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Rugged landscape and tons of history

Kolovesi is a paddler's paradise, where rocky cliffs rise over the narrow lake channels that form part of the vast labyrinthine Saimaa Lake System. Ancient rock paintings give insights into how Finland's early settlers lived in harmony with nature thousands of years ago. With luck you might encounter a curious Saimaa ringed seal. Canoeing allows you to truly appreciate the tranquillity of Kolovesi. Motor boats are not allowed in the park.

Nature

The islands of Vaajasalo and Mäntysalo make up most part of the area of the National Park. In addition, there are small islands and rocky islets, and a few areas on the mainland. The narrow bays and straits surrounded by sheer cliffs form a labyrinth inside the main islands. The continental ice sheet carved the deep lakes and the high rocks. At its deepest there is 47 metres of water in Kolovesi. The surrounding water areas and shores are included in the National Shore Conservation Programme.

The shores of the park are rugged rocky shores. So called devil's fields consist of boulders and rocks, and were formed after the Ice Age by the great changes in the sea level. The individual profiles and crushed forms of the rocks are unique to Kolovesi. The forms of the shores vary from rocks with pine trees to heaps of angular boulders and sheer cliffs. (Metsähallitus)

Fascinating Rock Paintings

Painted human figures on the steep side of Ukonvuori Hill tell us about the ancient people, who fished and hunted in the area. The paintings are about 5,000 years old so they were made in the early Comb Ware phase. You can also admire rock paintings on the sides of Havukkavuori and Vieruvuori Hills nearby the National Park. (Metsähallitus).

Ukonvuori is easily reached from Kirkkoranta there is a jetty for landing and good information about the site.

Instructions and rules of Kolovesi National Park

Hiking trails

Nahkiaissalo Nature Trail 3,3km is in the south-east part of the Park, in Selkälahti area. The trail is on the mainland, so it is easily accessible also by car. Coming from Enonkoski, the trail is about 8 km after the ferry at Hanhivirta. From the sign "Kolovesi kansallispuisto Nahkiaissalo" it is a couple of kilometres to the parking area, which is the starting and ending point of the trail. Boaters can start the trail from the camping site at Lohilahti Bay.

Mäntysalo Trail, 3,8 km, is in really difficult and varied terrain. The trail is marked with orange circles. When after the short section in the beginning the trail is separated into two, it is recommended to choose the path on the left hand side. From the trail it is possible to admire the forests of Kolovesi, which vary from old-growth mixed-wood forests in their natural state to cultivated forests. It is advisable to have at least 2 hours for hiking this trail.Located in thenorth part of Mäntysalo island. You can find a landing site for canoes where the trail starts.

Campfire Sites and Cooking Shelter

There is a cooking shelter at Käkövesi boat launching place. The campfire sites are located at

  • Pitkäsaari Island (north), Pyylinoja, Syväniemi, Laajakaarre, Hirviniemi, Vaajasalo, Lohilahti Bay and at Kirkkoranta boat launching place.

To Pitkäsaari south camp-fire place you can take wood from the Pitkäsaari north camp site. Please, don´t take firewood from the forest!

Please note that lighting campfires is forbidden if the forest fire warning is in effect.

Drinking Water

  • In the National Park drinking water is only available from surface water (from the lake).
  • It is recommended that you boil the water before drinking it, as the quality of the water is changeable.

Toilets

  • There are dry toilets at the camping sites of Pitkäsaari, Pyylinoja, Lapinniemi, Laajakaarre, Syväniemi, Hirviniemi, Vaajasalo and Lohilahti, at Käkövesi boat launching place, and the parking area of Nahkiaissalo Nature Trail.

Camping

The 11 camping sites of the National Park are located at

  • Lohilahti Bay (2 sites), rocky shoreline, very few camping spots.
  • the southern end of Vaajasalo Island, rocky cape, very few camping spots.
  • Hirviniemi, shallow rocky beach. Level terrain for camping.
  • Syväniemi (2 sites), a cliff faced and rocky shoreline.
  • Laajakaarre, a cliff faced and rocky shoreline. Only a limited amount of camping spots
  • Lapinniemi, rocky shoreline, very few camping spots.
  • Pyylinoja, rocky shoreline.There is no level terrain for camping
  • and Pitkäsaari Island (2 sites which are accessible also by motor boat), rocky shoreline, very little space for camping.

Rental Hut

  • Mäntysalon kämppä rental hut is intended for summer time use. It is situated on the eastern shore of Mäntysalo Island on the northern end of Kolovesi National Park. 
  • Huhtiniemi rental hut is intended for use during summer time. Huhtiniemi is situated in Rekitaipale, on the southwestern part of Kolovesi National Park, and it is accessible by car.

(Information by Metsähallitus.)

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