Last week we had two or three days of fairly dry and even sometimes sunny, cool and nice autumn weather.  This welcome change to the constant rain we have had lately inspired us to take a break from the daily routines around the house and go for a day trip to the beautiful Oravivuori mountain.

Oravivuori is located off the beaten track deep in the local countryside. It is a place that holds some historical significance as it is part of the Struve Geodetic Arc, a chain of survey triangulations, stretching through 10 countries from the Black Sea all the way to Hammerfest in Norway. The survey was carried out between 1816 and 1855 by the astronomer Friedrich Georg Wilhelm Struve, and it offered the first accurate measurement of a meridian, helping to establish the exact size and shape of the Earth. Oravivuori was measured and became part of the arc in 1834.

Nowadays the Struve Arc is on the Unesco World Heritage List as an extraordinary example of scientific collaboration among scientists from different countries and between monarchs for a scientific cause. The listed site includes 34 culturally and historically most valuable points of the  265 original station points.

Not only is Oravivuori a place with historical significance, but it is also a place of outstanding natural beauty, and a place for enjoying the great outdoors. You can leave your car in the parking lot at the start of the path leading to the top of the mountain across varied terrain. The path can be steep at times, but it is wide and very well marked.

The tower on the top of the hill, 200 metres above sea level, is well worth the hike up the rocky path as the scenery from the top is stunning, all year round. The view to Lake Päijänne with its wide, blue waters, small islands, the green forests dotted with the yellows of the autumn colours was nothing less than beautiful even in late October.

You can bring along a picnic and enjoy the stillness of the Finnish woodland around you – the top of the hill is equipped with a simple table and a few benches where you can sit down to relax, listen to the peace and quiet, and take a rest before heading back towards your car. Mind you, no open fire is allowed, and please take all your litter with you when you go.

But, if you have 15 more minutes to spare, and the idea of a picnic does not sound too inviting, the Korpilahti centre with its lovely café on the water is  a place worth considering for an afternoon coffee, or tea…