WELCOME TO GEOPARK IN THE SUMMER

Discover the fascinating two billion years of history of Geopark. Hiking and cycling routes as well as nature attractions invite you to explore Lauhanvuori-Hämeenkangas UNESCO Global Geopark.

TWO NATIONAL PARKS AND OTHER WONDERFUL NATURE SITES

Beautiful national parks

Lauhanvuori and Kauhaneva-Pohjankangas National Parks, known for their beautiful scenery, are located in the Geopark area.

You can travel back in time to the past on the easy routes of Lauhanvuori National Park. The number one sight of Lauhanvuori is Kivijata, an impressive stone field formed of rare sandstone. On Lauhanvuori you may also see Finnish forest deer, for example.

Photo: Sannamari Ratilainen / Metsähallitus Parks and Wildlife Finland, Lauhanvuori National Park

In Kauhaneva-Pohjankangas National Park you may experience magnificent wild mire nature. Kauhaneva’s duckboard route leads you to the heart of the mire. The path of Katikankanjoni takes you into the mysterious ravine shaded by spruces.

Photo: Pasi Talvitie, Kauhaneva-Pohjankangas National Park

Authentic mire nature

Haapakeidas mire reserve is the largest and most diverse mire area in Geopark. In the early summer on the hiking trails the air is filled with the scent of wild rosemary. You may watch birds in observation towers or on duckboard trails. Read more about birds in our article.

There are several mire destinations within the Geopark area that are also suitable for children. See the best sites and tips in our article.

Photo: Terttu Hermansson, Haapakeidas

Versatile nature activities

Hämeenkangas offers tens of kilometers of easy-going routes with many resting places as well as great natural attractions. Hiking, biking, canoeing – there are diverse nature sports opportunities in Hämeenkangas.

Photo: Sofia Sillanpää, Hämeenkangas

Rocky hills and small waterways

Climb the observation towers of the rocky hills and gaze to the wide forest and mire landscapes. There are many creeks, ponds and meandering small rivers in Geopark, too. Thus the area offers experiences for e.g. canoeists and fishermen as well.

Read more about Geopark’s diverse destinations on our website.

Photo: Sofia Sillanpää, Käskyvuori

Discover the cultural heritage

The cultural sites of Geopark tell about the common history of the people and nature of the area.  Discover Geopark’s diverse museums, unique architecture, traditional churches and art at the Kankaanpää Art Circle or along the roads.

The creativity of the area’s residents becomes visible on the Route of Arts. The joyful contemporary folk art that change every year can be seen, for example in Karvia and Parkano. You will find the most interesting places to visit in our brochure.

Photo: Mirja Koivisto / Tarinakuva, Alpon savanni

GEOPARK'S SITES TELL THE UNIQUE HISTORY OF THE AREA

ENJOY NATURE IN GEOPARK

Take a hike on the trails

Geopark’s trails take you in the middle of nature to see the best attractions. Geopark offers both easy and family-friendly trails as well as more demanding routes suitable for multi-day hikes with overnight stays.

Geopark’s hiking trails are compiled in Geopark’s brochure (in Finnish).

Photo: Lauri Kurki, Lauhanvuori National Park

Two Billion Year Tours cycling route

On Geopark’s new Two Billion Year Tours cycling route, you will get to know 1 900 million years of Finnish history in the best possible way – by cycling through it. The routes connect Geopark’s most significant places to visit and the most beautiful landscapes, as well as municipal centers and the best tourist services.

Photo: Mirja Koivisto / Tarinakuva, Jämijärvi

The three long Traveller routes going along the roads offer overnight adventures for experienced cyclists. The shorter Enjoyer routes are suitable for day trips for families, for example. Real adventures await on the Adventurer routes on mountain bike trails. You can cycle to Geopark’s routes from EuroVelo 10 route and from Järvien reitit cycling routes.

Read more about Geopark’s cycling routes and cycling services on our website and in our brochure (both currently in Finnish).

Photo: Pasi Talvitie, Kihniö

Enjoy by the campfire

A snack by the campfire is one of the highlights of the nature trip. Make it luxury and order a ready meal for your family or group to the campfire, or grab a snack from the area’s cafes or restaurants.

Photo: Terttu Hermansson, Käskyvuori

There are lots of great places in Geopark to take a break by the campfire. Most sites have firewood freely available to visitors. Campfires are only allowed at marked campfire sites. Please notice that it is strictly prohibited to set fire during a forest or grass fire warning. Check the Finnish Meteorological Institute’s website for warnings. You can find the campfire sites on the map.

Photo: Niina Rautiainen / NR Visuals, Kauhaneva-Pohjankangas National Park

Spend the night in nature

Spend the night in a tent or hammock and experience the magical atmosphere of the Geopark’s summer nights and early mornings. Please note that camping in protected areas is only allowed in specific areas. You can find site-specific instructions on the nationalparks.fi website. There are also very nice commercial camping sites available in Geopark.

Photo: Laura Vanzo / Visit Tampere, Korsukylä

UNIQUE SUMMER EVENTS AND VERSATILE TOURIST SERVICES

Geopark’s summer is full of events: open-air concerts and summer theater as well as art exhibitions and sports. Willi Karvia, for example, offers great concerts and theater experiences at the Skantz Cultural Center, of which architecture is inspired by a 17th-century fort.

Kankaanpää has a long Finnish baseball tradition. You can feel the atmosphere of the game in the arena of the team of Kankaanpään Maila.

Photo: Niina Rautiainen / NR Visuals, Skantz Cultural Center

During the summer, the villages of Geopark come to life. For example, cafes, restaurants, boutiques and farm shops attract tourists and residents of the area to enjoy the relaxed atmosphere.

Photo: Mirja Koivisto / Tarinakuva, Karvia

Enjoy Geopark destinations on a guided tour. With an expert local guide, you’ll find the best routes and sites and hear related stories. With a guide, you will get the most out of your trip. Companies also rent equipment such as canoes and electric mountain bikes to your independent adventures.

Photo: Pasi Talvitie, Kauhaneva-Pohjankangas National Park

Promote your well-being on a guided wellness trip to nature. Complete your nature experience in sauna and with pampering treatments. Relax in the soft steam of the smoke sauna or more common but still traditional sauna by a lake, for example. Enjoy the gentle treatments made with the peat of the area’s mires as well.

Read more on our webpage. You can also find the services on the map. You can easily buy experiences and services through the Geopark’s online store.

