Helvetinjärvi National Park Trails
The marked trails are in the northern and eastern parts of the National Park. It is practical to start at the parking areas in Haukanhieta (the western part of the park, Ruovesi) or Kankimäki (Helvetinkoluntie 775, 34600 Ruovesi).
- The Helvetistä Itään Nature Trail from Kankimäki to Helvetinkolu, 4 km. The old trail, which has badly eroded in places, has now been replaced by a new circle trail that is taken anticlockwise. After branching off from the forest road coming from Kankimäki, the northern part of the trail winds through the brook-side spruce forest, light-filled pine forests and past mire depressions towards the rugged gorge. The southern part of the trail takes you across wet treeless mires, stunted pine bogs, brook-side forests and finally to the forest road that leads to Kankimäki. Along the trail you can admire a waterfall recovering from the rainy weather, or you can sit down at a picnic table and take a rest break in the beautiful mire landscape, where you can see signs of peat moss digging. Use of the old trail has been discontinued. There are information boards along the new trail on the natural features and cultural history of the area.
- Services: Restaurant Helvetin Portti at Kankimäki, a campfire site by the Helvetinkolu Gorge and a day trip hut. The campfire site and the hut are situated by the lake. To visit them one must walk a 200-step-staircase back and forth.
- The 11-km-long trail from Haukanhieta to Helvetinkolu and back starts in the southeastern side of Lake Haukkajärvi, and leads up to hilltops and down to the gorge valleys. The trail is quite demanding due to great differences in altitude, so walking takes time. There are steps at the steepest hillsides. Return by the same path.
- Services: Cooking shelter, camping and campfire site, and drinking water available at Haukanhieta, camping site at Lake Iso Ruokejärvi, day trip hut and campfire site at Helvetinkolu.
- Trail from Helvetinkolu Gorge to Lake Luomajärvi and back, 7,4 km, goes through the oldest forests of the park. Lake Luomajärvi is part of the same fault lake formation as Lake Iso Helvetinjärvi. Return by the same path.
- Services: Campfire place and day trip hut at Helvetinkolu. At Lake Luomajärvi cooking shelter and camping site.
- Pirkan Taival Hiking Trail network, 300 km, have several routes. Good starting and ending points are for example Helvetinjärvi National Park and Seitseminen National Park. These routes actually connect the two parks.
Other Hiking Tips
- In the National Park it is possible to hike with a map and compass also outside of marked trails. The restricted area of Lake Haukkajärvi, where it is prohibited to enter 15.4.-31.7., is marked in outdoor maps and brochures.
- Destinations accessible with baby pram and/or wheelchair: The National Park landscape is quite demanding, due to differences in altitude. Only at Haukanhieta the surroundings are accessible with baby pram. Wheelchair users will probably need assistance.
- In winter it is possible to walk in the National Park with or without snow shoes, or to go cross-country skiing. In the park area the trunk roads are ploughed. Walking trails are not maintained in the winter, but the trail from Kankimäki to Helvetinkolu Gorge is often quite clear around the year. South of the National Park, depending on snow conditions, runs Kuru-Ruovesi skiing trail which is maintained by the municipality of Ruovesi (ruovesi.fi) and the town of Ylöjärvi (ylojarvi.fi).
Check for Warnings
When forest and grass fire warnings (en.ilmatieteenlaitos.fi) are in effect, fire is only allowed at covered campfire sites that have a flue. A fire can be also lit in fireplaces at wilderness and other huts. Always use extreme caution when handling fire. The one who lights a fire is always responsible for its safe use. Please note, that making fire at these campfire sites can be banned locally.