9. NATURE TRAIL
If you are a nature lover and would like to see a beautiful old growth forest you should stop here and take a few hours to walk this newly established nature trail. Every effort was made not to disturb the environment during the trail's construction so trail markings are few. However, with the aid of the trail guide available at the info center you should have no problem. If you don't have the trail guide, you should still walk the first kilometer or so because the trail leads to the second highest point in Hiiumaa which is about 63m above sea level (the highest point is where Kopu lighthouse is). Just go to the top of the wooden stairs and turn right.
The trail was established in 1993 by the Biosphere Reserve office on Hiiumaa and they also wrote the guide. The trail guide is very informative and tells about the various plants and trees along the trail as well as a little bit about the history and geology of the area. Hiiumaa is actually very young in geological terms. This part of the island was the first to rise out of the sea some 10,000 years ago. Later, the Paluküla heights in the east rose up and for a time, Hiiumaa was only a scattered group of rocky islands and sandbars. The rest of the island emerged just a few thousand years ago and the center of the island is still very wet and swampy. Hiiumaa is located on an area of the earth's crust that is rising at a rate of 2-3mm a year so if you come back next year there will be even more of Hiiumaa to see! The Kopu trail is truly Hiiumaa nature at its best. If you are lucky and very quiet you may see elk, moose, deer or even a wild boar but these animals are very shy and usually try to keep away from people as much as possible.
- Now, take the highway further west until you reach a fork in the road after you pass kilometer marker 62. Take the gravel road on the right and go about one kilometer further until you reach the turnoff for Kopu lighthouse. Turn right here and go up the hill. At the turn you will also see a sign that says "Kopu Tuletorn". The lighthouse is about 500 meters up the hill.