Photo: Laura Vanzo / Visit Tampere, Kirkkokadun Hyvän Olon Keskus

GEOPARK IS AT ITS BEST IN THE SUMMER

SOME TOP PICKS FROM OUR CURRENT OFFER

Human in Nature event in August

The traditional Human in Nature event will be held in Parkano in late August. The theme of this year’s event is biodiversity. From Thursday to Sunday, the event offers a high-quality seminar, guided tours in Geopark, a tradition day at SyVilla and a family event at the Forest Museum. Read more on the Visit Parkano website.

Photo: Hanna Tuuri /Tuuri-Tiedotus, Parkano Forest Museum

Joyful gifts from More Joy

More Joy offers e.g. dishcloths with nature-themed patterns made out of natural fibers. Joyful patterns are created in collaboration with different designers or according to the customer’s wishes. In the factory store you will find both gifts and nice craft packages for children. Read more on the More Joy’s website.

Photo: More Joy

Rental equipment from Kesport Kauhajoki

Kesport Kauhajoki offers electric bicycle and sup board rental. In addition to rental equipment, you can buy all the necessary equipment for your active nature holiday in the shop. Read more on Kesport Kauhajoki’s website.

Photo: Terttu Hermansson, Lauhanvuori National Park

 

Outar offers experiences with natural colors

Outar offers courses (also online) related to natural colors. Natural colors are suitable for harmonious creative moments. From plants you can extract a lot of fascinating dyes that can be used in crafts and art in many ways.

For example, you may attend the Watercolors and Inks from Natural Colors course in Parkano on Saturday 11th of June. Prepare your own inks from plants and make paintings with them. In the course, you will learn how to make pigment powders, watercolors and inks from plants you have collected, as well as from plant color extracts. Read more on Outar’s website.

Photo: Ronja Kuokkanen / Outar

The Salaisen Puutarhan Majatalo Guesthouse and Valkoinen Puu Café & Shop

The guesthouse is located in Kauhajoki, in a former parsonage built in the 1890s, surrounded by a wild garden. The building has been luxuriously refurbished with a mix of Scandinavian bohemianism and antiques. The guesthouse offers six unique double rooms with soft beds and beautiful décor. Read more on the website of The Salaisen Puutarhan Majatalo Guesthouse.

Photo: The Salaisen Puutarhan Majatalo Guesthouse

Charming Valkoinen Puu Café & Shop is located just a bit over a kilometer from the the guesthouse. In the café you can enjoy delicacies made in the own bakery along the same street. The café’s cakes and pastries are known for their delicacy. Their authentic flavors are created with American and South Ostrobothnian family recipes and local ingredients. The most famous of the cakes is the Chocolate Cake of the Secret Garden, baked on an organic spelt and also served at the guesthouse’s breakfast. Read more on the website of Valkoinen Puu Café & Shop.

Photo: Valkoinen Puu Café & Shop

Meggala Winery

Meggala Winery produces high-quality, aromatic and tasty wines with a passion for professional winemaking and domestic ingredients. You can enjoy Meggala’s drinks at the farm’s own restaurant or buy from the farm shop. In the restaurant and café you can also enjoy snacks with coffee, for example. Meals are served on restaurant days and on request.

In the summer, you can take part in Meggala’s sparkling wine and beer yoga and summer bingo, or take part in a wine tasting and winery tour. During Midsummer, Meggala offers happy summer atmosphere, as people gather for the Midsummer market. Attend also karaoke terrace dance and taste local burgers. Read more on Meggala’s website.

Photo: Mirja Koivisto / Tarinakuva

Visoko’s meditative videos

Take a meditative, about 15-minute virtual trip to Finnish nature with the help of Visoko’s videos. The virtual trip will deepen your connection with nature and you will respect nature more. Your vitality will increase, you will calm down and your stress management will improve. Get a 30% discount on videos in the Visoko’s online store with the code LHGeo. Read more on Visoko’s website.

Photo: Visoko

Experience authentic countryside in the Luomajärvi Horse Inn

Enjoy Southern Europe inspired meals in the Luomajärvi Horse Inn’s quality restaurant. Once a month in the summer, the inn’s restaurant serves delicious Spanish, Italian and French flavors.

The inn offers a wide range of summer activities in a real old-fashioned rural setting. There are e.g. children’s horseback riding, family-friendly Day at the Farm programs, rustic horse-drawn carriage rides and riding hikes available. You can also rent fatbikes and electric touring bikes for your individual adventures on Geopark’s cycling routes. Read more on the Luomajärvi Horse Inn’s website.

Photo: The Luomajärvi Horse Inn

Open Yards in Jämijärvi

Get into the local way of life in a small rural village of Jämijärvi on Saturday 11th of June. The residents open the gates of their yards to visitors and offer a wide range of activities such as flea markets pop-up cafes, concerts and craft workshops. Take part in a fishing competition or go on a boat trip on an old wooden boat. You can also climb the church tower with permission! You can find the map and timetable on the website of the organizer.

Photo: Tuomo Leikkola

Culture in the Finnish capital of art, Kankaanpää

Explore the unique Circle of Art by walking along the Art Trail or cycling around it. The Circle of Art consists of more than a hundred works of art permanently placed in the urban environment. IN the Circle of Art the work of art, the environment and the landscape meet in the finest possible way.

Kankaanpää Market Square is popular meeting place for the residents of wide region. The market is open all year round on Thursdays and also on summer Saturdays. At the end of the summer, the traditional Hörhiäisviikko event offers a wide range of music, art, sport, well-being and a nice market spirit. Read more on the City of Kankaanpää’s website.

Photo: Mirja Koivisto / Tarinakuva

Kankaanpää Art Association’s brick workshops

Design your own brick in the Art Association’s workshop. The bricks will be placed in the brick wall of the Circle of Art. In May, the Kankaanpää Art Association organized these workshops. It is still possible to participate in the workshop on Saturday 28th af May from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Inquiries: Kankaanpää Art Association

Photo: Laura Koivumäki

GEOPARK IS CHARMING IN THE SUMMER

OUTDOOR ETIQUETTE

Please, always mind nature and other people during your nature trips. Respect nature in every way and keep your pets in leash. Prevent the waste in advance and bring your rubbish from the nature and sort them properly.

Please, use the marked routes that lead you to the best sites. Using marked trails prevent the harmful effects on nature elsewhere. Each mode of transport has its own routes. Stay in the terrain only in areas designated for camping. Read more on the website.

Photo: Metsähallitus Parks & Wildlife Finland, Outdoor Etiquette

EXPERIENCE THE GEOPARK THROUGH A FILM

Get to know the inhabitants, the culture and the nature of the area through the Geopark’s In a blink of an eye promotional film. What we see in a blink of an eye is the result of billions of years of geological evolution.

