RMK Peraküla-Aegviidu-Ähijärve hiking route / Elistvere-Kantsi (80 km)

Elistvere rest stop at the hiking route is an excellent place to start or end the hike, as there is a large parking area at the animal park, a large camping area at the campfire site, and hikers can replenish their drinking water supply in the opening hours of the nature centre. Food supplies can be restocked at Maarja shop, which is on the route. This part of the hiking route goes through the "heart" of the Tartu-Jõgeva Recreation Area – the area of Lake Saare and the Kaiu lakes – where there are several rest stops and hiking trails and large forests that are rich in berries and mushrooms. On the next part of the route to Kantsi, there are alternating forest and open landscapes.
From Elistvere, hikers can go along an asphalt road up to Maarja, where they should carefully follow the signs to avoid getting lost at numerous intersections. Further there are dusty roads until you reach the one that leads to Lake Saare. The latter road goes through the forest. Asphalt roads continue until the road leading to the Kaiu lakes. The following journey continues in an area of alternating forests and open landscapes along gravel and earth roads. One should also beware of village dogs as the hiking route goes through several villages. Before the turn towards Kantsi, it is again some kilometres of asphalt road.
Phone+372 676 7030
Type of objectHiking trail
Parking facilitiesElistvere Visitor Centre is a good place to start or end the hike. Parking possibilities are at all the official rest stops of the hiking route, as well as at other campfire sites along the way.
AmenitiesThe trail is marked with white-green-white blazes, hiking trail signs and hiking route boards. The rest stops on this section of the hiking route and distances between them:
Camping facilities In the campsites and campfire sites of the trail
Campfire site In the campsites and campfire sites of the trail
Water Tap water at Elistvere Visitor Centre during the opening hours, non-potable water from Saare, Jõemõisa and Kaiu lake and from river Emajõgi, from the fire pond 1,5 km south from Kukemetsa forest hut
Hiking options From the hiking route you can go to the following trails: Elistvere study trail (2 km), Lake saare study trail (3,5 km), Jõemõisa hiking trail (0,5 km), Tammeluha hiking trail (3 km), Emajõe study trail (2,5 km)
SightsAt Elistvere you can visit the Animal Park. Those who want to stay longer in this area can visit the attractive Ice Age Centre, located by Lake Saadjärv, 8 km from Elistvere towards Tartu. A few kilometres from Elistvere towards Maarja is the Vudila whole-family playland and outdoor waterpark. Near Lake Saare, a tree-lined alley takes you to Saare Manor. There are some information boards and buildings under renovation, and a herb garden. In Sõõru village an object of cultural heritage can be found – the reconstructed Sõõru firewatch tower, built in 1910. Further from the route are Padakõrve wood ant protection area and hiking trail; Alatskivi palace, manor park and hiking trail, and Peipsimaa Visitor Centre in Kolkja village. The cable ferry of Kavastu at the beginning of the next section of the route is also an exciting experience.
Additional information Before going to the nature please read the Environmental code of conduct (freedom to roam).
RestrictionsThere are protected areas on the route -  Vooremaa Landscape Reserve, Elistvere Manor Park, Kääpa Landscape Reserve, Peipsiveere Nature Reserve.
Additional information from the Environmental Board: +372 680 7438 info@keskkonnaamet.ee.
Driving directionsTo get to Elistvere, drive 12 km from Tartu towards Jõgeva, then turn right (sign "Elistvere loomapark 10") and drive into Elistvere village. When coming from Tallinn: drive to Jõgeva, then towards Tartu up to Tabivere. Turn left there (sign "Elistvere loomapark 6") and drive into Elistvere village.
To get to Kantsi, drive 8 km on Tartu-Räpina Road towards Räpina, turn left (sign "RMK Emajõe-Suursoo looduskeskus") and drive 13 km until you get to the crossroad with the sign "RMK Emajõe-Suursoo looduskeskus 3 km"). Drive 3 km along the gravel road until you get to the parking area of the Nature Centre. Park the vehicle in the parking area outside the gates. Continue through the gate and after 150 m turn right over the pedestrian bridge. The campfire site is to the right of the Nature Centre.