Activities in Linnansaari National Park
Linnansaari National Park is home to the Saimaa ringed seal and some of the most beautiful lakeland scenery in the area. Linnansaari Island can be accessed by a regular ferry service and charter boats.
Parts of the park are closed to the public during certain times of the year. Please respect the signs!
Canoeing is a brilliant way to explore the fragile ecosystem of Linnansaari Island. The great expanses of open water on Lake Haukivesi and the straits between its islands can also be navigated by beginners. There are no marked canoeing routes in the park, but good places for setting off include the Sammakkoniemi camping site on Linnansaari Island, Porosalmi in Rantasalmi, Oravi and Mustalahti Marina. Equipment can be hired from local entrepreneurs. Read more about equipment hire.
Linnansaari National Park is also great for longer canoeing excursions if you bring your own tent. The park is approximately 40 kilometres from end to end, so it is best to reserve between five and seven days for the excursion. If you want an even longer trip, you can continue to Lake Joutenvesi and Kolovesi National Park.
Linnansaari Island lies in an intersection of multiple lakes and rivers, and there is a good range of services available for both private boaters and charter boat customers. The park has multiple marinas for mooring. There is also a jetty at the foot of Linnavuori hill with glorious views over the lake. Please note that motorboats are not allowed on Linnansaarenlampi pond. In addition, parts of the park are closed to the public between 1 May and 15 July. You can also explore the park in a more leisurely fashion with a rowing boat.
Tour skating and the winter trail
Tour skating is the quickest way to access Linnansaari Island in the winter. Caution is advised at the beginning of the season, but a maintained ice track is provided later in the winter. The park's maintained winter trail (18 km) runs from Oravi to Porosalmi, and equipment can be hired at both ends of the route - Oravi (oravivillage.com) and Järvisydän (jarvisydan.com). There is a fee for using the trail. The Sammakkoniemi and Pieni-Lappi campfire sites are perfect places for a wintry picnic. The track is also suitable for walking, kicksledding and mountainbiking.
- Skiing: Skiing is another great way to get around in the winter. A maintained ski trail is provided next to the tour skating track later in the season.
- Hook and line fishing and ice fishing are allowed under everyman's rights, except where specific restrictions apply.
- Persons aged 18-64 years must pay the fisheries management fee (eräluvat.fi). If you fish with more than one rod, you also need Metsähallitus' angling permit no 7413 for Southern Finland (eräluvat.fi). See also the restrictions. Fishing permits are available from Metsähallitus' online shop (eräluvat.fi).
- For trap fishing, in addition to paying the fisheries management fee, you will need Metsähallitus' trap fishing permit no 7008 for Haukivesi (eräluvat.fi, in Finnish). See also the restrictions. Permits can also be purchased by phone at +358 (0)20 69 2424.
- Fishing on Lake Haukivesi is subject to various restrictions due to the endangered Saimaa ringed seal:
- Net fishing is not permitted in state waters.
- Many landowners' collectives also prohibit net fishing in their waters between 15 April and 30 June.
- The use of certain kinds of traps and fishing techniques in areas favoured by the seals is also prohibited under a Decree of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry (www.mmm.fi).
- All types of fishing are prohibited in Linnansaarenlampi.
- Fishers need to check the restrictions on fishing sites at kalastusrajoitus.fi (In Finnish).
- Birdwatching: The park is great for spotting ospreys, white-backed woodpeckers and more than 70 other species of birds.
- Nature Centre: Lake Saimaa Nature and Museum Centre Riihisaari in Savolinna is home for the joint permanent exhibition "In the heart of Saimaa" and visiting exhibitions of Savonlinna Museum (savonlinna.fi) and Saimaa Nature Centre (nature).
- Nature trail: Linnonpolku Nature Trail (2 km) introduces visitors to the prehistory of Lake Saimaa and the flora and fauna found on Linnansaari Island. The trail illustrates how both natural phenomena and man have shaped the area's landscape over the centuries.
- Pick berries and mushrooms: The park is great for picking bilberries (Vaccinium
myrtillus) and edible mushrooms.
- Sights and scenery: Linnansaari Croft has an exhibition showcasing life in the early 20th century and the area's valuable heritage landscape. The vantage point at the top of Linnavuori offers stunning views over Lake Haukivesi.
- Walk on marked trails: Most parts of Linnansaari Island are extremely hilly and rocky. The path leading from the Sammakkoniemi camping site to Linnansaari Croft is accessible and suitable for e.g. baby buggies.
- Guided group tours: There are several entrepreneurs offering guided tours in the park.
- Swimming: The best places for swimming are Kamarluoto and the Sammakkoniemi camping site. There is no official beach.