Tag Archives: Linnansaari

Autumn kayaking in Linnansaari national park

Kayaking in Linnansaari national park in lake Haukivesi in autumn is very peaceful. The boating season is definitely over, at least for visitors. Days are still very nice for kayaking.

September trip around Linnansaari island

On a fine September day I made a trip around Linnansaari island which is the main island of many Linnansaari national park’s islands. Only a 15 kilometers tour from my starting point, it was a relaxing trip in very fine weather.

I passed the Linnavuori viewpoint, up on the silhouette against the sun.

Linnavuori

There were hardly no wind on the western side of Linnansaari which faces the big open waters of lake Haukivesi. When winds blow from other direction this side of the island can get pretty rough for kayaking.

Past western side of Linnansaari island

The view to the north-west was pretty amazing.

A view to Peonselkä

Passing Eteläniemi of the island I heard strange voices from the shore. The flock of sheep that are kept on the island is summer were on the shore and quickly returned to the forest when I went by.

Sheep in Linnansaari island

The end of the kayaking season in October

In early October the water is getting colder pretty fast. It is time to close the exceptionally long kayaking season. The colors have gotten really beautiful. Such a priviledge to go kayaking with all these views around me.

Big sky

I was hoping to see a Saimaa Ringed Seal on my last kayaking trip of the season and luckily it did show up. Such a nice way to end the season.

Saimaa ringed seal and autumn colors

Colorful islands

I did not see a single boat on my trip, having at least this part of the national park to myself, wow! The evening is getting closer, it’s time to return.

Time to go back

Evening light at this time of the year is very hard and the sun goes down quickly. In an hour from this point it got dark.

Evening light

Photographing close-ups from a kayak

When shooting photographs from a kayak some best close-up shots are made if you approach the shore where there are more details to be found. You can get great pictures with a compact camera by just getting close to the subject and by slowing down.

Shoot upwards from waterline

From a kayak you will reach angles that is difficult to get to by other vessels. Aim to the sky and you might catch nice details of the shoreline rocks.

From below

Reach out at the waterline

Paddle as close to the shoreline and reach out. Use you zoom, keep it steady and shoot. Try not to flip over. These cup lichen were on the top of huge rock. Might get some scratches to your kayak, I usually do.

Cup lichen

See details

Try to see fine details on the surface of water. Slow down while kayaking. I passed these bubbles on the middle of the lake at dusk. Might have been Saimaa ringed seal hiding there underwater.

Bubbles

Find flora

Go amidst the flora at the water. You can get great pictures from different angles. You may have to wait for a while to get surrounding water still around your kayak to get clear reflections.

Waterlily

Take a selfie

To shoot a selfie in a close-up is quite tricky. Balancing your kayak, finding a proper direction of light, zooming and focusing is an interesting challenge on the lake.

Selfie

Let subjects find you

If distances and kilometers are more important to you in kayaking you will not find settings in the nature. While having a break or just resting your eyes in your environment you might see fine details.

Birch leaf

All pictures on this blog post were taken at several kayaking trips in Linnansaari national park.

Skating in the national park of Linnansaari

One of the best maintained skating routes of Finland is in Linnansaari national park on lake Haukivesi. Crossing the lake from eastern side of the lake from Oravi village to the western side to Porosalmi is 18 kilometers long.

In late February the weather was varying a lot during the weekend, from windy snowfall to rain and water on the track. The track was in great condition after snow was plowed. The ice at the start in Oravi looked very good on the first day of the trip.

Oravi start

From Oravi it’s about 5 km to Linnansaari island where a fire site, a small cafe and this old house is located.

Old house in Linnansaari island

After you leave the shelter of Linnansaari island, the route start to cross the vast lake of Haukivesi to the other side.

Across lake Haukivesi

The ice is thick and even though all sorts of formations and cracks are shown on the top of it.

Thick ice

There are benches along the route with a pretty beautiful scenery.

Bench on the lake

The route is well marked with new maps.

Map along the route

Skating in the national park. Not bad at all. Awesome skating on the peaceful lake. Nice to see same place as from the kayak in summer.

Skating in the national park

The next day it rained and there was a bit water on ice but the track was even smoother to skate.

Great track

Biking was an interesting option, spike tires were very much in demand.

Biking on ice

On the middle of the lake 9 km from Oravi there were this ice wall..

Ice castle on the lake

.. which turned out to be a wind shelter for skaters. The cubes were a bit melted due to the rain earlier in the morning. The wind at this place can be very rough.

Ice cube wind shelter

On weekends the small cafe on Linnansaari island is open during the season. Time for the coffee and munkki.

Skaters' cafe in Sammakkoniemi is open

Sammakkoniemi on Linnansaari island

Sammakkoniemi cafe

Coffee break

Last kilometers in the national park of Linnansaari. Hope to be back next year.

Back to Oravi

September kayaking in Linnansaari national park

September kayaking is great. Linnansaari national park on lake Saimaa is quite empty. During the days I was kayaking there I spotted only a few boats and two fellow kayakers. At least it was not because of the weather, which was quite warm for the season, still some summer left in it. Not much “ruska” colors yet, some birch trees had already started to turn golden.

