Although Soomaa National Park is one of the biggest National Parks in Estonia (second only to Lahemaa National Park) it is also the youngest in the country (it was created in 1993). Situated in Transitional Estonia it was created to protect its large pristine raised bogs, flood plain grasslands and meandering rivers. In fact, the park was included in the CORINE biotope list in 1997, making it one of the most important natural protected areas in Europe.
In order to attract visitors, the Soomaa Tourism Association organises an annual gastronomic event focused on the wild berries and mushrooms that grow in the park.
The Soomaa Wild Berries and Mushrooms Weekend is a three-day-event with lots of activities that revolve around these forest fruits: wild berries and mushroom cooking classes; lectures by mushroom experts; guided hikes with knowledgeable local guides; and guided wild food walks focused on berry-picking, mushroom hunting and identification. One of the highlights of the festival is the Wild Food Dinner, where guests can enjoy wild mushrooms, berries and other wild harvested foods.
In 2014 the Soomaa Wild Berries and Mushrooms Weekend will run over two weekends: in August, from 8th to 10th; and September, from 6th to 8th.