Activities in Kolovesi National Park

 

Welcome to a canoer's paradise! Let ancient rock paintings tell you about the thousands of years that nature and man have coexisted in the Kolovesi area.

Some areas of the park are private property. Please respect the signs!

Canoeing

Canoeing allows you to truly appreciate the tranquillity of Lake Saimaa, its rugged banks and the surrounding wilderness. You might even spot a Saimaa ringed seal! Good places for setting off are the boat ramps at Käkövesi and Kirkkoranta. Read more about equipment hire and guided tours.

Two paddlers in a summery lake landscape. In the foreground there is forest and a rocky beach.

Kolovesi is also great for longer canoeing excursions if you bring your own tent. The 40-km route around the park takes two or three days.

Sights and scenery

Take a trip back in time! If you look closely, you can see rock paintings dating back 5,000 years on the steep walls of Ukonvuori. Ukonvuori is also an imposing sight from further away. There is an old excavation on the hillside with stunning formations of quartz crystals. As tempting as the glittering crystals may be, please do not touch!

Two hikers on a wooden viewing deck in front of a stone wall.

There are also rock paintings on the walls of Vierunvuori.  Vierunvuori is located just 500 metres off the Heinävesi route (at 62°19.05' N, 28°45.27' E) and it has a vertical rock face with a painting approximately 10 metres off the ground.

Havukkavuori just south of the park is another place to spot rock paintings. Other sights worth seeing in the park include majestic cliffs along the shores and, if you are lucky, the endangered Saimaa ringed seal.

Walk on marked trails

The relatively challenging Nahkiaissalo Nature Trail (3.3 km) takes walkers through mysterious ancient woodland and beautiful lakeland scenery to the site of an old tar-burning pit. There is also a good place for swimming along the trail and a picnic area at the Lohilahti camping site.

Two hikers in a summery forest landscape. One of the hikers is taking photos. Pine forest runs all the way to a lake in the distance.

Mäntysalo Trail (3.8 km) runs in challenging and changeable terrain. The trail takes walkers past beautiful lake views and through woodland of various ages.

Other activities

  • Fishing: Kolovesi is brilliant for hook and line fishing.
  • Visitor Centre: Lake Saimaa Nature and Culture Centre Riihisaari in Savolinna is home for the joint permanent exhibition "In the heart of Saimaa" and visiting exhibitions of Savonlinna Provincial Museum (savonlinna.fi) and Saimaa Nature Centre.
  • Nature Information Hut: Kolovesi Nature Information Hut is located on the riverbank in an old granary in Enonkoski. It is open through the summer and has an exhibition on the area's flora and fauna and provides information about recreational opportunities in the area.
  • Pick berries and mushrooms: The park is excellent for bilberry (Vaccinium uliginosum) picking!
  • For groups: Lake Saimaa Nature and Culture Centre in Savonlinna provides information about Kolovesi National Park, vulnerable species and nature conservation.
  • Swimming: There is no official beach, but the sandy shoreline at Käkövesi and the various camping sites are good places for swimming.
  • Boating: Rowing and sailing are great ways to explore the area. Motorboats are only allowed in the northern parts of the park. There are moorings for sail boats and motorboats along Mäntysalo Nature Trail (at 62°18.42' N, 28°44.70' E) and at the Pitkäsaari camping site (at 62°18.50' N, 28°44.80' E or 62°18.41' N, 28°45.04' E). The park's shallow, narrow straits are not recommended for sail boats. Rowing boats can be launched off the ramps at Käkövesi or Kirkkoranta.