Watch the video on YouTube and enjoy!

Photo: Terttu Hermansson, Siikainen

Main photo: Mirja Koivisto / Tarinakuva

Other photos: Aili Raudla-Majakangas, Terttu Hermansson

#lhgeopark #unescoglobalgeoparks #europeangeoparks #finnishgeoparks  #unesco #twobillionyeartours #kahdenmiljardinvuodenmatkalla #outdoor #retkeily #luontomatkailu #pyörämatkailu #cyclingtourism #hyvinvointialuonnosta #taiteidenreitti #visittampere #visitlakeus #visitpori #visitsatakunta

WELCOME TO GEOPARK!

Get prepared for the Geopark cycle tour

Careful planning and preparation are an important part of a cycle tour and a prerequisite for a successful trip.

Take care of safety issues

Involve the whole group, including the children, in the planning of the cycle tour from the beginning and consider also safety issues. Tell your loved ones about your itinerary and be sure to keep them informed of any changes to the plans and the achievement of your goals during the trip.

Photo: Mirja Koivisto / Tarinakuva, Jämijärvi

While cycling, prefer colorful clothing, which improves your visibility and promotes road safety. A cycling helmet effectively protects your head if an accident occurs. The law requires the use of lights at dusk and in the dark. The lights also enhance your visibility during the day. Follow good cycling practices and traffic rules.

Download the 112 Suomi mobile app to your phone which helps rescuers to find you quickly when needed. Don’t forget your phone charger! Pack the medication with you for a few extra days in case your plans change and your trip lengthens. Bring with you also basic first aid supplies: gauze, patches, wound cleanser, painkiller and balm for abrasions. Also take sunlotion with you.

You can’t pre prepared for everything, but think about possible problem situations and solutions to them in advance. Pre-conceived operating models make the decision making faster and increase security. Once the issues are resolved quickly, you can continue your journey as planned.

Photo: Terttu Hermansson, Lauhanvuori National Park

Preparedness and anticipation increase security

Equipment and gear

A bicycle suitable for the specific bike tour is the cornerstone of the equipment. The route’s type determines the type of the bike. A commuter bike, for example, is good enough for road use, a mountain bike is recommended for off-road driving.

Photo: Mirja Koivisto / Tarinakuva

The bike must be compliant, functional and equipped for the purpose. Functional inspections and maintenance should not be neglected, as they have a close connection to road safety. A bike that is regularly serviced and repaired if necessary is also reliable.

A well-maintained bike is a prerequisite for a successful trip. Have your bike serviced by yourself or by a professional. It is a good idea to test the functionality of the bike a few times after maintenance. Problems and faults on the bike are possible, but ocuur rarely during a trip of few hundred kilometers. A well-maintained bike will usually work properly if you don’t crash.

Take with you atleast the cyclist’s multi-purpose wrench, tire plastics and pump. It’s a good idea to buy an inner tube that fits your bike in advance. It is often more sensible to change a tire than to patch it. The most common fault of bikes is a flat tire. Can you fix a tire?

Photo: Mirja Koivisto / Tarinakuva, Hyyppä Valley

A chain connector and derailleur hanger as well as a few spokes that fits one’s bike should be especially in the mountainbikers’ backpacks. These parts are wheel specific. When broken, they are fairly easy to replace if a chain breaker and spoke tools are available.

The bike can be eqquipped with various bags and racks for carrying luggage. A wheeled luggage cart can also be used. It is a good idea to protect the equipment from getting wet, regardless of the mode of transport. Also consider the option of a service truck or transporting equipment using a transportation service.

Full camping equipment including the tent and other gear to stay overnight outside takes up a large portion of the bike’s carrying capacity. In the summer time, however, you can handle with a small amount of equipment. Staying in cottages, hotels, etc. will lighten the load and save space for other gear.

Photo: Mirja Koivisto / Tarinakuva, Punainen tupa

Special attention should be paid to loading the bicycle, as unstable loads affect negatively to the driveability. The bicycle, loaded as lightly and firmly as possible, promotes driving safety and the driver’s endurance.

Test the compatibility of the equipment and the bicycle in advance. Take an experimental day trip from your home. You may also want to test your tent and camping gear in your backyard in advance. This is the time to add or remove accessories if needed.

In addition to the bike and the helmet, you can expand the list of equipment as you wish. Padded cycling pants are an obvious part of a cycling outfit for many. Cycling shoes and lock pedals are familiar to mountain bikers, but are also used by other cyclists.

Otherwise, the clothing is chosen according to the weather. Several cloth layers work best in cool weather. Rain gear should always be included in the paggage. Cagoules and other accessories that can be packed in a small space are available for cyclists.

Photo: Joonas Vinnari, Lauhanvuori National Park

Good equipment increases the comfort

A bike tour with children

On a family cycling tour, the age and endurance of the children must be taken into account. Cycling is an energy consuming physical exercise. Have regular meals and snacks to avoid huge hunger and low levels of energy. Take enough water and other drinkiks with you and keep some energy supplies readily available. When tired and hungry, the risk of mistakes and accidents increases.

Photo: Mirja Koivisto / Tarinakuva, Karvia

Review the traffic rules and the principles of safe bicycling before the bicycle trip with the children. Interesting places to visit and see along the journey motivates the kids to continue forward. Avoid too long day trips and be ready to make small changes to your plans if necessary.

Photo: Mirja Koivisto / Tarinakuva, Karvia

Cycling with children on children's terms

Plan your route

On the Geopark’s cycling routes, the terrain is gentle and the elevation differences are usually moderate. Steep hills are rare. Municipal centers and villages, as well as less populated landscapes and nature, alternate along the routes. There is a lot to see and experience during the bicycle trip, so it’s good to take plenty of time for the cycling and the stops in the sites.

Photo: Mirja Koivisto / Tarinakuva, Hyyppä Valley

The main route consists of three partly overlapping routes, which follow mainly quiet roads. You can choose individual routes or cycle through them all as a continuous loop. The distance traveled per one day can be, for example, 30-60 km, in which case the daily driving time is about 2-4 hours. On individual route loops, you could stay for 3-5 days. It takes easily take a week to get around the entire route along the outerlines.

Each Geopark municipality also has shorter local routes that you can cycle separately oruse as alternative routes as part of a longer bike tour. There are also easy mountain bike trails, some of which run on gravel roads.

There are reataurant and accommodation services in the area that support cycling tourism. It is also advisable to deviate from the routes to services and destinations located a little further away. Think about your accommodation carefully and contact the companies in advance.

