Last updated on 25.4.2020
Last autumn after a hectic summer I felt rather exhausted. To relieve my exhaustion I wanted to go walk in nature. Solo or independent hikes can be a good way to de-stress the mind. Near Jyväskylä, where I live, there was a national park, Leivonmäki, which I decided to check out.
Independent hike in Leivonmäki is easy
Leivonmäki is easy to find, as there are route guides along the Jyväskylä-Joutsa route. But if you are coming from Joutsa the directions are less noticeable so it is easy to accidentally drive past the turning point. The road to Leivonmäki is good, which means that the car doesnt have to be special to access the national park.
Independent hike, even if only a small one, allows balance from the lifestyle of cities. Leivonmäki is a good beginning hike, as the routes are clearly marked, easy and with very few hills.
Fear of bears was surprising
In the silence of the forest my mind was at ease. Admiring the surrounding nature, the silence around me and the small spiderwebs that glimmered in the sun let my mind calm down. I was walking on a weekday which meant that there were not many others. Whilst walking this made me realise how alone I was. Which was exactly what I wanted but simultaneously I wondered if there were bears in the area which freaked me out. I still do not know if there are bears in Leivonmäki but I chose to send voicemessages to friends to keep some sound about myself.
Leivonmäki has a few routes one can walk, I chose the easy 5 km route. The route includes a place to fry sausages on the open fire and wooden trails over swamp lakes. I felt relaxed in the forest. Independent hikes are great, but before one goes it is good to check if there are bears in the area, preferably before they go hiking.