A large part of the Repovesi area has been owned and used by the forest industry. Some parts, however, in the middle of lakes, ponds, streams and small spruce and pine mires, have been left untouched. The forests of Repovesi National Park vary from old-growth pine to young sapling stands. With new conservation measures some commercial forests are now being restored to their natural state (www.metsa.fi).
The Cry of the Red-throated Diver
One of Finland's most populated Red-throated Diver (Gavia stellata) colonies nests on forest ponds in Repovesi National Park. The Red-throated Diver migrates to Repovesi in April or May to nest. They inhabit the mire-like shores of small lakes and ponds or sometimes on the edge of small pools in the middle of mires. Red-throated Divers are so loud at stating their intentions during mating season that hikers camping nearby will find it difficult to sleep. Especially at Lake Olhavanlampi the sounds echo off of cliffs.
Many Species Thrive Deep in the Forests
Over half of Repovesi's trees are pines. In these pine-dominated heaths lingonberries, blueberries, lichens and moss thrive. Crustose lichens such as Arctoparmelia centrifuga spread over surface rock in green-grey circles and Cladonia coccifera´s bright red ends shine on the ground. Rare mushrooms can be found if one knows to look for Melanoleuca verrucipes in moose faeces or for Beaked Earthstars (Geastrum pectinatum) in anthills. Also many different species of animals inhabit the heaths of Repovesi National Park in abundance.
Between high cliffs there are lush grove-like forests. In these areas the Littleleaf Linden (Tilia cordata), which is a rarity, can be found. On summer nights the wonderful smell of the Lesser Butterfly-Orchid (Platanthera bifolia) wafts over the herb-rich forests.
Spring floods on the one hand and dams built by Canadian Beavers (Castor Canadensis) on the other have caused flood meadows with common alder (Alnus glutinosa) to form around streams. These are cool and murky places even on sunny summer days. Birches tend to die standing up in flood meadows, which creates a superb environment for tinder polypore (Fomes fomentarius), birch polypore (Piptoporus betulinus) and Phellinus igniarius.
Extraordinary Cliffs and Rocks
Movement of the earth's crust, the Ice Age and erosion have all helped form the cliffs of Repovesi, which are unique in composition and look. For example, at Olhavanvuori Rock the cliff-face has obvious marks left by shifting glaciers. On the north-side of the Lapinsalmi hanging bridge there is a contact, where two rock types meet. The rock on the north-side of this contact is hard granite typical of Central Finland. The rock on the south-side is the world's largest deposit of rapakivi called Vyborg rapakivi, which is a very rare rock type.