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.
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
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
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
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
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 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
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.
Photo: Pasi Talvitie, Kihniö
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 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
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.
Photo: Laura Vanzo / Visit Tampere, Kirkkokadun Hyvän Olon Keskus
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
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
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 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 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 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
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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This year the theme of the National Elderly Week in early October was “Nature Gives Strength”. Geopark, in cooperation with the municipality of Jämijärvi, took the elderly on excursions to Geopark sites.
The municipality of Jämijärvi, together with partners, organized a diverse program for each day of the Elderly Week. The aim of the Geopark excursions was to encourage older people from Jämijärvi to get to know Geopark and its destinations and enjoy the well-being effects of nature.
Photo: Pekka Kauraharju, Kauhalammi, Kauhaneva-Pohjankangas National Park
On Monday morning, October 4, 2021, people gathered in Niiniharju, Hämeenkangas, where the municipality’s welfare manager Toni Ojala guided easy exsercises at the beginning. The locals were already familiar with the destination, but Geopark Ranger Kristiina Peltomaa brought a new kind of content and depth to the trip with her knowledge of Geopark and nature. In the landscapes of Niiniharju people walked a route along which Suomen Latu’s question boards about wellbeing (in Finnish) were attached.
Photo: Pasi talvitie, Niiniharju, Hämeenkangas
By the question boards with beautiful nature photos they stopped to consider the factors that affect one’s own well-being. The questions challenged hikers, for example, to think about what brings joy to everyday life, what is good in life and what beautiful can be seen at that moment.
Photo: Terttu Hermansson
After the walk, the snacks offered by Geopark were eaten by the campfire. Lomahotelli Jämi delivered mouth-watering offerings to the lean-to, where the representatives of the municipality took care of the campfire, atmosphere and serving. There were thirty participants in the trip.
Photo: Ismo Nousiainen / Taikapolku
On Wednesday morning, 6 October 2021, the hikers left Jämijärvi towards Kauhanevan-Pohjankangas National Park on a charter bus financed by the municipality. Geopark Ranger Kristiina Peltomaa got the hikers to the atmosphere during the trip by telling about Geopark and the day’s excursion destination, Kauhaneva. The representative of the municipality on the trip was Pekka Kauraharju.
Photo: Pasi Talvitie, Kauhalammi, Kauhaneva-Pohjankangas National Park
In Kauhaneva people divided into three groups. Kristiina took the group, who moved at a calm pace, on a short route, whose recently renovated structures make the mire nature easily accessible. On the way, they watched birds with binoculars and Kristiina also told about other inhabitants of the mires. Participants were happy with what they got to see and experience in the mire thanks to the wide plank trail and other structures.
Photo: Terttu Hermansson, Kauhalammi, Kauhaneva-Pohjankangas National Park
Geopark Ranger Päivi Nummijoki continued with another group to the beautiful Kauhalammi and to the Nummikangas observation tower, where they admired the unique mire landscapes that open from the tower. During the trip, Päivi told stories, among other things from the medieval Kyrönkangas road along which hikers hike in the national park.
Photo: Päivi Nummijoki, Nummikangas observation tower, Kauhaneva-Pohjankangas National Park
Some of the hikers went on their own to go along the Kauhalammi trail. The Rangers’ spouses kept a campfire at Salomaa, where the hikers had snacks offered by Geopark. Delicious snacks were prepared by Kotipata Karvia. After the coffee, Kristiina led the crowd to the edge of the mire, and told about it. Before going home, Kristiina guided some exercise, which the participants approached with humor. There were forty participants on the trip.
Photo: Pasi Talvitie, Kauhalammi, Kauhaneva-Pohjankangas National Park
The Geopark excursions for the Elderly Week clearly brought joy to the participants and humor was present all the time. The weather favored the hikers, and the atmosphere was sunny among the participants as well.
“It is very good that Geopark was involved in providing experiences for the elderly in Geopark’s nature. The hikers exuded positivity and gratitude. It’s great that the Geopark flag is fluttering in such a positive situations. Geopark is a gift for the residents of the area.”, Kristiina summed up the feelings after the excursions.
Photo: Terttu Hermansson, Kauhaneva-Pohjankangas National Park
#lhgeopark #unescoglobalgeoparks #geopark #globalgeoparks #europeangeoparks #finnishgeoparks #unesco #lauhanvuoriregion #outdoor #retkeily #luontomatkailu #hyvinvointialuonnosta #sdgs2030
The excursions were organized as part of the rural-funded Kestävää kehitystä Geoparkissa project.
Text: Laura Koivumäki
Main photo: Pasi Talvitie, Kauhalammi, Kauhaneva-Pohjankangas National Park
Last photo: Pasi Talvitie