Penijõe-Aegviidu-Kauksi hiking route

In 2018, the centenary year of the Republic of Estonia, the third RMK hiking route Penijõe–Aegviidu–Kauksi was opened. The three existing routes now form a network of hiking trails, where hikers can choose the beginning and the end of their journey and, for example, hike from Oandu to Penijõe as all the branches of the hiking route meet at Aegviidu.

The 614-km RMK Penijõe–Aegviidu–Kauksi hiking route, which runs on its way through six counties, starts at Penijõe manor in Matsalu National Park and goes through the open flood meadows of the Kasari river towards Rapla County, where it meanders between bogs, large forests, ancient forts and fields towards Harju County, Paunküla hills and finally to Aegviidu, the capital of hiking.

The longer part of the new route, however, is to the east of Aegviidu. In Lääne-Viru County, the route runs along narrow and high eskers over the Neeruti hills, through abandoned military bases to Tudu wetland area at the border of Ida-Viru County.

In Ida-Viru County, the view on the route changes considerably: there are the industrial landscapes of Kiviõli and Püssi with the semicoke and ash hills, the former open quarry of Aidu and the mining park and museum of Kohtla-Nõmme. Also the tall semi-coke plateaus of Kohtla-Järve can be seen from the route.

On the northern coast, the hiking route goes on and under the high coastal klint and visits Estonia’s highest coastal escarpment at Ontika and highest waterfall at Valaste, offering scenic views on the sea and the forest at the foot of the klint, as far as Sillamäe.

The trail eventually turns to the south and goes through the former battlefields of the Battle of Tannenberg Line and the neglected mining settlements, past the Kurtna lakes, through the forests of Agusalu and Alutaguse to the end point at Kauksi on the northern shore of Lake Peipus.
The trail is signposted and marked with white-yellow-white paint marks.

Additional materials


File for GPS devices
Trail in gpx format suitable for Garmin GPS devices (to load this file in your GPS we suggest BaseCamp, you can download it from Garmin's homepage):
I section RMK Penijõe-Aegviidu-Kauksi hiking route/Penijõe-Varbola (84 km)
The route starts at the Visitor Centre of Matsalu National Park at Penijõe and runs along existing roads and paths towards Varbola. On the way one can see the scenic flood meadows of the Kasari river, where tens of thousands of birds migrating through Estonia stop over during spring and autumn migration seasons. Then there is the former trackbed running to Virtsu, and the karst areas of Märjamaa. Next, the hiking route travels on ancient coastal formations to Varbola stronghold, which is one of the largest forts in Estonia and was used from the 12th to 14th century. The route also goes through the parks of several well-known or less known manors.
II section RMK Penijõe-Aegviidu-Kauksi hiking route/Varbola-Aegviidu (132 km)
In Rapla County, the hiking route goes through the Rabivere and Kõnnu bogs that extend between the small towns of Hageri and Hagudi. Both bogs are located in a hollow and bordered by plateaus. Next, the trail runs through Kohila municipality and the Naisteraba bog in Mahtra Nature Reserve to Paunküla hills in Harju County, where hikers can walk up and down the eskers that were formed during the post-glacial period and offer a pleasant change from the flat terrain. After Paunküla, the trail takes the hiker to Aegviidu, where all the three routes of the RMK hiking trail meet.
III section RMK Penijõe-Aegviidu-Kauksi hiking route/Aegviidu-Roela (106 km)
From Aegviidu, the trail runs further in Lääne-Viru County, past the town of Tapa to Ohepalu and Neeruti villages, goes through Porkuni village and through the former Soviet missile base territory to the cone dryer at Roela.
IV section RMK Penijõe-Aegviidu-Kauksi hiking route/Roela-Mummassaare (160 km)
Going through Tudu forests, the hiking route arrives at Ida-Viru County. The urban part of the trail starts near Uljaste: it goes through the small towns of Sonda and Kiviõli to Püssi. Next, the hiking route takes you through the former Aidu quarry and the Kohtla-Nõmme mining museum to the sea, where it is possible to enjoy amazing views of the Ida-Viru industrial landscapes. The hiking route runs along the northern coast to Toila park and from there, through Voka park to Sillamäe, and to Mummassaare campfire site in Udria Landscape Reserve.
V section RMK Penijõe-Aegviidu-Kauksi hiking route/Mummassaare-Kauksi (133 km)
The last section of Penijõe–Aegviidu–Kauksi hiking route starts at the sea on the northern coast of Estonia, goes past the Kuremäe Convent, then along forest roads to Iisaku, heading to Kotka hiking trail and then further to the inland sand dunes (kriivas) of Agusalu. Next, the trail runs past large mires to Lake Peipus, and along the northern shore of the lake to Kauksi.