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Trip nr 3

Endla mire system and Kassinurme Mounts


The Endla Nature Reserve
Photo: Jaanus Paal

Tour guide:

    

     Jaanus Paal, University of Tartu

 

The Endla Mire System (with a total area of about 25 000 ha) is one of the most important freshwater systems in Estonia, representing a complex of different wetland types – mires, lakes, swamp forests, springs and rivers and supporting rich diversity of species.

 

The Endla Nature Reserve, covering 10 110 ha, was established in 1985 to protect the best preserved central part of the mire system and karst springs of the southern slope of the Pandivere Upland. 

Männikjärve bog
Männikjärve bog
Photo: Jaanus Paal

In 1997 Endla was listed as internationally important wetland (Ramsar) site. The middle part of the mire system is under protection – its eight bog massifs are separated by rivers with narrow flooded meadows or swamped/bog forests.

 

A boardwalk across Männikjärve bog enables visitors to see drained and natural bog forests, a well developed and picturesque raised bog of the treed-ridge-hollow-pool subtype, bird and plant species.

 

Kassinurme ancient area formed 7000 years ago and the fort was established 2000 years ago.  The sacred grove was discovered when the settlement was established and it is one of the oldest sacred places in Estonia.

A reconstruction of a fort in Kassinurme Mounts  
A reconstruction of a fort in Kassinurme Mounts
Photo: Jaanus Paal         

A fragment of the ancient fort has been restored. At present the sacred grove is a favourite place for history enthusiasts who organize ancient war games there, revive old folk customs and celebrate folk calendar holidays. The health trail shows visitors the varied nature and landscape types of the region.

 

Kassinurme Mounts is a cavity-bulge-like elevation created after the melting of inland ice. The peculiar landscape is associated with Estonian national folk hero Kalevipoeg (Kalev’s son). Linnamägi (the Town Hill) is considered to have been the bed of Kalevipoeg. There is a study trail of interesting natural and historical/cultural sights in Kassinurme Mounts. An old cult area with a sacrificial stone is located there.

Round-leaved sundew (Drosera rotundifolia), a carnivorous plant often found in bogs in Männikjärve bog
Round-leaved sundew (Drosera rotundifolia), a carnivorous plant often found in bogs in Männikjärve bog
Photo: Jaanus Paal

Drosera anglica, commonly known as
the English sundew or great sundew
in Männikjärve bog
Photo: Jaanus Paal

Total length of the bus trip is 140 km.

 

Map: http://goo.gl/maps/qR2wf