History of Ekenäs Archipelago National Park

Check regional Covid-instructions before your hiking trip or a visit to a nature center.

Liminganlahti Nature Centre is closed 1.1.-4.2.2022. The Finnish Nature Centre Haltia is closed 10.1.–1.2.2022. Koli Nature Centre Ukko is closed 1.1.–20.2.2022. Kuusamo Customer Service Karhuntassu is closed 13.1.–31.1.2022.

In other nature centers in Finland, we require the use of a facial mask and keeping the 2 meter distance to other visitors. In addition, there may be requirements to show the Covid pass, and/or the number of visitors can be limited. More information Nature centers. The length of the restrictions depends on the region. More regional information can be found at the Finnish institute for health and welfare website.

Horribly Handsome Jussarö Island

The first stretch of the Jussarö nature trail consists of traditional, idyllic archipelago scenery. There is a pilot's cottage named Kullakojan, restored by Metsähallitus, by the Västerviken harbour bay in the northern part of the island, which is the only building that has remained from the pilot village of the early 19th century. The small pilot's cottage is surrounded by managed traditional landscape. So far, everything seems to reflect typical archipelago scenery.

An old wooden sea pilot cabin photographed from the gable. The cabin is surrounded by a meadow and trees can be seen in the background.

In the northwestern and northeastern parts of Jussarö Island, the nature trail takes you past the open-pit mine shafts, which hint at the events that drastically changed the island's landscape. The view becomes staggering in the eastern part of the island when the deserted iron mine of Vuoksenniska Oy rises up in front of you. The mine dominates the cultural landscape. Keep your eyes open when walking on Jussarö. It is important that you are mindful of the island's dangerous spots.

The Deserted "Isengard" – a Destination of National Significance

People have been aware of Jussarö Island's exceptional magnetic field since the 17th century. It was in the 18th century, at the very latest, that this phenomenon was connected to the ferrous magnetite in the island's bedrock. People knew that they were not able to depend on the directions shown by a compass while in the vicinity of Jussarö.

The iron on Jussarö was first utilised from 1834-1861 and later by Vuoksenniska Oy in a project running from 1954-1967. After closing down the mine, the production and living facilities as well as the transport and port equipment were abandoned and left to deteriorate. The high towers of the crushing and concentration plants as well as the empty living quarters are fascinating in a special, yet horrible way, and they create an almost eerie atmosphere on the island. Jussarö would be an ideal setting for Isengard (the "Iron Fortress"), a familiar landmark from the Lord of the Rings books and films.


An aerial photograph of the old mine in a summer landscape. The tall concrete mining tower rises behind the low mining barracks.


The mining island of Jussarö is a unique historical melange of fishing, seafaring, defence activities and mining that operated in the Gulf of Finland and it has therefore been protected as a cultural environment of national significance.


On Älgö Island, there is an old house, Rödjan. The family who used to live there, lived on fishing. In the summer, there are sheep on the island, on a meadow next to the Rödjan House. On Älgö Nature Trail there is a scenic lookout tower, where you get a great view over the National Park.

Ekenäs Nature Centre

Ekenäs Nature Centre is located in the town of Ekenäs, in an old salt storehouse, which was built in 1840s. Formerly the building has served as customs office and ironmonger's store. In 1970, one of the first discos in Finland was opened there. It was popular but had to be closed, because it was feared that the building, being in bad condition, would fall into the sea. After extensive repair work, Ekenäs Nature Centre started in the building in 1995.

Ekenäs Archipelago National Park

  • Established 1989
  • Area 55 km²

The drawn emblem of Ekenäs archipelago national park. A Common Eider is depicted inside the oval symbol. The text Tammisaari - Ekenäs  kansallispuisto - national park wraps around the outer edge of the emblem.

Emblem of Ekenäs Archipelago National Park is Common Eider