Fifth season knocking on the door
The fifth season is just about to begin in Estonian Soomaa National Park - this is what the period of spring flooding is called by locals. The fifth season is one of the best times of the year to visit Soomaa, the ‘land of bogs,’ as it is a truly special experience when water covers huge areas and the only way to get around is in a boat, or a special dugout canoe. Get daily update on Soomaa’s fifth season!
As a result of spring rains, snow melting and water coming down from Sakala uplands water levels can rise up to five meters higher than normal flowing over floodplain grasslands, forests and covering roads in Soomaa. 175 square kilometres are covered with water in the Riisa flood area, which is the biggest regularly flooded territory in Estonia and whole Northern Europe.
Locals have been living together with this springtime phenomenon and have developed their ways to live with nature’s forces: they have 2-storey barns and they took animals up when the flood came. Very often the dugout canoe was the only means to get out of the house and get around. This tradition has been preserved and today visitors can experience the flood in a truly memorable way paddling around in haabjas, Estonian dugout canoes. Haabja is a long and narrow boat carved out of a single tree trunk and with one of the local PAN Parks business partners (http://www.soomaa.com) you can even learn how to make a dugout canoe.
For daily updates on the fifth season in Soomaa go to http://soomaa.tumblr.com/
For more on Soomaa visit the park pages