The services located in the centres of the municipalities, such as groceries and specialty stores, as well as a pharmacy, are availabel along the routes daily. By arranging the periods of cycling as well as visiting the sites and dining approprietly during your days, you can focus on enjoying the whole experience.

Photo: Mirja Koivisto / Tarinakuva, Nummijärvi Camping

While cycling, you’re on the jorney from the very start. Actually the bicycle trip starts with its planning. You don’t always have to travel far to relax and experience adventures. Leave the hurry behind and focus on gathering good memories and experiences. In cycling, being on the road is more important than reaching the destination.

Photo: Mirja Koivisto/ Tarinakuva, Katikankanjoni, Kauhaneva-Pohjankangas National Park

Text: Jari Hernesniemi 

Further reading:

Pyöräliitto: Pyöräilijän liikennesäännöt (in Finnish)

The Finnish Center for Cycling Tourism: Bikeland.fi

Suomen Latu: Maastopyöräilijän etiketti (in Finnish) 

Metsähallitus: Pyöräretken suunnittelu (in Finnish) 

Seikkailijattaret: Retkipyöräilyn ABC: Vinkit ensimmäiseen pidempään pyöräreissuun (in Finnish) 

Photo: Mirja Koivisto/ Tarinakuva, Katikankanjoni, Kauhaneva-Pohjankangas National Park

Main photo: Mirja Koivisto / Tarinakuva

Other photos: Terttu Hermansson

#lhgeopark #unescoglobalgeoparks #europeangeoparks #finnishgeoparks  #unesco #outdoor #retkeily #luontomatkailu #pyörämatkailu #cyclingtourism #hyvinvointialuonnosta #taiteidenreitti #visittampere #visitlakeus #visitpori #visitsatakunta

Welcome to a memorable bike tour to the Geopark!

Nature experiences and exercise for upper secondary school students in Jämi

Before the summer vacation, the students of the upper secondary school of Kankaanpää spent a sporty day exploring the best natural attractions in the Jämi region.

By the unique springs of Hämeenkangas

The teachers of the upper secondary school of Kankaanpää organized a sporty nature day for their students in Jämi, in which the experts of Geopark also got to participate. The first destination of the day was the magnificent Kylmänmyllynlähde located next to Hämeenkangas, a gift of the ridges for the nature lovers. The charter buses brought the students to the springs in the morning, from where the journey continued on foot to other spectacular natural sites in the area.

Photo: Terttu Hermansson

With her stories, Geopark Ranger Kristiina Peltomaa took the students on a time travel to the past. The springs were ever-pulping water sources that run the mill. There have also been many beliefs associated with the springs.

Photo: Terttu Hermansson

By the spring, Kristiina told the students about the valuable biota of the area, such as the diverse forest and birds, which benefit from the abundant mosquito population and even rarer insects in the surrounding area. The participants of the environmental education course were able to increase their digital herbarium with, among others, Myosotis scorpioides and Callitriche hermaphroditica. The springs, which are ice free even in winter, are a fascinating and popular place to visit in all seasons.

Photo: Terttu Hermansson

In Koivistonvati information about hiking facilities and instructions

From the springs the students hiked to Koivistonvati which is the largest kettle hole of the area. By the kettle hole Tero Lähteenmäki, the entrepreneur responsible for the maintenance of the camping services, told about his work. Hämeenkangas has a dozen resting places of Metsähallitus Parks and Wildlife Finland, all of which are commonly used. Resting places are repaired and developed, for example, from the point of view of accessibility. Routes in the area are also being developed and re-marked.

Photo: Terttu Hermansson

Tero visits the resting places weekly and makes sure there is firewood in the sheds and the surroundings of the resting places stay clean. Visitors get to chop firewood from long trunks themselves, as ready-made firewood would be burned much more. Although the use of rest areas has increased in recent years, littering is fortunately no longer common in most sites.

Photo: Terttu Hermansson

The biggest problem in Hämeenkangas is illegal off-road traffic. The area’s dense network of trails and easy-to-reach terrain can attract, for example, moped or quad riders. However, in accordance with the Road Traffic Act, driving motor vehicles outside the public roads crossing the area is strictly prohibited. Wilderness police and police officers patrolling Hämeenkangas intervene in unauthorized off-road traffic.

Photo: Pasi Talvitie

Beach volley and a dive into a groundwater pond

From Koivistonvati, the students walked along the needle paths on the ridge to the Niiniharju tepee, where a camp lunch was served. From Niiniharju, they continued to Perhepuisto, where the hot day of the excursion was crowned by the beach volley match on the hot ridge sand and a refreshing dip in the groundwater pond.

Photo: Kankaanpää upper secondary school

Text: Laura Koivumäki

Photo: Kankaanpään Upper Secondary School 

Main photo: Terttu Hermansson

Last photo: Terttu Hermansson

Hämeenkangas offers diverse opportunities for sports in nature and learning outdoors

Inspiring school trips in the Geopark

The Geopark offers diverse and inspiring opportunities for schoolchildren’s excursion days and longer camp schools. At the end of May, schoolchildren from Kihniö spent a nice spring day in Jämi, Hämeenkangas.

Get to know the Gepark on an excursion

At Geopark excursions you get to know the Geopark’s natural and cultural attractions and at the same time learn to be in nature. In the Geopark you can make a day trip to one destination or organize a longer camp school and visit several places. The companies in the area offer school groups quality services from equipment rental to guided tours and from meals to accommodation. Read more about excursion tips by destination.

Photo: Sofia Sillanpää

Schoolchildren on a Geopark excursion in Jämi

As part of the European Geopark Week, schoolchildren from the municipality of Kihniö made a spring day trip to Jämi located in Hämeenkangas. Pupils were introduced in advance to the diverse range of activities in the area, from which they selected their favorite ones together. The excursion day was based on sporty activities. At the same time, the aim was to learn about the Geopark and the unique nature of the area.

Photo: Pasi Talvitie

By mountain bikes to number one nature attractions

Mountain biking was chosen as the activity before noon. The electric fat bikes were rented by Jämi Maat. The kids were surprised how funny the bikes are, and the cycling aroused great enthusiasm already in the testing phase of the bikes before the actual bicycling. The easy-going and comfortable trail network of Hämeenkangas enables successful mountain bike trips even for first-timers.

