For visitors

Virtsu castle and manor park

Virtsu small town is very close to Puhtu-Laelatu Nature Reserve. We recommend history enthusiasts to visit the Virtsu castle that was built by the Uexkülls, unfortunately it is in ruins at the moment. A great place for a stroll is the Virtsu manor park that was established in the 18th century when Karl Thure von Helwig was building the main house of the manor. The main house and many outbuildings have perished, but the baroque gate structure can be seen and the old park roads in the park have been restored along with the rows of trees. One can rest from walking and eat a meal at the Vanaluubi resting area that has a boat dock, areas for barbecuing and camping.

Puhtulaiu study trail

The trail that divides Puhtu forest enables visitors to move around the forest quite freely and observe the natural development. The trail that is shaped like the number eight is designated with direction indicators and information boards.

Puhtulaiu observation tower

The spring and autumn migration of water birds can be mainly observed from the observation tower that is situated in the southwestern peak of the peninsula.

Memorial stone of Eerik Kumari

A memorial for Eerik Kumari, the founder of Puhtu Ornithological Station and a known ornithologist and conservationist, was put up at Puhtu Ornithological Station in 1987. The author of the memorial stone is the sculptor A. Taniloo-Bogatkin.

Monument for Friedrich Schiller

In 1813, Dorothea, the daughter of a local estate owner Carl Thure von Helwig, put up a monument for the famous poet because she was friends with his wife Charlotte. Reportedly it is one of the oldest extant monuments erected for Schiller. The monument was damaged in both World Wars and has been restored twice.

Narrow-gauge railway dam

The dam of a former narrow-gauge railway is close to the wooded meadow of Laelatu. A train line from Virtsu to Rapla was operational during the years 1931‒1968. The last passenger train departed from Virtsu at 9:06 p.m. on 25 May 1968. There were more than hundred people seeing off the train, a brass band was playing and honorary certificates were given to the railwaymen. The mood was not sad because people believed the line was going to be rebuilt to be broad-gauge. However, that did not happen and a few years later it was clear that the railway to Virtsu that had been operational for 37 years had finally become a part of history.

Wooded meadow of Laelatu

The wooded meadow does not have any marked trails. But the dirt trails that are a result of the maintenance work done in the wooded meadow lead to the rear parts of the meadow.

For more information: https://howlingpixel.com/i-en/Puhtu