Activities in Päijänne National Park

The esker islands and sandy shores and coves in Lake Päijänne invite visitors to take a boat or canoe out onto the waters, or to admire the views of Finland's Lakeland region while enjoying a hike. Scheduled transport services are available to visitors during the summer.

Parts of the Päijänne National Park are closed to the public during certain times of the year. Please respect the signs!


The Päijänne National Park is a dream come true for water fans. The park includes around 50 unbuilt islands and rocky islets, and undeveloped parts of inhabited islands, which visitors can explore by sailboat or motor boat. The park features several natural harbours with campfire sites. The surrounding areas have several guest stages and excursion and guest harbours. Read more about services for boaters.  

A boat is anchored by the shore. Next to it three people are wading in the water.

Sights and scenery

A scenic lookout tower in the forest.On Harhu island, also known as Koreakoivu, you can peek into a hermit's hut. In Kelvenne, an esker trail leads you to the shore of a suppa lake and several campfire and camping sites. The Pulkkilanharju nature trail includes information on the origins of eskers and the traces left on the terrain by the Ice Age. In Päijätsalo, you can admire the magnificent lake landscape from an observation tower and hike along numerous trails.


On Lake Päijänne, you may spot a black-throated diver (Gavia arctica), a merlin (Falco columbarius), a Eurasian hobby (Falco subbuteo) or a lesser black-backed gull (Larus fuscus). Pulkkilanharju, a highly popular location for following bird migrations, attracts hundreds of birdwatchers every year.

Other activities 

  • Geocaching: Embark on an adventure in the Finnish Lakeland and find geocaches on islands and rocky islets.
  • Skiing: Ice conditions permitting, the Padasjoki local authority maintains a 14 km cross-country skiing trail on the ice of Lake Päijänne. You can also create your own ski trail on the ice and islands. Remember to watch out for places where the water is flowing strongly – this means that the ice is thin.
  • Fishing:
  • Nature trails: The starting point of the Pulkkilanharju nature trail (2 km) is by the Karisalmi bridge. The trail introduces hikers to the origins and vegetation of the esker.
  • Visit: . Päijännetalo in the municipality of Asikkala hosts nature-themed exhibitions. Open in the summer.
  • Pick berries and mushrooms: The islands in the national park are popular berry-picking destinations.
  • Canoeing and rowing: Excellent water areas for canoeing and rowing, canoeing routes, campfire sites and camping sites on islands. Long wilderness excursions are possible on the Päijänne-Keitele boating route.
  • Hiking: Several marked hiking trails (2–30 km), from easy to medium-demanding.
  • Cycling: Road 314 from Vääksy to Sysmä, via Pulkkilanharju Ridge, is ideal for cycling. Magnificent views over the open water areas of Hinttolanselkä and Asikkalanselkä on Lake Päijänne can be admired from the bridges on the trail. The Päijätsalo campfire site and nature observation tower and Höysniemi campfire site can also be accessed by bike.
  • Tour skating and wind sledging: Ice conditions permitting, you can skate and wind sledge among the islands. Remember to watch out for places where the water is flowing strongly – this means that the ice is thin.
  • Guided group tours: Partner companies operating in the park provide guidance services in the wild.
  • Diving: The islets and islands west of Haukkasalo are an ideal diving venue.
  • Swimming: The natural sandy beaches on Kelvenne island are ideal for swimming. Sun worshippers love the 700 metre Isohieta beach. There is no official beach.
  • Hiking: The Päijänne - Ilves connection trail starts at the Padasjoki guest harbour and leads to the Evo Hiking Area, where it joins the Ilvesvaellus Trail. The distance from the Padasjoki guest harbour to Lake Tarusjärvi in the Evo Hiking Area is 12,6 km. Visitors can stay overnight in tents or in a lean-to shelter.

Skiers on ice.

Five canoeists on the lake.