Did some nice day trips to the park with barely no wind at all. On some days felt like I had the national park all to myself. I called it real luxury.

Linnansaari island in the distance.

Passing Linnansaari island

Past cliff shores

Water level on lake Haukivesi is quite low at the moment.

Water level in September

Closeup

Fine sunny September day

Great view to the park from the fire site on Kirvessaari island.

Great view to the national park

Plenty of wood available for campers.

Plenty of fire wood at the fire site

Tent site art.

Tent site art

No wind at all

September evening moisture.

September evening moisture

Still moment

Breathtaking colors

See my other blog posts on Linnansaari national park.

Late evening kayaking in Linnansaari national park

Summer nights are getting shorter but the days are still quite long in mid-July, over 19 hours. I went for a short late evening kayaking, just around the sunset. From the summer cottage it was a short trip to Linnansaari national park.

This is taken at 22:20. Spotted only two boats.

At 22:20 in the evening

At 22:50 there was no one at sight on the other side of the island.

At 22:50

At 23:00 tried to spot a Saimaa Ringed Seal – Saimaannorppa, but this time no luck.

At 23:00

Linnansaari island on the right. At 23:08 it was still quite much of light. Over 4,5 hours to the sunrise at 3:39.

Linnansaari island

See my other blog posts on Linnansaari national park.

Tour skating in Linnansaari national park

The tour skating track between Oravi and Porosalmi in Linnansaari national park is probably the longest maintained natural route in Finland. The route is about 18 km long so whether you leave from Oravi or Porosalmi and go to the other side of the lake and back you will skate good 36 kilometers.

The route goes through Linnansaari national park, where else can you skate in national park? Just wonderful. An unique place, absolutely.

The starting point in Porosalmi. You can rent skates, kicksparks, shoes and even helmets from the safari house on the shore.

Start at Porosalmi

A day ticket to the route.

Ticket

At the start the route is quite a road, ice is well kept and smooth.

Wonderful ice way

You can have the first stop by the island of Pieni-Lappi (Little Lapland). There is a fire site and a nice bench by the route.

First stop at 4 km

The kickspark is ready to go on.

Kickspark ready

After 13 km we reached the hotspot of Sammakkoniemi on Linnansaari island, the most visited island of Linnansaari national park in summer also. I did not expect to see so many skaters, it was almost crowded at the fire site and at the cafe.

Sammakkoniemi rest stop

The tiny weekend cafe was full of people waiting for their lettu (thin pancakes) and coffee.

Cafe in Sammakkoniemi

Along the route were nice benches with blankets on them, nice! I guess because of Linnansaari Day tourist skaters were treated this luxury.

Blankets on the benches

After about 18 km and several stops we reached Oravi in the eastern shore of lake Haukivesi.

Turning point in Oravi

A part of the route has been opened just a few weeks ago.

Ice

Coming back from Oravi we enjoyed a moderate head wind. On the open lake, after 36 kilometers it felt like a real exercise.

Against the wind

These characters are watching you while you skate by. Made by Nature.

They're watching you

Kayaker’s paradise in summer, skater’s in winter.

Linnansaari national park

A video from the trip.

Kayaking and fauna in Linnansaari national park

Every kayaker knows how easy it is to get close to local animals while kayaking. In areas where you do not visit daily, it is great to observe not so familiar species or even make first encounters with some.

In this summer while kayaking in Linnansaari national park on lake Saimaa in Eastern Finland, I met variety of animals. The king of the water birds, the Black-throated Diver or Arctic Loon (Gavia Arctica), kuikka in Finnish, is a familiar sight on clear waters of Saimaa. At the beginning of August, some of them were already gathering in groups, preparing for migration. For those interested more in arctic loons, check the new, magnificient book with great photos “KUIKKA alkulintu” (in Finnish) by Mauri Leivo.

Loons

Another huge bird I observed from quite close while kayaking was an osprey (Pandion haliaetus), sääksi or kalasääski in Finnish. This one had built its nest on the top of a big rock in the middle of the lake and was observing passer-bys from afar while its baby was in the nest.

Osprey’s nest

While trying to avoid disturbing the osprey, 5o meters from osprey’s nest I observed first a beaver swimming by the shore and then its nest.

The highlight of these encounters still was when I saw a Saimaa Ringed Seal (Phoca hispida saimensis), saimaannorppa in Finnish, while kayaking one afternoon. I observed it for a while from my kayak. There are only under 300 individuals left, so it is among the most endagered species.

This individual carried a radiotransmitter on its back. At the local “Fish Day” at the village of Oravi, I met researchers from the University of Eastern Finland, who told that of their research and that 9 seals are “under surveillance” in the area.

This little radiotransmitter is used on baby seals.

Saimaa ringed seal tracker

The seal I met was an older one and was probably quite used to humans because it did not dive away but remained quite close to my kayak. I managed to get some video though I was pretty excited to spot it. Did not want to disturbe it more so I somewhat reluctantly kayaked away.