Winter trails in Ahunapalu

Winter trails in Ahunapalu: 28 January – 3 February 2024

Winter Trails in Ahunapalu takes place in the middle of the festival period at the Ahunapalu village. There will be an exhibition about the history of winter trails (curated by Valdo Praust) and a heated tent where thematic discussions and a spectacle with shadows will take place. Guided snowshoe hikes take place on historic winter roads hidden in the surrounding marshes. Those interested have the opportunity to ride push sleds and horse-drawn sleighs.

The Ahunapalu program is managed and organized by the Department of Education and Culture of Kastre municipality and sub-institutions in cooperation with local entrepreneurs and volunteers. The hiking program is offered by Nature Tours Estonia.

Ticket sales will open in December. The number of places for hikes, discussion groups and performances is limited!

The festival depends on weather conditions, and the organizer has the right to make changes to the program.


Sun, 28.01
at 12 exhibition launch and a tour with the researcher
at 13-16 snow shoe hike on historic winter trail (with ticket)
at 17 fire show
horse sleigh rides

Mon, 29.01
at 11-15 the exhibition is open
at 12-14 snow shoe hike (with ticket)
at 14-15 discussion group on hiking in nature: Henrik Relve (with ticket)

Tue, 30.01
at 11-15 the exhibition is open
at 12-14 snow shoe hike (with ticket)
at 14-15 discussion group on nature and literature: Valdur Mikita (with ticket)

Thu, 01.02
at 11-15 the exhibition is open
at 12-14 snow shoe hike (with ticket)
at 14-15 discussion group on the cultural heritage: Marju Kõivupuu (with ticket)

Fri, 02.02
at 11-15 the exhibition is open
at 17-19 discussion group on the local language and mores: Urmas Kalla (with ticket)

Sat, 03.02
at 11-15 the exhibition is open
and 10-13 and at 14:30-16:30 nature walks (with ticket)
at 12, 13, 15 and 16 Spectacle with shadows: Lemoot company (with ticket)
At 17 – traditional music by Juhan Uppin
sleigh rides


Hendrik Relve is a renowned Estonian nature journalist and photographer, a beloved radio voice and traveller. Ever since he was a student, he has been connected to Emajõe-Suursoo with great love for both its natural and cultural environment.

Valdur Mikita is an Estonian writer and semiotician, master of synesthesia and language games. His works playfully deal with the themes of nationalism, natural environment and cultural history.

Marju Kõivupuu is an Estonian folkloris. She is a senior researcher at Tallinn University’s Center for Landscape and Culture and has studied the relationship between man, nature and landscape, as well as death culture and folk medicine.

Urmas Kalla is a language researcher and nature enthusiast from Mehikoorma. He is a collaborator of the Võru Institute and editor of “The toponymy and past of Võnnu parish” (2016) and has researched local Kalevipoja (hero of the national epos) stories. He is a frequent visitor to Emajõe-Suursoo, has researched the place names of Ahunapalu and Meerapalu and has translated the national epic “Kalõvipoig” into the Võro language.

Lemoot company is a dance and performance art company founded in the summer of 2020, the core of which is made up of sisters Johhanna Anett and Helle Mari Toomel. They create original dance productions, laughing at the absurdity of life, talking about love, or referring to the painful aspects of our society. Their production “Fish Out of Water” was a nominee of 2022 Estonian theater awards. They will create a small scale performance for Winter Trails using the tools of visual theater specially created for this occasion.

Fire show artist, master of balance and stuntman Tauri Vahesaar brings his powerful fire and pyrotechnics production combining acrobatic and stunt tricks to the Ahunapalu village road.

In 2023, Juhan Uppin was crowned the Creator of the Year by the Estonian Folk Dance and Folk Music Society, and in 2018, the first Trad musician of the Republic. Thanks to Juhan’s dedication, the Folk Music Celebration has found an equal place next to the Song and Dance Celebration, the biggest Estonian culture festival held every 4 years in Tallinn. He is a researcher and player of both the Teppo-type accordion and päkarauakannel, a special kannel playing technique coming from Ahunapalu.