Usmas Elkraga nature trail | Visit Usma, Latvia

" Somewhere between the start of the trail and the end is the mystery why we choose to walk. "

First I would like to start with the fact that country Latvia is full with small parishes which hides beautiful views and histories and Usma Parish is one of them.

Usma Parish is Enzo countryside what makes more interesting to explore it little bit more.

The name Usma was first mentioned in writings in 1253 and no one can give a completely explanation of Usma's name. One of the variants says that the word Usma comes from the Finnish language and means "land of fog" and let's stick to it. The parish has a population of 538 (2016) and covers an area of 219.509 km2 it's a popular place for relaxing, fishing and sailing. Also there is one of the largest lakes in Latvia - Lake Usma. The lake has seven islands, of which Viskūžu is the largest in Latvia and Moricsala on of the famous one.

The Moricsala reserve was founded on 6 June 1912 and is the oldest protected natural area in Latvia. The reserve was established at the initiative of a group of nature students from Riga. They wished to protect the deciduous forest of oak trees on the island, along with the local flora and fauna. Visits to the reserve, however, are strictly prohibited but you can see it well by boat or from our today's goal Usmas Elkraga nature trail.

This is a completely new nature trail built in the end of 2018, circle-type. The trail stretches along Lake Usma. The trail opens the view to the fabulous Morica Island and another Usma islands. The trail is not so long, 0,7km, but perfectly for the explorers with the little walkers, parents with baby-strollers and people in wheelchairs. The nature trail is safe and the view from there is really beautiful, especially when the sun goes down. Also there is set up a small spot with wooden chairs to enjoy the view.

At the end of the trail you will see something unusual swinging in the lake. Little houses on the lake called "Beaver house". At the unique cottage has everything to relax in peace without having to drive ashore. The cottage has a large bed with bed linen, special ceramic dishes, comfortable loungers, electricity, heater, drinking water, mobile WC and grill. Meals, rowing boats and saunas can be rented at an additional cost.

I just have to mention that it's the best place for the couple but not for the little ones. There were so many moments when we stressed out. You know, with 2 years old everything is little bit complicated.

After the nice walk on the trail you can rest at the beach of Usma next to the nature trail. There are WC, picnic tables and also an outdoor exercise and children's playground. Which was like a dessert for Enzo after walking by himself on the trail.

At this place the local community of Usma celebrates the Morica island Festival on the first Saturday of each August – a romantic celebration of the summer and of the people, worth to go!

You know, I think the real view of the country comes from the small parishes and villages not from the big cities. Please, whenever you are in Latvia, explore this place, it's full with miracles and with the real taste of Latvia.

I would like to hear which are your favorite trails in your country? Let us know in comment below :)

GPS: 57.20721, 22.15261


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