Tag Archives: Savo

The gateway to Kolovesi national park

Nature info hut

Before entering Kolovesi national park you should drop by in Enonkoski. From Kolovesi nature hut you can get kayaking maps and info for your trip. The old warehouse now serves as a Kolovesi information center and is one of the nicest nature centers in Finland.

Old warehouse

There is a nature exhibition inside the house offering info about Saimaa Ringed Seal, only to be spotted in Saimaa lake area and also in Kolovesi national park.

Exhibition inside

The cafe is run by local 4 H Association and has a very nice terrace by the rapids. Not a bad place to have a break. Be sure to check the old bridge just a few meters away.

Terrace by the rapids

From late June there is an international sand art exhibition nearby the info hut. In Enonkoski you can get last supplies from local grocery stores for you kayaking trip.

Sand art

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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.

Fishing from the kayak

Fishing from a kayak can be fun even for a casual angler. I was a fellow kayaker when a brown trout got caught by trolling on lake Haukivesi.

Trying to get the fish out of water is not the easiest part, especially if you have an average kayak, not one designed for fishing. The front hatch was used to transfer the fish to the shore because we were close to it.

Can’t really use this storing technique if angling alone

When you are not angling but paddling, you should fasten your equipment well to your kayak. Under one strap on the deck is not enough while one is busy doing something else like trying to reach chanterelles from the shore without having to leave your boat.

The rod just after being rescued from the bottom of the lake

Another angle to fishing is trying to catch fish with your camera. While I was close to the shore, I noticed this curious perch swimming under my kayak. I put my camera on a monopod and into the water and tried to catch him swimming. How elegant moves.

Shores of lake Haukivesi in July by kayaking

Arrived again in lake Haukivesi area, a part of lake Saimaa near Linnansaari national park. Though it has been quite wet and cold in the area, the first kayaking day of my stay was very nice and sunny.

The water level is exceptionally high this summer. Here are some pictures that show the situation the same time last year compared today.

Last year
Today
Last year
Today

Checked willow grass in the bay nearby to see if pikes were at home. None spotted.

Pike’s hiding places

Underwater video of the willow grass bay.

Kayaking on lake Saimaa

In early July I went to the kayaking trip to lake Saimaa. Saimaa is a large lake area in eastern Finland with a lot of connected lakes.

The weather was a mixture of strong winds, sunshine, rain but not particularly warm. We started and ended our trip from the harbor of Anttola village. Paddled through lake Luonteri to waters near Puumala village, to the south near waters of larger Saimaa and then back north the other way to lake Luonteri.

The route went through partly quite sheltered waters and partly across wide, open waters. Saw a couple of canoes also, but a kayak is really a more suitable boat to those waters. There are quite many boat harbors on islands and even some places to add your drinking water supplies.

Such a nice kayaking trip with occasional gourmet cooking. Certainly a place to explore more.

On lake Luonteri
Typical shores of lake Luonteri
The home of Saimaa ringed seal
Islands are inhabited by seagulls with youngsters
A view from Rokansaari island
Campfire place of Rokansaari island
Sauna of Rokansaari island
Inland of Rokansaari island
Rafts of timber still transferred
Farm museum of Liehtalanniemi
Some one had launched a fine bark boat
Mexican cooking
A view from the tent in Laajahiekka beach
Laajahiekka
Greater Saimaa
Under the bridge limbo style
Relaxing limbo style
Boats
Early evening
The best possible pizza camp style
Late evening
Waterlily
Back in the harbor of Anttola

Paddling in Linnansaari national park

In July I spend a couple of weeks in the lake area near Linnansaari national park. I have paddled there before and seen some of its islands. This year I stayed at the cottage on the shore of lake Haukivesi which Linnansaari national park is part of. I made day trips  to the national park area with a kayak and a canoe.

Linnansaari is home of the endangered Saimaa Ringed Seal (Phoca hispida saimensis). I’ve once seen one lying on the shore of an island in Linnansaari national park when kayaking a few years ago but this time I did not see any though looked intensively.

Linnansaari is a great place fo those who want to see protected Finnish lakeland area and explore it by a kayak. To enter the park, Oravi village is good starting point where you can rent a kayak or a canoe. From Oravi there is boat service in summer to Sammakkoniemi camping site in main island of Linnansaari. Linnansaari national park is part of lake Haukivesi which is part of greater Saimaa lake area. It means that you can start paddle south past town Savonlinna to lake Pihlajavesi, pass Puumala village and end up in town Lappeenranta in south-eastern Finland. To north you can reach town Kuopio or kayak to another national park, Kolovesi np. See my other post on Kolovesi.

To go kayaking in Linnansaari national park your have to be a fair experienced kayaker because the transfer route to the closest islands of the park is at the shortest a kilometer away and to Linnansaari island over 5 kilometers (from Oravi village). The weather and wind conditions can turn quite hard pretty quickly so be prepared with latest weather forecasts. There are long open waters where wind can form quite big waves. On good windless weather it nice for even a less experienced paddler.

If interested in other national parks in Finland for paddling see my other blog post– it is a short introduction of the best parks to paddle.

Best possible weather in Linnansaari national park in July
Oravi Outdoor Center - good place to rent a kayak and start your trip
Typical view when paddling in Linnansaari np
In July 2011 water level was quite low
Beautiful bays of Linnansaari islands
Water of lake Haukivesi is quite clear - helps you to see hiding underwater rocks
One of the sandy beaches that are not shown on maps
In July there's still long daylight - this is taken at 8 pm
Lots of cliffs on the shores..
Some are quit steep..
With a kayak you can get really close..
And see things from different perspective..
Nnature's own art..
Close-up of cliffs on the shore from a kayak - heather and lichen
Some sort of algae, Trentepohlia iolithus?
"I could not stop laughing"..
One of those of tens of islands in Linnansaari national park
Huge nest (of osprey I guess) on top of "Kermit"
This is where pike, perch and pike-perch hide
Perch is quite curious - they swim with you
Chanterelles for lunch
Organic superfood of Finland - blueberries
Some visit the park by rowing a so called "church boat" - takes 15 people
View towards a few kilometres of calm open waters of Peonselkä
There are nice routes between islands - this one Selkä-Anttonen and Väli-Anttonen islands
Leaving little islets behind near Vehkaset islands
Perfect day for kayaking again
Heavy rain, no wind - only one day of 14 it rained
Sunset at 10 pm in 29th of July
Just a moment before midnight
Really unbelievable luck with weather - thunderstorms passed by all the time