HOW TO ACT RESPONSIBLY WHEN VISITING THE GEOPARK

You are welcome to explore Lauhanvuori - Hämeenkangas UNESCO Global Geopark in a responsible and safe manner. Here are some tips for the responsible visitor!

CORONAVIRUS INSTRUCTIONS FOR THOSE VISITING THE GEOPARK

Please take note of these coronavirus instructions when visiting the Geopark area. Visitors can enjoy relaxing trips to nature sites while still following the instructions of the health authorities.

  • Follow the coronavirus instructions provided by the health authorities.
  • During your visit, remember to keep to the normal two-metre safety distance and to maintain good hygiene.
  • Avoid popular destinations and rest areas.
  • Take with you food that does not need to be heated on a campfire. The most popular campfire sites can be quite busy.
  • It is a good idea to bring your own shelter if you are staying out overnight.
  • More information is available in the coronavirus instructions issued by Metsähallitus Parks and Wildlife Finland and the health authorities.

HIKING IN THE GEOPARK IS SAFE PROVIDED THAT YOU TAKE CARE TO FOLLOW ALL THE RULES

RESPECT NATURE

The geosites of Lauhanvuori – Hämeenkangas UNESCO Global Geopark – including the mires, rocks, stones, and ancient shorelines, the sinkholes, canyons and gorges along the ridges, and the springs and brooks – are all part of its unique geological heritage, so lets work together to keep them intact. Enjoy exploring the nature, but leave no trace of your visit.

  • Let the animals and plants of the area live in peace. Do not disturb or feed any animals, but instead simply observe them from a distance.
  • It is forbidden to pick any plants in conservation areas. Elsewhere, however, the Everyman’s Rights permit you to pick small amounts of herbaceous plants, such as unprotected flowers and herbs.
  • When in nature, always choose the trail suited to your means of transport. This will cause less damage to nature and make roaming the area pleasant for everyone.
  • The different locations are equipped with protective structures, such as stairs, duckboards and fences. These guide visitors and protect the sites from damage. Follow the instructions provided when moving around at the different nature sites.
  • The national parks and mire conservation areas within the Geopark area have restricted sections which people are not allowed to visit during specific time periods. This is to allow birds to nest in peace and rest during migration. These restricted areas are:
    • Kauhaneva-Pohjankangas National Park: 1 April–15 September
    • Lauhanvuori National Park: 15 April–31 July
    • Haapakeidas mire conservation area: 1 April–15 July
  • Dogs must always be kept on a leash in conservation areas, and make sure also that you clean up after your dog.

LEAVE NO TRACE OF YOUR VISIT

  • Take action to minimize your waste even before starting your trip. Favour durable containers over disposable ones. Any bio-waste produced during your trip can be composted in a dry toilet and small amounts of clean cardboard and paper can be burnt in a campfire. Bring any other waste back with you from your trip, then sort it and dispose of it at home.
  • Making campfires is only allowed at the marked campfire sites. Elsewhere, you need the permission of the landowner to light a fire. When a grass or forest fire warning is in force, making fires is prohibited. Some of the campfire sites in the Geopark area have firewood which is provided by Metsähallitus Parks and Wildlife Finland or the municipalities.
  • In protected areas, camping is only allowed at the designated camping sites. In other areas, the Everyman’s Rights allow you to temporarily camp provided that you give consideration to the landowner and other people in the area.
  • Take with you a water bottle that you can fill with tap water at the service points of the service companies in the area. Drinking water can also be taken from the springs in the area and from wells maintained by Metsähallitus Parks and Wildlife Finland. Information on the suitability of these springs and wells for drinking is available at the rest points and on the Metsähallitus Parks and Wildlife Finland website.
  • Geopark rest points have dry toilets but do not have toilet paper, so bring your own with you. If there is no dry toilet in the vicinity, relieve yourself somewhere at a distance from the paths and waterways. Move the surface soil slightly to the side and then afterwards use this soil to tidily cover up your faeces and the toilet paper. Make sure that no paper is left to be carried by the wind.

ENJOY EXPLORING THE NATURE, BUT LEAVE NO TRACE OF YOUR VISIT

EVERYONE HAS THE RIGHT TO ENJOY NATURE

Finland has in place an extensive set of Everyman’s Rights, which allow everyone to roam and enjoy the outdoors, regardless of who owns the area. However, there are certain restrictions that apply to the Everyman’s Rights in conservation areas, and these must be checked separately for each destination.

Everyman’s Rights give you permission to

  • walk, ski and cycle in nature
  • go horse riding in nature provided that you do not harm the environment
  • stay and set up camp temporarily in areas where roaming is also allowed
  • pick wild berries, mushrooms and plants provided that they are not protected species
  • swim and go boating in waterways and move around on frozen waterways
  • go ice-fishing or fishing with a rod and line in unrestricted areas

provided that you don’t cause any harm to nature or other people. Please do not go near anyone’s private property.

If you wish to engage in forms of fishing other than ice fishing or fishing with a rod and line, you must obtain a permit and pay the appropriate fees.

ENJOY AND RESPECT NATURE

TAKE OTHERS INTO ACCOUNT AND EXPERIENCE THE LOCAL CULTURE

In addition to its geology and nature, the Geopark also showcases the unique culture, history and traditions of the area. During your trip, you can visit the Geopark’s cultural sites, attend different kinds of events and get to know the locals and their way of life.

When in the Geopark area, please take the local residents and other hikers and tourists into account. Remember to keep your voice down in the wild and in your shelter or lodgings so you do not disturb the animals or other people.

Consider the privacy of others when taking photographs.

CHOOSE LOCAL

By consuming the services and products of local companies during your visit, you support the vitality of the Geopark area.

  • Companies marked with the Geopark logo can offer you information about the Geopark and about the different nature sites, trails and services in the area.
  • Enjoy the tasty local food during your visit.
  • Take home locally produced food items, handcrafts or other specialities of the area.
  • Tag your social media updates with #lhgeopark.

RESPONSIBLE VISITORS CONSIDER OTHERS

CHOOSE LOW-EMISSION TRANSPORTATION

  • Arrive by train at the Parkano Railway Station, or choose one of the bus connections to different parts of the area.
  • You can cycle around the Geopark area using the bike trail network, and there are also places where you can rent bicycles.
  • The Geopark-area towns of Kankaanpää, Kauhajoki and Parkano offer car rental services.
  • The closest gas filling stations are located in Pori, Seinäjoki and Tampere.
  • There are charging points for electric cars in Honkajoki, Kankaanpää, Kihniö and Parkano.

YOUR CHOICES MAKE A DIFFERENCE

EXPLORE THE AREA SAFELY

  • The Finnish emergency number is 112. If you call via the 112 Suomi mobile application, the ERC operator will automatically receive information about your location.
  • To avoid getting lost, bring with you a sufficiently accurate paper map and a compass. Do not rely only on digital positioning devices.
  • Make sure you have enough food and drink with you.
  • Prepare for your trip by choosing the right clothing for the season, and bring also extra clothing in case this is needed.
  • It is advisable to always have a small first-aid kit with you.

 

  • Before the trip, you should tell someone where you are going and when you are coming back.
  • Do your part to promote road safety. Wear a reflector or use a flashlight in the dark, and wear a helmet when cycling. Parking in conservation areas is only allowed in the designated parking areas.
  • Take particular care when on water, and always wear a lifejacket.
  • Do not move around on ice covered waterways in the winter unless the strength of the ice has been reliably measured. Remember that the ice is thinner in some places due to the water currents. When moving around on ice, always keep the appropriate safety equipment with you.

PLAN YOUR TRIP WELL IN ADVANCE.