnish lager beers. Have a taste of some Finnish strawberries, peas or apples, or get some bakery products to go. Don’t forget Finnish chocolate! The most traditional is sold in blue wrapping.
Activities by a Finnish Lake
In summer Finns would stop to pick blueberries, later in autumn they would find lingonberries. It’s also popular to find edible wild food such wood sorrel which has a slightly salty flavor and a clover-like appearance. These wild herbs are often used in salads, as garnish or seasoning. Note! Eat only plants you recognize as edible!
Take a few steps off the path. What kind of plants do you see? Many Finnish forest areas are easy to walk around in and very safe. They say wild animalsa such as bears and wolves will do their best to avoid people. Don’t worry, the urban areas are nearby and bears and wolves tend to stay far away.
Great Artists by a Finnish Lake
The Finnish artist community lived by Lake Tuusula a hundred years ago. Today we enjoy their homes as attractive museums and places to visit. We recommend you to visit at least two of them.
Ainola is the home of the great composer Jean Sibelius. His music inspired by nature, was mostly composed here. The house was named after his wife, Aino. Here you can see the room in which Jean Sibelius composed the Seventh Symphony. Also, you will see the fireplace where the composer’s last great work, the Eighth Symphony, was most probably destroyed.
Halosenniemi is the home of Pekka Halonen, one of the most loved Finnish painters. He enjoyed the scenery and the gently curving landscapes at Lake Tuusula. His log house was designed and built a 100 years ago of Finnish timber. This museum surely has an atmosphere of its own! Have a seat on the pier of Halosenniemi. Rent a boat and row it around the lake. If you did not see swans on the lake before, now check out the art on a small cliff in the water by the house. It is called Joutsen – Swan.
Home by a Finnish Lake
Here you may catch a glimpse of how locals live; they say it is a Finnish dream to have a single-family house by a lake. It is not recommended to actually step into someone’s yard but you can still have a discreet look while cycling by. In this area, you’ll find both modest houses and more lavish ones. You can check out the surrounding area by cycling around the neighborhood. During midsummer it may seem very quiet, as most Finns spend a lot of time in their holiday home on the shore of another lake.
Sauna by a Finnish Lake
A relaxing sauna bath in the morning, in the daytime or in the evening is a great way to increase your vitality. A Finnish sauna is like a holy place meant for purification of the soul. Try placing birch leaves on your skin. Enjoy the scent and the heat of the sauna, take a dip in the lake before returning to the hot room. Take a local cold beer. Note how your skin glows!
You may find a sauna on your cycling tour, but we strongly recommend you to book in advance. It’s good to ask for advice to enjoy the authentic Finnish experience as its best.
Birds by a Finnish lake
Listen to the birds – or put on your earphones and listen to a Sibelius symphony instead!
At Lake Tuusula you find one of the biggest wetland areas restored for migratory birds in Finland, Rantamo-Seitteli. If you are lucky, you can spot a swan, the symbol of life, death and love in Finnish mythology. When a flock of swans arrived at Lake Tuusulanjärvi, also the world-famous Finnish composer Jean Sibelius would leave his house by the lake immediately, to capture the magic moment which later inspired him in his majestic music. Even if you wouldn’t describe yourself as a birder, these wetlands are worth seeing! Why not count how many bird species you spotted there!
Meet Locals by a Finnish Lake
Lake Tuusula cycling route is popular among Helsinki region residents. Especially on weekends you can easily get in touch with locals. If you have a question about Lake Tuusulanjärvi, don’t hesitate to ask. Most Finns speak English and they’d be happy to help you. They say that Finns are withdrawn and quiet but not all of them!
The cycling route around Lake Tuusula goes mostly on a separate cycle path, but about three kilometres you cycle on Rantatie museum road, which is shared by cyclists, pedestrians and cars driving at a slow speed.
We recommend you to use a cycling helmet.
We recommend you
Take a train from Helsinki to Järvenpää. You find train timetable here.