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There are two popular bog hiking trails near Riga.
The most popular one is in Cena Bog, the other one – Great Kemeri Bog.
While the Kemeri trail is, in my opinion, a better and prettier option, and the observation tower there is higher, Cena bog is another great short bog hike option near Riga. Getting to Cena takes less time, but you can’t get there using public transportation. At the same time – getting a taxi to and back from the bog is easy.
And, of course, you can also rent a bicycle in Riga, and cycle.
1. Cena Bog Boardwalk Hike: Basics
It’s a boardwalk, so you can’t get lost.
And since it’s a circular trail, you don’t have to make any decisions. Just follow the trail, and that’s it. If, however, you aren’t ready for the full circle, I would recommend you to turn to the right when there’s a choice. This way you’ll get to the most beautiful part of the bog faster – to the Skaista lake
To this point you can get on a car.
It’s a gravel road, and there’s a parking at the entrance.
TIME & DISTANCE: 3.1 miles / 5 kilometers (around 90 minutes).
TIPS: to avoid the crowds it’s better not to come on weekends. There are a few benches along the trail, where you can sit down and enjoy the scenery. But there aren’t any shops or cafes.
At about the middle of the trail there’s a bird watchtower, from where you can get a better view of the area. But since it’s a very low tower, the view isn’t much better than from the ground.
2. How to Get to Cena Bog
The bog boardwalk is 16 miles / 26 kilometers from the Riga old town.
There’s no public transportation going to the bog, but you can get there by car, taxi (I recommend Bolt or Yandex app) or you can cycle there. If you’ll be cycling, be prepared that you’ll have to cycle on gravel as well.
Another thing to take into account if you plan to cycle – space.
There isn’t much space on the trail. The boardwalk is as narrow as you see in the photo above. If you’re coming on a weekday, it’s possible that there aren’t almost any other people, and then it’s pretty cool to cycle there (if you have a good balance).
But, of course, you can always push your bike.
3. Bog Tours Near Riga
There are also bog tours in Latvia.
Here are 3 great options.
Option 1: A Day Trip to Kemeri From Riga
No need to worry about the transportation.
Just book a tour, and the guide will take you to Great Kemeri Bog and to the now abandoned Kemeri Health Resort, which was very popular during the Soviet times.
Option 2: Bog Hiking Tour
Are into something more adventurous?
Then check out the bog-shoe hiking tour at Kemeri bog.
If you’ll fall in love with this kind of hiking then I have a good news for you. The same company organizes bog hiking trips to many other bogs in Latvia.
Option 3: Stand Up Paddling in a Bog
And… another option for more adventurous travelers.
Only this one isn’t in Kemeri bog, but in Cenas bog (Cenas tirelis). And here you can go on a sunrise stand up paddling tour. Unfortunately they don’t have a page in English, but I’m sure that they speak English. So just contact them to ask about the details.
Take into account that you’ll have to carry your board.
4. Cycling to Cena Bog + Plane Spotting: My Experience
There are a couple of nice plane-watching spots in Riga.
So, to make a trip to Cena bog more interesting, we decided to add some plane spotting. From the Riga city center we went first to these two (1, 2) plane-watching spots next to Riga airport. And then cycled to Cena bog, by simply taking random roads recommended by Google Maps navigation.
To make the ride more fun we set the navigation to walking mode.
And found some nice forest and country roads in the process.
Ah, yes, and did some mushroom hunting on the way. Found enough mushrooms for a few meals, just on the side of the roads. Don’t do it unless you are 100% sure you can recognize which ones are edible mushrooms. Definitely don’t pick mushrooms you aren’t sure about.
In the end the total distance was around 43 miles / 70 km.
Here are a few photos from our cycling micro adventure.
Have you been to Riga? Did you visit Cena Bog or Great Kemeri Bog? What was your experience?