Photo: Pasi Talvitie

The inspiring cycling guide of Jämi Maat led the group to the top of Soininharju, where they admired the scenery that opened from above the high ridge. The queue of bicyclers then headed along the needle trails to the most popular natural attractions in the area. The group passed the valuable forest area of Niiniharju towards Koivistonvati, the largest kettle hole in Hämeenkangas.

Photo: Laura Koivumäki

Uhrilähde and Kylmänmyllynlähde springs, which are one of the finest springs in Finland, are located in Hämeenkangas. By the springs the kids heard stories related to the place and refreshed themselves by drinking the water. On the way back to Jämi, you can choose steep uphills to test how electrical assistance affects pedaling. The group considered mountain biking to be the best part of the day.

Photo: Terttu Hermansson

Climbing and golfing

After cycling the group had a tasty lunch at Lomahotelli Jämi. In the afternoon the kids climbed high among the canopies of the trees in the Jämi Maat Adventure Park. The park has five different levels of tracks, each of which you can choose the most suitable for you. The longest cable track in Finland is located in the Adventure Park. Schoolchildren loved climbing and tracks, too. In addition to climbing, the pupils played casually mini golf and frisbee golf. In the afternoon, an hour’s drive back home folded comfortably on a local charter ride.

Photo: Jämi Maat

The whole group, both the students and the teacher and the assistant, considered the trip very successful. In addition to the nice day, the kids learned about their own Geopark and its uniqueness.

The Geopark excursion day was piloted in a Leader-funded project. The project paid part of the cost of the excursion.

Text: Laura Koivumäki

Photo: Terttu Hermansson

Main photo: Terttu Hermansson

Last photo: Terttu Hermansson

The Geopark offers diverse trip opportunities for school groups

Kauhaneva-Pohjankangas National Park

Kauhanevan-Pohjankangas National Park features fascinating southern boreal mires, gentle eskers and a diverse cultural history.

The mystique of the mire land

Kauhaneva-Pohjankangas National Park is Geopark’s number one mire-themed site, where one of the finest bog complexes in southern Finland meets the extensive forested esker of Pohjankangas. In addition to the Ice Age, the landscape of the area has been affected by the waves of Lake Ancylus and the extensive mire formation that began as the land rose above sea level after the Ice Age.

Of the geological themes in Kauhaneva-Pohjankangas, the following can be seen in particular:

  • soil formations caused by the ice age
  • the formation and development of mires and their surface morphology
  • groundwater formation
  • springs and natural environments enriched by spring water
  • ravines and erosional remnants
  • cultural history linked to geology

Kauhaneva – Pohjankangas National Park has also extensive restored mires and research has been carried out into the climate impact of mire restoration. The cultural history of the National Park includes the Kyrönkangas road dating from prehistoric times, the Finnish War 1808-1809 and the traces of the Great Famine of 1866-1868.

 

Soil and bedrock features

The landscape of Kauhaneva-Pohjankangas National Park is dominated by soil formations of glacial or biogenic origin. There are no bedrock outcrops marked on maps within the National Park boundary. Even in the vicinity of the park, outcrops are limited to only a few individual cases. 

Under the soil cover, the bedrock of the National Park consists mainly of granite and its close relative granodiorite. Gabbro and quartz diorite are also found in the southwest and west of the park. These rocks, which have slowly crystallized deep underground under high pressure and heat, tell of the great change of the landscape, the collision of continental plates, and the collapse of the mountain range that long ago formed to the Finnish peninsula we now know. At that time, there were also volcanoes in the area, the remains of which can now be found, e.g. From the edges of the Hyypänjoki valley and the scenery of Karvia’s Sarankylä.

Pearl of the mire nature

A gift from the Ice Age

In the end of the last Ice Age, glaciers retreated north. The climate was warming and the surface of the continental glacier was melting rapidly. Water accumulated at the cracks and edges of the glacial lobes, and flowed toward the open Lake Ancylus, south of the glacier. The flowing water carried huge amounts of rock removed by the glacier, which rounded off as it flowed. As the flow rate varied, some of the material accumulated at the bottom of the bed as ridges. This is how the northern part of Pohjankangas, which belongs to the national park, originated.

Further south, masses of water erupting from inside the glacier piled up gravel and sand on the edge of the ice into a huge estuary. As the ice slowly retreated north, the location of the estuary also changed. This gave birth to the southern part of present-day Pohjankangas, which is a permanently closed training area for the Finnish Defense Forces.

After the Ice Age, the Ancylus Lake washed the landscape of the area vigorously. As the land rose, Pohjankangas rose quickly above the water, and beach embankments formed in the coastal zone piled up by waves and ice. These now appear in the landscape as gentle ridges.

Formation and development of bogs

The vast mires of the Kauhaneva originated while the shores of ancient Ancylus Lake were still flushing the area. About 9,000 years ago, there was a bay in the area, which slowly retreated farther as the country rose. The shore was a gentle marshland, with a sedge dominated vegetation. As the land rose, a few small ponds emerged in the area, which, however, soon grew over by peat producing plants.

As the uplift continued, the area was afforested and open water escaped into the valleys of Hyypänjoki and Karvianjoki rivers. However, the humid climate and groundwater conditions led to forest slowly becoming swampy. Surface and groundwater flowing from Nummikangas contributed to the marshland, and eventually the trees in the area died upright. The forest rotted and its remnants were buried in peat. About 5,000 years ago, moss spread to the mire, and the rate of peat accumulation accelerated – Kauhaneva developed into a raised bog.

 

Today, Kauhaneva has 12 separate raised bog massifs that rise higher than the surrounding mires. In the central part of the bog, there is a wide watery aapa mire flowing from north to south. Waters from Nummikangas accumulate here. The Kauhaneva covers an area of ​​about 1,600 hectares and, together with the adjacent Punttukeidas, it forms a mire complex of about 2,500 hectares.

Kauhaneva is a quite thin peatland compared to its area. Maximum peat thickness 4.7 meters is found  northwest of Kauhalampi. In fact, the largest known peat thickness in the Kauhanevan-Pohjankangas National Park is somewhere very different from the actual bog area – it can be found in Kuivakaivo kettle hole, in the Nummikangas esker, where there is a small bog up to seven meters thick.

Hummocks and hollows

Raised bogs are characterized by a surface structure with alternating dry ridges, hummocks, and wet hollows. Like the height curves, the hummocks form a circumferential structure around the central part of the bog. They are positioned transverse to the flow of bog waters. The typical vegetation of the hummocks consists of moss, twigs and pines.

The hollows are depressions, which can be plant-covered, open peat or mud or waterlogged ponds. Vegetation consists mainly of sedges and mosses.

