Welcome to Espoo! The second largest city, which you might not notice on the map, because it looks like a part of Helsinki. Well, you definitely will notice the MTB scene in Espoo, because it's huge. Apart from bike park in Nuuksio and great trails in Central Park or Luukki, there's a brand new MTB trail in Oittaa, which we'll visit today.
But because this trip tip is designed as a winter adventure, take your time in the morning, maybe grab a little breakfast while checking out the city and get going when the proper daylight arrives (probably something like 1pm). For the proper breakfast, we recommend visiting café Bemböle, which is on the way to the trail in Oittaa.
Ride from Bemböle to Oittaa is rather short and once you get there you will notice this place isn't only about mountain biking. Oittaa has a full outdoors centre offering different kinds of entertainment for the whole family.
You can play different kinds of sports from football, basketball to frisbee golf, if you however feel like relaxing, you can just enjoy the sun on the beach while letting your kids play on the Angry Birds-themed playground. If you start feeling hungry, you can visit local restaurant and lay your head down in a local camp if you're staying for the weekend.
TOP TIP: For full experience and money savings, pick a lunch-sauna bundle for €12 in the Oittaa restaurant.
However, for us who have only 2 wheels on our minds, there's a new place to go in Oittaa. Local riders finished building the brand new MTB trail in autumn 2019, which gave Oittaa a whole new sparkle for us.
Trail impresses from the very start with huge boards signing the trail and pointing out it's made specially for us mountain bikers. Furthemore the 1,3km long trail is marked with small wooden signs on every crossing to make sure you follow the correct direction.
BIKE TIP: You don't need to worry too much about your bike when visiting Oittaa. Trail is very smooth and you'll be able to ride it even on a entry-level hardtail.
First half of the trail is especially simple with a smooth and wide gravel trail under your wheels. This part is absolutely optimal for beginning riders as there is a plenty of room for mistakes and couple of high berms to practise cornering.
Second half of the trail in Oittaa is a great place to practise these short punchy climbs on natural dirt paths with a few technical, yet still very simple sections. Since trail trail in its entirety is rather short, it's real value can be found from repetition especially if you're learning all these important MTB skills. Practice makes perfect!
However, since the winter daylight is a very precious thing, don't go over the limit as there are no lights around the trail. Call it a day when you struggle to see your front wheel and come back to the Oittaa restaurant for a dinner and to drop the last drop of sweat in the sauna.
Another option for your evening is to make a BBQ at the newly built shed at the trail. This place is slightly elevated and might offer great sunset views as a bonus at the end of your trip in Espoo.