RMK’s forest recreation opportunities utilised 2.9 million times in the last year 27.01

According to data collected from monitoring visitation data, interest in visiting the State Forest Management Centre’s recreation and protection areas is on the rise.

“I’m happy to see that RMK’s hiking trails and visiting sites are becoming increasingly popular. The restrictions imposed due to the coronavirus and the population’s knowledge of the opportunities for physical activity provided by nature came together to bring a record number of people to our trails. We are especially happy to note that, in addition to experienced hikers and the sporty among us, our trails were visited by people who have never utilised our infrastructure before. 10% of our visitors were first-timers. I hope that our newcomers develop the habit of visiting nature,” says Head of the Visitor Management Department at RMK Marge Rammo.

The most visited recreational areas of last year, according to information gathered by counters installed in national forests, are those around Tallinn (such as Keila-Joa Park with 355,500 visitors), those on the north coast of Lake Peipus (such as Oru Park with 307,500 visitors) and the Nõva recreational area (with 261,200 visitors).

The most popular national parks were Lahemaa National Park (169,100 visitors), Soomaa National Park (96,100) and Matsalu National Park (52,000).

In order to spread out visitors, they were encouraged and directed to visit lesser-known areas. Thanks to this method, areas such as the Marimetsa hiking trail in Lääne County as well as Tuhu hiking trail and Nigula bog educational trail in Pärnu County saw an increase in visitors compared with 2019, with 11,700, 10,700 and 9200 visitors, respectively.

RMK’s Elistvere Animal Park also received a record number of visitors. 79,363 animal lovers came to visit native Estonian forest animals, which included Koroonius, a young wolf who arrived in Elistvere last year.

Last year, 6.9 million euros were allocated for the activities of the Visitor Management Department at RMK (with 6.5 million allocated in 2019). This money was used for ensuring the upkeep of infrastructure in recreational areas and reserves, maintaining landscapes, promoting visitation, organising nature awareness events in RMK visitor centres, ensuring that objects aimed at visitors were compliant with measures enacted due to the corona pandemic and directing people’s movements.

Inspiring hiking trails and recreational areas as well as guidelines on how to visit nature responsibly can be found on the Loodusega Koos mobile app and home page https://loodusegakoos.ee/.

RMK, aka the State Forest Management Centre, manages almost 30% of Estonia and 47% of all Estonian forests. RMK is the keeper, protector and manager of all forests and other diverse nature biomes belonging to the Republic of Estonia. RMK grows forests, maintains the values associated with nature, earns income for the government by managing its forests, creates opportunities for physical activity in nature and spreads knowledge about nature.

Further information:
Marge Rammo
Head of the Visitor Management Department at RMK
e-mail: marge.rammo@rmk.ee
Phone: +372 513 7035

Sille Ader
Head of the Communications Department at RMK
e-mail: sille.ader@rmk.ee
Phone: +372 5666 5896