In Kauhaneva, hummocks and hollows alternate in a way typical to raised bogs. The surface structure originated during the warm climate phase that began about 3,000 years ago. The emergence of the surface geomorphology is facilitated by the maritime climate. In summer, you can move along the hummocks in the swamp with almost dry feet. In winter, it is nice to ski especially along the flat frozen hollow surfaces.

A forested peatland by the Kauhalampi lake

There is a special forest on the northwestern shore of Kauhalampi – thick pine trees rise from the peatland in the middle of the bog. A duckboard trail takes you through the forest, following the shore of the pond. A look at the shore reveals that it is quite steep, and the water level considerably low in relation to the swamp. What’s it all about?

Kauhalampi’s coastal forest is a naturally dried peatland. It’s conditions correspond to the peatlands typical of artificially drained bogs. The development of this dry peatland has however been natural. It is related to the thickness growth of the raised bog and the location at the shore of Kauhalampi, which has acted as a natural drying channel. The northwestern shore is closer to the center of the bog than the opposite shore, which has lead to water escaping from the peatland to the pond. This has been enough to alter the habitat so that a pine forest has grown in the middle of the bog. 

An erosional gorge hidden in the spruce forest

On the western edge of the Kauhaneva-Pohjankangas National Park there is an erosional gorge, Katikankanjoni, which is hidden in the spruce forest. The landscape of the area was annexed to the national park a few years ago. Difference in landscape compared to the vast open Kauhaneva mire is huge. The Katikankanjoni is characterized by steep slopes, large elevation differences and small streams  flowing in the shady spruce forest.

Katikankanjoni is an erosion gorge or a ravine. It is the result of three streams flowing and meandering on a flat sandy esker leveled by the waves of ancient Lake Ancylus. The slow consumption of streams flowing from the direction of Kauhaneva and Kauhajärvi has consumed 20-meter-deep gorges into the ridge. Between the meandering streams, there are erosional remnants, such as the triangular Kolmentuulenlakki (Three Winds Cap). Its flat top tells you what level the ground was at before the erosion.

The demanding Katikankierros hiking trail runs along the creeks of Katikankanjoni. The streams of the meandering streams are still alive today. In the canyon you can see fairly recent landslides and dry remnants of former stream channels. In the spring, there may be floods in Katikankanjoni. Wild trout live in the creeks of the area.

Midsummer festivities were once danced on the plateau at the top of the Kolmentuulenlakki. Now a pine forest grows on the top, but at one time the landscape was more open. Katikankanjoni continues to the north and widens into the great Hyypänjoki Valley, which is one of the largest and deepest valleys in all of Western Finland.

An ancient passage through the wilderness

Kauhaneva is one of the few places where a road belonging to Finland’s medieval highways runs through a mire. The Kyrönkangas summer road, which follows Hämeenkangas and Pohjankangas, crosses Kauhaneva at its narrowest point, flanking Kauhalammi shore. From the 16th century onwards, the maintenance of the section of the road across the bog was the responsibility of the peasants of Ilmajoki parish, situated north of the Geopark. Several bridges and drums were built along the route to lead the waters of Kauhalampi under a narrow road.

The route was already known in prehistoric times. During its existence the surrounding mire has grown in thickness. Maybe crossing the Kauhaneva was initially easier than it is today? Namely, Pohjankangas esker dives into the peat at its northern tip, to rise from the peat as Nummikangas esker about half a kilometer further north.

Automobiles were still driven across the swamp in the 1950s, but since then the road section has been protected as a museum road reserved for walking and cycling. Walking on a narrow road in the middle of the swamp, you can feel the weight of thousands of steps under your feet and imagine the mental landscape of passers-by in the past.

On ancient routes

Lapinkaivo – a pond full of stories

There is a kettle hole in Kauhanevan-Pohjankangas National Park, which is already mentioned in old stories. The place known as Lapinkaivo (Lapland’s well) probably got its name from the ancient Lappish population of the area.

At the end of the Ice Age, a huge glacial river flowed in the area. It piled up sand and gravel on its bottom. The coarsest gravel accumulated in strong streams, the sand in the area of ​​a calmer flow. The handsome rocks of Lapinharju ridge suggest that there was a lot of water flowing on the site. As the ice retreated north, huge blocks of ice occasionally came off it. One of them split at Lapinkaivo and was buried in the sand. As the climate warmed, the ice block melted. All that was left was a large pit that extended below the groundwater level. A pond was born.

The Lapinkaivo is said to be bottomless. The depth has been tried to be measured without success. It is said that the elf of the lake once shouted “Go and measure the distance between Nummi and Kantti, then you will find out the depth of this pond!”. According to the story, the Russians have sunk their cannons into the mud-based pond to avoid them falling into the hands of Finns. People have also apparently been drowned there, sometimes with horse-drawn carriages, sometimes without.

The diameter of the Lapinkaivo is about 100 meters. The open water is about 50 meters wide. It is estimated to have at least five meters of water in the middle and a layer of mud at least two meters thick below it. The surface of the Lapinkaivo is 22 meters below the top of the adjacent Lapinharju ridge.

The Finnish War

The Finnish War in 1808-1809 ended 700 years of Swedish rule in Finland. From the 12th century, Finland formed the eastern part of Sweden, the Eastland, which was an important region for Sweden during its high reign. Through Finland, Sweden was also linked to Russia – these great powers of that time fought on Finnish soil several times.

The battles of the Finnish war left their mark on the mental landscape of the region. The enemy thoroughly destroyed the area’s population and population, worse than anywhere else in Finland during the war. The battles were fought in Kauhajoki and Nummijärvi, among others. The harshness of the war in the area was also influenced by the guerrilla warfare of the local population – the retreat of the Swedish army from the area forced the locals to defend their own country.

The troops moved in the area along the old road Kyrönkankaantie, through the present day National Park: first the Swedish army retreated through the area, then the Russian army moved into the area. After the Finnish War, Kyrönkankaantie calmed down into a quiet local road, and Kauhaneva got peace.

Cultural history of the wilderness

Traces of the years of great famine

The last famine in Finland and in the whole of Northern Europe was experienced in 1866 – 1868. The great famine years killed almost a tenth of the Finnish population, almost 200,000 people. Traces of famine can also be seen in the Kauhaneva-Pohjankangas National Park.

The famine had many causes, most notably the unfavorable climate phase known as the Little Ice Age, which was accompanied by strong climate variations. Although the climate phase is considered to have ended in 1850, the cold summers continued in Finland until the end of the 1860s, and three consecutive years of failure of crops were experienced from 1865 onwards. In the coldest years, the snow melted from southern Finland only in May, and the autumn frosts began as early as the beginning of September.

