Autumn is a busy time for us, as a lot of garden work needs to be done, we celebrate two birthdays, days get shorter and Oh, there’s all the usual work, too!. So a weekend get-away might seem like not the best idea, but indeed our small vacation in Rokua recharged our batteries and we had a lot of fun together as a family.
Disclosure: This trip was supported financially by the Rokua Health & Spa Hotel. There are Affiliate links in this article which are marked with an ∞ Infinity Sign 😊 You can use these AT NO EXTRA COST TO YOU but I get a small provision from the company. As you know: I’m keepin’ it real and tell you how it is - I maintain full editorial control of the content published on Hiking in Finland. Read the Transparency Disclaimer for more information on affiliate links & blogger transparency.
Days get shorter, mushrooms and berries are everywhere in the forests, and of course the trees start to be their prettiest 🍁🍂 Autumn is my favourite time of the year, and the possibility to share this special season with my family at the Rokua Health & Spa Hotel was very welcome, despite the busy times we usually have between the end of summer and the Holidays. So early on a Friday morning we packed our one ∞ Arc’teryx V110 Rolling Duffel into a loaned car and started the drive North to Rokua. It is situated a wee bit from Oulu, and it was a beautiful, scenic drive along colourful trees to our destination.
We arrived early in the afternoon at the Hotel, checked in and then went to see both our room and the Kids Playroom. The Playroom was definitely a ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ facility, not only did they have toys for kids of all ages (and for both boys and girls equally!), but they also had a small Movie Theatre, a game room with XBoxes & PlayStations, lots of board games and what our kids enjoyed the most, the little “gym”. Over the course of the weekend our two kids never got tired to go play here, and it definitely did set the bar really high for future hotel visits.
Back at our Superior Room I changed into my old & tested ∞ Norrøna fjørå bike outfit and met up with Hannu, a local Mountainbike Guide.
Since I learned to Downhill MTB in Åre a few years ago I really love to ride bikes on Single Trails in the forest and hills. Mountain biking in Rokua is really enjoyable, as there’s a dedicated Team of locals who establish and maintain a superb trail network, and also in the Rokua GeoPark and the Rokua National Park you are allowed to drive on marked MTB Trails.
Hannu rode a short 15 km loop with me, showing me a lot of beautiful, scenic spots along the way. From a Kota and a Laavu, to silent lakes which are surrounded by yellow birches, and lovely little trails through the GeoPark, I had a big smile on my face riding with Hannu, and really thankful that he went out with me. During the weekend he went on to coach a course at the Hotel about Mountain biking, and I am certain the participants came away with an equally big passion for riding on forest trails as him.
If you want to see more MTBing in Rokua, you should go watch my Video from Rokua where there’s quite a bit of footage of riding - this was the first test of my new ∞ GoPro HERO 9 and I have to say that the image stabilization is pretty amazing!
On Saturday it was my turn to take care of the kids during the morning and afternoon, as M joined a Mushroom course. Having two people in the family who can identify mushrooms is better than one person, and M enjoyed the company and instructions at the course. Every participant got a small mushroom knife and a basket, and then they set off into the forest around the Hotel to collect. The Guide was around to help with identifying, but at the end the group went to the Kota next to the Hotel, where they went through all the mushrooms everyone had collected, and the Instructor explained what are the really delicious mushrooms, tasty mushrooms, edible mushrooms, and mushrooms you shouldn’t pick or eat 🍄 After that the instructor prepared a tasty dish from the really delicious mushrooms the whole group had collected!
While M was at the course the kids and me packed our backpacks and went for a short hike. I am very happy that our two kids like to go hiking - and they especially like it if there’s a 🔥 and marshmallows involved! We hiked a small loop, and used what would be the XC skiing loipe in winter for the way to the Jaakonjärvi Laavu. It’s an easy trail with some good views, but on the way back we decided to hike on and next to the abandoned rail track. This was a lot more fun and we saw more - more reindeer moss, more mushrooms, more berries and even a lovely orange-coloured swamp, as well as plenty of nice, little side trails.
At the Laavu I made a fire, we drunk hot juice and while the kids explored the surroundings I prepared them their sticks for grilling their marshmallows. It’s funny how such a small extra - molten sugar, basically! - can make from a simple hike a very memorable little trip.
The afternoon all four of us met up again, and we went together to the Spa and swimming pools. Our kids love to play in the water, and with a Sauna next door it is easy to go warm up in between swimming and so stay longer in the water!
Early on Sunday morning, after we had breakfast together, I sneaked out for another little MTB trip. This time I decided I wanted to ride to the southern-most Kota which could be reached on the cycling trails, at Rokuanjärvi. It was easy to follow the yellow dots of the MTB Trail from the Hotel till the Kota, where I met two young women which had camped out here. It’s a beautiful, scenic spot and I was happy they had a wee fire going and welcomed me inside, so I could drink a bit of water.
We chatted about cycling and hiking at Rokua National park and GeoPark, and then I said Farewell and cycled back to the Hotel - it was time to check-out and head home, after all. I filmed a lot with my ∞ new GoPro HERO 9, and looking at the footage I am really amazed about this small camera, and can’t wait to take it skiing and packrafting! But that will be another story =)
While the kids enjoyed the last moments at the Playroom I packed up and got everything into the car, happy that we have an organized and lightweight packing approach when we travel. That way packing is a breeze and soon we were on the way back south.
The Bottomline is that we had a relaxing and adventurous family weekend at the Rokua Health & Spa Hotel and are ready for the remaining busy autumn! With its location right in the middle of the National Park and GeoPark - the only of its kind in Finland, by the way! - we could walk out of the Rokua Health & Spa Hotel and be right in the middle of nature. Hiking, mushroom picking, Mountain biking, Trailrunning: It’s right in front of the door. As is a Playground, an Adventure Trail for kids, a lake in which you can go rowing, swimming and fishing, and in case the weather is not ideal for outdoor adventures: Stay indoors! With the modern Spa and swimming pool facilities, as well as the large gym, and not to forget the Kids Playroom you don’t have a reason to sit on your room when it rains outside. So if you too need a relaxing weekend away to recharge your body & mind - head to Rokua!
See more photos on Flickr!
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