War history, Karelian culture, the sound of the wind blowing through ancient woodland, and glimmering ponds – those are the things that make Petkeljärvi National Park so special. You can pack a lot into just a day trip!

Walk on marked trails

Walking in Petkeljärvi National Park is like walking in a picture postcard. There are a total of around 10 kilometres of marked trails in the park, and it is a popular destination for day trips. Kuikan Kierros Nature Trail (6.5 km) runs in varied terrain along picturesque ridges. The trail leads walkers past beaver dams and flood meadows, through pine woods scarred by forest fires, to Petkeljärvi Outdoor Centre. Harjupolku Trail (3.5 km) is part of the same route. Korkeasärkkä Trail (2 km) offers beautiful views of Lake Valkiajärvi and Lake Kaitajärvi.

The sun is shining through the tops of old pine trees. The image shows a path with two hikers walking along it.


Petkeljärvi National Park is brilliant for canoeing. There is a canoeing route of around 80 kilometres from Lake Petkeljärvi to Patvinsuo National Park in Koitere via Lake Nuorajärvi and Koitajoki River. Mutalahti bay, which lies to the south of the park, is approximately 20 kilometres away by canoe. Read more about equipment hire.

Two paddlers is a kayak on a lake. There is forest in the background  and the sky is clear.

Other activities

  • Geocaching: Geocaching is a fun way to explore the park.
  • Skiing: Skiing is one of the best way to explore the park in the winter.
  • Fishing: The park's waters are ideal for fishing.
  • Nature Information Hut: Petkeljärvi Nature Information Hut has an exhibition illustrating how the area's ridges were formed as a result of the Ice Age and showcasing the park's flora and fauna, nature conservation efforts and the area's history.
  • Pick berries and mushrooms: The park is great for picking bilberries, lingonberries and edible mushrooms.
  • Sights and scenery: There are partially restored battle structures dating back to the Second World War near Petkeljärvi Outdoor Centre, including a dugout and a trench. The village of Möhkö showcases Karelian culture.
  • Cycling: Mountain biking is allowed according to everyman's rights. Always stay on clearly visible tracks and pay attention to other hikers.
  • Swimming: The best place for swimming in the park is Petraniemi. There is no official swimming spot in the National Park.
  • Hiking: Taitajan Taival Trail (31 km) is the oldest hiking route in North Karelia and excellent for longer hikes. The trail takes hikers through breathtaking scenery and has lean-to shelters for overnight stays.
  • Boating: The park offers great opportunities for boating. The nearest place for launching boats is in Oinassalmi, along the road to Möhkö. The ramp is maintained by Ilomantsi local authority. Motorboats are permitted on Lake Petkeljärvi and Lake Valkiajärvi. Read more about boat hire.

A person fishing with a spinning rod from the stony lake shore.