History of the Time Trek concept

The Time Trek concept was originally developed by the University of Turku adjunct professors Harry Lehto and Kirsi Lehto, teaching astrobiology.

2011

World’s first Time Trek route was opened between the Tuorla observatory in Kaarina and Yliopistonmäki in Turku. The project was conducted as collaboration between the Faculty of Natural Sciences of the University of Turku and the Department of Geology and Mineralogy of Åbo Akademi University. The content for the information plaques and other materials were developed by various experts in natural sciences:

  • Project leader Kirsi Lehto (Dept. of Biochemistry and Food Chemistry, UT);
  • coordinator Ari Brozinski and Olav Eklund (Dept. of Geology and Mineralogy, ÅAU);
  • Esko Gardner, Harry Lehto and Rami Rekola (Dept. of Physics and Astronomy, UT);
  • Kirsi Rajala (Dept. of Behavioural Sciences and Philosophy, UT);
  • Matti Räsänen and Arto Peltola (Dept. of Geology and Geography, UT);
  • Timo Vuorisalo and Ilari Sääksjärvi (Dept. of Biology, UT)

Technical implementation was conducted by the town of Kaarina, the city of Turku, and Palin Granit Oy who donated the plaque stones. The project was funded by the Regional Council of Southwest Finland, Turku 2011 Capital of Culture foundation, Jenny and Antti Wihuri foundation, and K. H. Renlund foundation. During the first year, the new Time Trek route was showcased in international conferences, and received a lot of positive attention.

2012

Once the route was constructed, its upkeep was taken over by the Time Trek association (Aikavaellus ry). The Varsinais-Suomi Regional Fund of the Finnish Cultural Foundation and the town of Kaarina have subsequently granted funds for the trail maintenance.

2014

The Time Trek concept was adopted by the European Astrobiology Campus ERASMUS+ program as a outreach and teaching method. The program is a collaboration between ten universities in various European countries.

2015

The first Time Trek outside Finland was constructed in Brisbane, Australia. This ”Time Trek Australia” emphasizes astronomical features seen in the southern sky, as well as Australian geology. It was developed by the cooperative partner Cobble Museum.

2017

The ERASMUS summer school ”Deep History of the Universe, the Earth and the Biosphere” was held in Kaarina. One of its main events was walking through the Time Trek trail.

2019

A new and shorter Time Trek route is opened near the Science Centre Tuorla. This 1.38 km Time Trek is developed for use by schools and the general public. Its production was organized by Jarmo Korteniemi and Kirsi Lehto.

The Time Trek mobile application demo was rekeased the same year. The application enables the user to take a Time Trek anywhere, using GPS satellite navigation. The idea was generated by Jarmo Korteniemi and Kirsi Lehto, and the application was developed by the game developing company Ludocraft from Oulu, Finland. It was funded by the Turku University Foundation.

Guided Time Treks in 2019
Route Guided tours
Number People
Kaarina-Turku 14km 1 6
Utsjoki 14km 3 8
Tuorla 1.4km 7 40
Turku 1.4km 4 8
Vantaa 1.4km 1 2
vapaa 1.4km 3 8

2020

The new “Arctic Time Trek” route is opened in the picturesque fells (mountains) of Utsjoki, Northernmost Finland. It popularises not only natural history but also indigenous sami culture and mythology. The 14 kilometer route is funded by the LEADER initiative in Lapland and Finnish Cultural Foundation Lapland Regional Fund.