Lauhanvuori - Hämeenkangas UNESCO Global Geopark's story tells the story of the development from an ancient mountain range to the landscape of vast open mires we see today
The Lauhanvuori – Hämeenkangas UNESCO Global Geopark is located in the southern part of Suomenselkä, in the border regions of the three provinces. The geopark area connects the Kauhajoki, Isojoki and Karijoki in South Ostrobothnia, Kankaanpää, Karvia, Jämijärvi and Siikainen in Satakunta, and Parkano and Kihniö in Pirkanmaa into a unified eco tourism area. Picture: Tupu Vuorinen.
The story of the Lauhanvuori – Hämeenkangas UNESCO Global Geopark tells how the mountains, which were corrugated in the area almost two billion years ago, have eroded over time and the landscape has changed to the present, flat Finland. Memories of the rise and destruction of the ancient mountains have been written on the rocks, cliffs and soil of the area. Lauhanvuori, the highest peak in Western Finland, was the outermost island off the coast of Finland after the ice age.
The alternation of ice ages and warmer periods has made the area favorable for mire formation. Mire formation originated in ancient shallow bays with land uplift. Up to a third of the Lauhanvuori – Hämeenkangas UNESCO Global Geopark is mire. In the conditions of southern Finland, the area has unusually large natural mires. The various marshes and the associated cultural history are an important part of the Geopark’s story.
The landscape of the area has traces of a long history of exploiting bogs and other geological resources. Over time, the most fertile bogs have been cleared into fields and, for the last hundred years, drained for forestry use. The area is home to Finland’s oldest large-scale peat production areas and Finland’s only peat museum. The area’s granites and sandstone have been utilized as building stones and in the manufacture of millstones.
The best way to get to know the Geopark and its story is to visit the Geopark’s geo, natural and cultural sites, as well as events that will take you on a journey from the area’s distant past to the present. By using the services provided by small entrepreneurs in the area, you can get involved in the local lifestyle and support the vitality of the area while traveling in the area.