The famine was treated in Finland with compensated food aid. Large crowds of beggars were not given free food, but received it in exchange for work. Roads and railways were built as emergency relief work and lakes were drained. This work extended to Kauhaneva as well – a 300 meters long drainage channel was dug from Kauhalammi towards the west. The ditch can still be seen on maps today.  Another channel nearly 900 meters long was dug towards the east. 

The Great Famine years in Finland did not become an event defining national identity, though, unlike the Great Famine in Ireland (1845-1852). However, there are about a hundred monuments in Finland, one of which is on the edge of Lapinkaivo in the northern part of the national park.  

Fascinating trails and routes

The trails and routes of Kauhanevan-Pohjankangas National Park are suitable for both beginners and experienced nature walkers and cyclists.

Check out the trails and routes in Kauhaneva and Katikankanjoni on Retkikartta.fi.

Routes of Kauhaneva-Pohjankangas National Park in Nationalparks.fi 

Also check out the contents of Kauhanevan-Pohjankangas National Park in Metsähallitus’ mobile guide at Lauhanvuoriregion.fi.

Text: Pasi Talvitie

Images: Terttu Hermansson, Pasi Talvitie

Sources: Andrew G. Newby: Finland’s “Great Hunger Years” Memorials: A Sesquicentennial Report.1 (s. 184) Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies

https://katovuodet1860.wordpress.com/2018/07/26/lapinkaivo-juurakko-gustaf/

https://yle.fi/uutiset/3-9738085

Samuli Paulaharju, 1910 (https://www.messon.fi/kyronkankaantie/paulaharju.htm)

Geologian tutkimuskeskus, 2018 (GTK/801/03.02/2016, Lauhanvuoren Geopark-alueen turvetutkimukset -raportti)

Fall in love with skiing in the Geopark

Well-groomed trails and glowing snowy mires call you to ski in the Geopark. Due to the geological history, the area has also higher hills that collect more snowfall than the surrounding areas.

On the tracks and outside of them

There are hundreds of miles of groomed trails in the Geopark. The magnificent trails of the pine forests of Hämeenkangas and Lauhanvuori National Park as well as the Pyhäniemi – Käskyvuori route in Kihniö are among the most popular ones, but there are also other great skiing opportunities in every municipality of the area. You can find trail maps and information on the condition of the trails in the links below. Some of the trails are also marked on Retkikartta online map service. In Jämi in Hämeenkangas, dog enthusiasts can ski on their own dog track (in Finnish).

Photo: Pasi Talvitie, Hämeenkangas

Photo: Pasi Talvitie, Hämeenkangas

With long forest skis, handy skinbased skis or traditional snowshoes, you will create your own routes outside Geopark’s ready-made trails and find your new, most enchanting favorite places. Professional guides of our area will take you on nature adventures safely. You can find these activity providers in the Activities section of our website. You can also rent equipment for your own winter experiences. Read more on our winter article.

Photo: Ismo Nousiainen / Taikapolku, Hyyppä valley

Challenge yourself at skiing events

The area has a long tradition of large skiing events. Pirkka Ski Race in Hämeenkangas is the oldest continuously organized mass skiing event in Finland, and Kauha-Hiihto and Lauhan hiihto events have brought skiers to Lauhanvuori for decades.

Photo: Pirkka Ski Race, Hämeenkangas

Pirkka Ski Race

Pirkka Ski Race is organized yearly at early March from Niinisalo in Kankaanpää via Jämijärvi to Tampere. In addition to the full distance of 90 kilometers, it is also possible to ski shorter sections of the trip.

The actual Pirkka Ski Race will be organized on 6th of march, if possible. One week after this, Reppu-Pirkka, based on self-service, may possibly be arranged this year, despite the pandemic. Read more about the event on the organizer’s website.  

Kauha-Hiihto and Lauhan hiihto skiing events

Another large, traditional skiing event in the Geopark area is Kauha-Hiihto in the Lauhanvuori area in late February. The event will be arranged on 20th of February, if possible. Read more about the event on the organizer’s website (in Finnish).

In Isojoki, in the landscapes of Lauhanvuori, Lauhan hiihto skiing event has traditionally been organized. 

Main photo: Pasi Talvitie, Kauhaneva-Pohjankangas National Park

The best sledding hills in the Geopark

Take a sled with you, tie your hat carefully and come to try the best sledding hills of the Geopark where kids, youngsters as well as adults run wild.

Find your nearest sledding hill

There are great sledding hills all over the Geopark area. Choose the nearest one or test them all!

  • Isojoki, the school yard, Kristiinantie 17 (62.11890, 21.95762)
  • Jämijärvi, Jämi, Jämintie 653 (61.77704, 22.71911)
  • Kankaanpää, Monttu, Toivontie 1 (61.80679, 22.38674)
  • Karijoki, Paarmanninvuori, Kristiinantie 167 (62.30189, 21.67973)
  • Karvia, Torro, Torrontie 161 (62.14431, 22.59605)
  • Kauhajoki, Sotka, Sotkantie 113 (62.41367, 22.22170)
  • Kihniö, Pyhäniemi, Pyhäniementie 251/20 (62.18489, 23.12918)
  • Parkano, Kairokoski, Parkanontie 118 (62.01948, 23.02285)
  • Siikainen, the school yard, Lauttijärventie 8 (61.87994, 21.82121)

Photo: Pasi Talvitie, Hämeenkangas

Enjoy by the campfire

Sledding will definitely make everybody hungry. What could be nicer than sitting down for a while and eating delicious snacks. Eating by the campfire is the most fun, but the snacks taste good also anywhere else outdoors. Make sure that you have a warm seat bad with you. You can find the campfire places of the Geopark on the Retkikartta online map service. Please pay attention to the corona virus instructions and the Outdoor etiquette of Metsähallitus Parks & Wildlife Finland while staying in the campfire sites.

Photo: Terttu Hermansson, Lauhanvuori National Park

Treats served

After sledding, decent food tastes good and extra delicacy, e.g. some chocolate cake and a warming drink, is all that matters. You can find Geopark’s restaurants and cafés near your sledding hill on the Geopark’s Services page.

Photo: Sirkku Ylikoski / Valkoinen Puu, Kauhajoki

Main photo: Metsähallitus Parks & Wildlife Finland, Jari Salonen / NaturPro Films

Lauhanvuori National Park

Lauhanvuori is known as one of Finland's natural wonders. Its versatility is largely based on the special geology of the area.

