Activities in Pyhä-Häkki National Park

A beautiful snow-covered pine tree photographed from below against a blue sky. The flash lights up the top of the pine and snowflakes glisten in the bright light. The treetop is framed in by other pines.

The best preserved old-growth forests in Southern Finland offer plenty to see. Hike to admire 400 year-old ancient pine trees, traces of forest fires from centuries ago or the historical crown tenant farm croft at Poika-aho.

Sights and scenery

Discover the wonders of ancient forests! In the magnificent pine forests of Mastomäki, the trees are 250 years old on average. The park's most famous ancient pine tree, the Big Old Tree, which is now a snag, began growing in 1518. The giant's diameter is 288 cm. The new Big Tree, chosen in 2006, dates back to 1641 and is alive and well along the Mastomäki circular trail (3.2 km). The Big Old Tree still stands tall around 200 metres along the Kotajärvi circular trail.

A child with a backpack hugging a big pine. The child's arms are not reaching around the big tree.

History is brought alive at the Poika-aho Crown Tenant Farm, its courtyard and meadows. The farm in the western part of the park was established in 1854. The main house is a rental hut used by sheep herders in the summer.

Hiking

Hiking is the best way to reach the sights in the park and enjoy the wild. There are approximately 30 km of marked trails in the Pyhä-Häkki National Park. Choose the one you prefer from among the four circular trails (1.4–17 km), pack a picnic in your rucksack and embark on an adventure.

A big group of hikers walking along a path in a summery forest.

Other activities

  • Geocaching: Geocaching is a fun way to exercise and explore nature in good company.
  • Skiing: In winter, there is a 1.5 km ski trail suitable for classic cross-country skiing, maintained by the local authorities of Saarijärvi and Kannonkoski. The trail continues beyond the park's borders.
  • Snowshoeing: Snowshoeing is an excellent way to enjoy the pristine snow.
  • Berry picking: Pick some local food to supplement your picnic. There are no restrictions on berry and mushroom picking in the park.
  • Cycling: Mountain biking is allowed according to everyman's rights. Always stay on clearly visible tracks and pay attention to other hikers.
  • Swimming: You can go swimming in places such as the jetty by the cooking shelter at Lake Kotajärvi. There is no official beach in the park.
  • Hiking: On the Tulijärvi Trail (17 km), an overnight stay is possible at the Tulijärvi lean-to shelter (maintained by the town of Saarijärvi) or in the Poika-aho rental hut. Read more about the Pyhä-Häkki National Park trails.
  • Voluntary work: Try some wool therapy! Sheep herders are hired for the summer on the Poika-aho farm. Apply early in the year.

A close-up of a happy sheep. The sheep have tags in its ears.