Experience the nature of our Geopark

Enjoy nature while refreshing and learning. In the diverse nature attractions of the Geopark, you can calm down or activate. Calm down by the pulsating springs or unwind with the charm of speed while cycling on the needle paths of the spacious pine forests.

Geopark with two National Parks

There are two National Parks within the Geopark: the Lauhanvuori and Kauhaneva – Pohjankangas national parks, known for their beautiful landscapes, hiking trails and magnificent nature.

Lauhanvuori National Park covers Finland’s largest sandstone remnant hill. In the pine forests, bogs and ancient beaches of the park, you can enjoy a time travel to the past. 

Dive deeper into geology, nature and cultural history of Lauhanvuori national park in this article.

Read more about Lauhanvuori National Park at Nationalparks.fi.

Arrival instructions to Lauhanvuori National Park.

Kauhaneva-Pohjankangas National Park presents the southern mire nature of our country and the gentle esker landscapes of the coast. The duckboard trail takes you to the heart of the bog and the demanding path of Katikankanjoni to the secrets of a ravine hidden in spruce forest.

Get to know the geology, nature and cultural history of Kauhaneva-Pohjankangas national park in this article.

Read more about Kauhanevan-Pohjankangas National Park at Nationalparks.fi.

Arrival instructions to Kauhaneva-Pohjankangas National Park.

A unique Geopark with two National Parks

Hämeenkangas of activities

Whether you love skiing, mountain biking or hiking, Hämeenkangas has something to offer you. One of the largest sandy woodland areas in Southern Finland, it is an excellent place for recreational activities.

Hämeenkangas is a training and multi-purpose area, the main user of which is the Finnish Defense Forces. However, you can move around the area freely while enjoying its routes and services. More than 20 lean-to shelters and campfire places offer plenty of places to picnic.

Hämeenkangas, formed during the ice age, is part of an ancient route from Finland to Ostrobothnia. The route of kings, soldiers and even robbers has passed through this wilderness area for hundreds of years. Don’t forget the enchanting springs of the area. Read more about Hämeenkangas at Nationalparks.fi.

Arrival instructions to Hämeenkangas.

In the peace of protected mires

The bogs are Lauhanvuori – the core of Hämeenkangas Geopark – they are the youngest geological element of the landscape and one of the most fascinating natural environments in the area, both in terms of landscape and cultural significance, not to mention nature. The bogs are in the heart of the Geopark and at their most original they occur in mire protection areas.

The Haapakeidas mire conservation area is the largest and most diverse in the area. The best views of Haapakeidas are provided by the observation towers of Katselma, Huidankedas and Mustansaarenkeidas. There are only a few routes in the wilderness area, however, that are worth the experience. Take a look at the services of Katselmankallio, for example, or find a path to Haapajärvi’s historic wilderness farm in the middle of the vast mire.

Climb our mountains

Rocky ridges frame mire plains and river valleys, offering natural views of the area’s landscape. The rocky hills, modestly called mountains, are also a peek into the area’s bedrock – the ancient granites are part of Finland’s hardest core, a piece of Europe’s thickest bedrock.

The most spectacular of the rocky mountains of Geopark are Alkkianvuori, Käskyvuori and Iso Kakkori.

Lauhanvuori in the middle of the Geopark differs from other mountains in the area in that it is very gentle and wide. In terms of proportions, it resembles a fell – the gentle slopes last for miles and miles. Bedrock outcrops in Lauhanvuori can be found mainly at its foot. They tell the story of a great ancient change in the landscape.

More information about Lauhanvuori at Nationalparks.fi.

 

Viewing towers

The geopark has numerous observation towers. The towers rising above the forest cover offer extensive views of the surroundings. Observation towers can also be found in swamps and even river valleys.

The finest views of the towers of the uplands in the area can be found on Käskyvuori, Lauhanvuori and Susivuori. Great views are also available from the Katselmankallio observation tower. The finest mire towers are the towers of Kauhaneva, Huidankeidas and Mustansaarenkeidas. The towers of Hyypäjoki Valley and Soininharju offer the best overview of the cultural landscape.

From mountains to mires

Water sports in the Geopark

Lauhanvuori – Hämeenkangas Geopark is a realm of streams, ponds and meandering small rivers. The area has plenty to offer for paddlers and fishermen.

The lake landscape of Parkano’s Kaidatvedet can be found right next to the highway 3. You can explore the area on foot along Käpykintukka trail, by participating a cruise on the Vesipääsky boat, or on your own by canoe. Kaidatvedet is located along the Parkano canoeing route from Kihniö to Kyrösjärvi.

In Jämijärvi and Jyllinjoki, you can easily explore water trips by canoe. Rent a canoe or take part in a guided tour. In the western part of the geopark, there is Lake Siikainen, which is suitable for the whole family and, for instance, SUP-boarding.

The Karvianjoki canoeing route is mainly suitable for experienced paddlers, as it can be paddled mainly during the spring flood. Further north, the Ikkeläjoki River in Kauhajoki offers a challenge, especially for lovers of wilderness paddling. These rivers require experience in both paddling and wilderness skills and are only to be paddled in the safety of a group. 

The Isojoki-Lappväärtinjoki river system, which is also known for its trout, is suitable for the experienced navigator. This body of water is in the minds of fishermen. Popular rapids fishing spots can also be found on the Viinikanjoki and Karvianjoki rivers.

In the footsteps of ancient people

One of the most fascinating places in the geopark is the Susiluola Cave in Karijoki. The cave, located high on the slope of Susivuori Hill, is a time travel to the distant prehistory of Finland. Signs of human presence from before the last ice age have been found in the cave created in the horizontal crevice of the bedrock.

The Susiluola Cave has been filled with soil in the last ice age. Before that, however, the cave was at least partially open. Before the last ice age, there was a warm period, the Eem, when hardwoods grew in the area. Perhaps the cave was used at that time as a base for hunting trips.

Modern man spread to Europe at the end of the last ice age. Before that, the continent was ruled by Neanderthal man. That relative, who has since disappeared from the world, had adapted well to European conditions. Perhaps we Finns also carry inherit traces of those ancient hunters.

The wolf cave can be reached via an easy path in summer. In winter the cave is closed.

Virtual hikes

You can get to know the natural attractions of the Geopark area from your home sofa with the help of Metsähallitus’ mobile guide. With 360 images, videos and a variety of image content, you can take a virtual peek at the area’s natural and cultural attractions. You will also find guidance content related to nature sites in the service.

The mobile guide can be found at www.lauhanvuoriregion.fi