Geodiversity hotspot

Lauhanvuori National Park is the most geologically diverse area in our Geopark. Its soil and bedrock show almost all of the elements of the Geopark theme From Mountains to mires:

  • the rise and fall of the ancient Svecofennian mountain range
  • remnants of lost sedimentary rock cover
  • ancient climate variations
  • diverse soil cover formed during the Ice age
  • the impact of the post-glacial uplift and the Ancylus Lake stage on the soil
  • different stages and forms of mire formation
  • the formation of lakes and ponds
  • the birth of groundwater
  • springs and their impact on the waters and nature of the area, and
  • the impact of geology on man and cultural heritage.

Of Geopark’s 52 geosites, 16 are located on Lauhanvuori. The most spectacular of these is Kivijata.

Remnants of ancient mountains

Lauhanvuori National Park covers Finland’s only sandstone remnant mountain. The sandstone layers that originated on the shores of the ancient tropical sea are a remnant of the stone cover that once covered Finland more widely, which has since been almost completely worn away, revealing the ancient bedrock so familiar to us.

The sandstone tells the story of an ancient great change. Once upon a time, a mountain range similar to the Alps rose across our country. It was later destroyed – it slowly crumbled into small grains of sand that carried with the water to the bottom of the ancient sea.

 

Extreme weathering left behind minerals such as quartz, which is resistant to weathering. The sandstone of Lauhanvuori consists mainly of this pale and hard mineral. However, there are coarser pieces of stone in it, including granite and clay stone. The sandstone tells us what kind of stones that ancient mountain consisted of.

The Tors at the foot of Lauhanvuori – round-shaped stones that rise from the ground like large boulders – also tell about the change in the ancient landscape. They tell of ancient warm climates in which weathering spread deep into the rock and disintegrated the bedrock. On the lower slopes of Lauhanvuori, there are large areas where the soil consists of loose weathering deposits.

Lauhanvuori is one of Finland's natural wonders

The soil tells of the ice ages

The soil of Lauhanvuori tells the story of the ice age – not only of the last ice age, but also of those before. The ice ages are known as Elster, Saale and Veiksel. They deposited several stages of different soil strata in the area. For some reason, in the vicinity of Lauhanvuori, these strata also survived, unlike in much of the rest of Finland, where the new ice age always wiped out traces of the previous one. Why?

The preservation of the soil layers of Lauhanvuori is explained by the location of the area between the active glacial flows. The area was spared the worst consumption, and therefore a large number of strata older than the last ice age have survived here. The ice age was exceptionally gentle in the area, although in practise it was immensely cold.

The reason for the gentle but cold ice age has been sought in the ground shapes, soil structure and climate of the area. Perhaps Lauhanvuori, as a high terrain, collected so much snow at the beginning of the ice age that a local glacier cap was created there, which protected the area from the Fennoscandian continental glacier that spreads there from the northwest. On the northwest side of the area, the ground also rises reasonably sharply from the coastal lowlands – it has been easier for ice to flow from the east and west sides of the area.

 

Nature in Lauhanvuori is special

The soil of the area has a trait from the last ice age that has a strong impact on its nature. The soil has been heavily washed away when Lauhanvuori was a lonely island in post-glacial Ancylus sea.

The waves milled the moraine landscapes of the higher grounds of the area to a thickness of several meters and washed the fines out of the till. Sand and gravel remained. Therefore, the area has extensive groundwater accumulation areas, springs, sandy pine forested heathlands and also bogs. The nature enriched by groundwater is one of the most significant specialties of the area. Lauhanvuori has been titled as one of Finland’s natural wonders.

On Lauhanvuori, groundwater feeds and maintains a wide variety of environments. Springs and streams, groundwater-influenced bogs and seasonal wetlands are the habitats in which groundwater plays a major role. The interaction between surface waters and groundwater is exceptionally strong, especially in seasonal wetlands, which are lakes in the spring but turn into grasslands over the course of summer as water seeps into the soil.

The impact of the washed-out soil on nature is most pronounced near the top of Lauhanvuori, where the soil above the highest shore is completely different. The original till covered land can be found mainly in the summit of Lauhanvuori, where vegetation is greener than the rugged slopes.

The rugged slopes, mosaics of pine covered heathland and bogs are also suitable for the area’s newest newcomer, the finnish forest reindeer, which is actually a returnee. The species was removed from the area a hundred years ago and is now returning to the area’s nature with the Metsäpeura-LIFE project. One of the project’s forest reindeer fences is located on Lauhanvuori.

Cultural heritage of forest, stones, Midsummer dances and potato

The cultural heritage of Lauhanvuori is the cultural heritage of the wilderness. For a long time, the rugged hinterland was mainly a wilderness for the inhabitants of nearby areas – a destination for hunting trips and a place to get needed wood. Tar was burned on Lauhanvuori and there were logging sites, old tar pits and the ruins of old logging huts tell about this era. In the end of the 19th century, the millstone industry flourished on Lauhanvuori, the traces of which can still be seen.

As a remote area of ​​land, the area has long been in the possession of the State. Forest fires were a regular nuisance in the area, and firebreaks were cleared in the early part of the last century to prevent the spread of fire to the area. At the same time, the first observations were made of the special soil of the area. Today, those firebreaks are part of the area’s hiking trail network.

 

Long ago, fires were guarded from Lauhanvuori. The fire guard was assisted by a tower, from where one could detect possible forest fires from a very large area. From the top of Lauhanvuori there is a view that covers roughly the entire Geopark area.

The summit of Lauhanvuori has also been one of the midsummer celebrations in the area. The bright night of midsummer seemed especially bright on a hill high and almost barren.

Lauhanvuori was once of great importance for potato growing in the area. The Isojoki – Lappväärtinjoki River Valley is today one of the most important concentrations of Finnish potato growing, but frost in river valleys cannot always be avoided. On the mild top of Lauhanvuori, there was rarely any summer frost. Seed potatoes in particular have long been cultivated on the moraine lands of the summit. Lauhanvuori was the gene bank and safe for potato growers in the area, from which seed potatoes were obtained even after the cold years. Metsähallitus still cultivates a small potato field on Lauhanvuori today.

A pocket-sized wilderness

Trails of Lauhanvuori

Lauhanvuori’s versatile routes are suitable for both beginners and experienced hikers.

Check out the Lauhanvuori routes in Retkikartta.fi.

Lauhanvuori trails in Nationalparks.fi.

Also check out the contents about Lauhanvuori in Metsähallitus’ mobile guide at Lauhanvuoriregion.fi.