The flora of the herb-rich forest of Mustavuori is very diverse, owing to the fact that the area’s bedrock is rich in minerals that benefit demanding plant species. The excavations conducted in connection with the building of the area’s fortifications have also released calcium and other nutrients into the soil. The bedrock in the centre of Mustavuori features First World War era trenches and three large excavated caves.
The herb-rich forests of Mustavuori house a variety of singing bird species, including wood warblers, icterine warblers and Eurasian blackcaps. The woods, which have been allowed to develop in their natural state, also house red-breasted flycatchers, hazel grouse and black grouse. These kinds of forests also accumulate plenty of decaying wood, the presence of which is essential for a range of different species, including polypores. As such, the area features a broad range of polypores, including some rare species, such as Anomoporia kamtschatica and Antrodia pulvinascens.
Mustavuori is criss-crossed by paths, and in winters with a good amount of snowfall the City of Helsinki also maintains ski tracks in the area.
The Mustavuori forest trail is 2.5 km in length. Some sections of the trail consist of wide pedestrian paths, but in the forest the path is narrow in places. Please exercise caution near the caves and gorges, as there are no safety rails around them. Visitors should keep in mind that they explore the terrain at their own risk. Children should not be allowed to deviate from the path by themselves.
Mustavuori is a nationally valuable built environment site. There have never been any permanent settlements on Mustavuori, but there was a hut village built by homeless people in the trenches until the start of the 21st century. There also used to be a limestone quarry on the eastern side of Mustavuori in the 18th century. The quarry pit in the south-east corner has been filled with water and turned into a pond.
During the First World War, people and horses gathered to build earthworks in various locations on the fringes of Helsinki. One of the areas that underwent extensive construction was Mustavuori. The workforce consisted of both Chinese migrant workers as well as Finnish labourers.
The structures of Mustavuori are protected under the Antiquities Act.
Learn more about the nature of Mustavuori at citynature.eu.
How to get there
The journey from Helsinki Railway Station takes around 50 minutes by metro, bus and foot. Get directions.