Rugged beautiful scenery
Finns tend to say that forests are like churches. They are places where you can relax and hide your troubles and worries among the small cracks in the rocks.
In the Stone Age, Repovesi was an area for hunting, in the 17th century tar-burning was started there and, in the early 20th century, the development of sawmill operations increased forestry work. Men felled trees, horses transported them and log floating channels were built.
In 2001, UPM donated forest to Repovesi National Park and placed a conservation order on Aarnikotka Forest, which was on its own land. This created the largest forest conservation area in Southeast Finland, which is now a wonderland for hikers.
As monuments to days of yore, hikers can see rock paintings, tar-burning pits overgrown with foliage and the Kuutinkanava channel built in 1912 and used for log floating.
Hiking on ready-made trails
The rocky and uninhabited Repovesi National Park has become one of Southern Finland’s most popular destinations for nature tourism.
The park has a dense network of trails and three marked hiking trails. The most popular of these is the 5 km-long Ketunlenkki (fox’s loop). It begins at the Lapinsalmi car park, and hikers soon have to cross the Lapinsalmi suspension bridge.
The route includes an almost vertical climb of more than 200 steps up the Katajavuori slope and the Ketunlossi ferry, which crosses Määkijänsalmi. The hikers operate it themselves using their own muscle power.
Korpinkierros is the newest and shortest trail, which circles Olhavanlampi lake in the northern part of the national park and passes the formidable Olhavanvuori hill.
Kaakkurinkierros is 26 km long, and passes through all the sights and stopping points in Repovesi. It is worth setting aside a whole day to cover it, if not two, as night-time accommodation can certainly be found in the landscape of the national park. Along all routes are campfire sites equipped with chopped wood, so camping is easy.
Cliffs and views
Repovesi National Park is an uninhabited area dotted with lakes and ponds and overlooked by sturdy and steep cliffs.
During the summer months, its busiest trails become quite crowded and noisy with the voices of its many visitors. You can find some peace if you step from the larger trails to the smaller ones.
Mustalamminvuori is one of the most beautiful resting places. Climbing to Mustalammi Tower, which rises up at its summit, can be tiring, but you’ll get wonderful views of the lakeland scenery of the national park from up there.
Those who like high places and climbing head for Olhavanvuori. Its vertical slope is one of Finland’s most respected sites for rock climbing. The highest point on Olhava stands at 40 m, and there are more than 100 alternative routes to the top. To climb all of them might require several visits.
Don't forget that Repovesi National Park is easy to reach with a bus.