Baltic Forest Hiking - Tukums and Ķemeru NP

Tukums and Ķemeru National park

Ķemeri National park — among the most diverse wetlands in Latvia

Jaunmoku pils – Tukums – Jāņukrogs – Bigauņciems: 56 km, 3 or 4 days

The main purpose of creation of Ķemeri National Park is protection of wetlands — shallow coastal waters of the Gulf of Rīga, overgrowing coastal lakes, vast marshlands, wet forests and alluvial meadows — as an important habitat for many plant (25% of the plant species listed in the Latvian Red Book are found in the park) and animal species, especially breeding and migratory birds. One of the largest swamps of Latvia — Great Ķemeri Bog, as well as others — Zaļais purvs (Green Swamp), Raganu purvs (Witches’ Swamp) lie within the park and are passed by the winding Forest Trail. The large marshes are an important site for formation of sulphur water and medicinal mud, which was the basis for establishment of the resort of Ķemeri. Having passed the historic resort of Ķemeri, the Forest Trail meets the Baltic Coastal Hiking Route (E9) at the seaside at Bigauņciems, and both trails follow the same route towards Rīga.


ESection 97. Jaunmokas – Tukums.

To Tukums for the beauty!

In the vicinity of Jaunmoku palace, spectators are delighted by the beautiful landscapes of the Vanema hills of Austrumkursa Upland. The Forest Trail slopes down to the Bēru watermill and then, further up to Vecmokas, in a length of three kilometres rises by about 50 m, revealing beautiful landscapes to the wide Slocene valley in the south. After the alley of Vecmoku Manor, the Forest Trail crosses the Tukums–Lazdas road (V1442), turns around a cluster of farmsteads and then along straight forest path goes southeast along Sekļa lake. The lake can be accessed via small paths. In the vicinity of Recreation complex “Sveikuli”, the route continues along beautiful forest paths and joins the Tukums–Kesterciems–Kolka road (P131) near the Ozoliņi cemetery, where the town of Tukums begins. Along Raudas, Kurzeme Forest and Melnezera streets, the Forest Trail reaches the Sun hill (Saules kalns).

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ESection 98. Tukums – Jāņukrogs.

Through the best mushroom forests in the area

Along Melnezera street, the Forest Trail leaves Tukums. Up to Milzkalne, it winds through beautiful forests, except for a short section along Jaunūdru road. Then the trail throws bows up and down along the backs of the steep hills of the Raudas massif. One of the highest points is Milzkalns, 113 m above sea level. Crossing the Tukums–Milzkalne–Smārde road (V1446), the Forest Trail leads through the Šlokenbeka Manor, crosses the Slocene river, turns around Bērzāji and further along the left bank of the Slocene curves through the beautiful forests to the Kārniņi cemetery on the Tukums–Milzkalne–Smārde road. From here, Valguma lake, with accommodations nearby, is about 2.5 km away. Ķemeri National Park starts behind Bērzāji.

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HSection 99. Jāņukrogs – Bigauņciems.

Through Ķemeri National Park

After crossing the area with some homesteads, the Forest trail winds through beautiful coniferous forests and further 6.5 km along Čaukciems until the turn to the Green Dune leads along the side of the Antiņciems–Smārde road The neighbourhood is flat, as the section is part of the Engure plain of the Piejūras Lowland. The Green Dune (Zaļā kāpa) offers wide views of the Green Bog (Zaļais purvs) and the Witches' Bog (Raganu purvs). A small forest road bends along the lower part of the dune and in two places crosses the bog along wooden footbridges. In Ķemeri, the Forest Trail moves along Partizāna, Robeža, A. Upīša, Katedrāles and E. Dārziņa streets, along the Forest House and Vēršupīte, into which the waters of sulphur springs flow. Crossing Tūristu street, it continues along the Dūņu road to the Sloka lake. Further the trail crosses the Vēršupīte swamp forest, which is one of the most outstanding wet forest habitats in the whole part of the trail in Kurzeme. At Melnezers it turns onto the Old Ķemeri road and after 2 km it reaches Bigauņciems. Behind the Talsi highway, the Forest Trail reaches the shore of the Gulf of Riga and connects with the Coastal Hiking Trail. The Forest Trail runs through the Ķemeri National Park along the entire section.