HOW TO TRAVEL RESPONSIBLY IN 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!

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.
  • Cycle around the Geopark area along our bike trail network. There are bike rental points in the area.
  • 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.

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
  • horseback ride in nature without harming the environment
  • stay and set up camp temporarily in areas where roaming is also allowed
  • pick wild berries, mushrooms and plants, as long as they are not protected species
  • swim and boat in a water body and move on its ice-covered surface
  • angle and ice-fish in unrestricted areas

without causing any harm to nature or other people. Please do not go near anyone’s private property.

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

EXPLORE THE SITES, BUT LEAVE NO TRACE.

RESPECT THE NATURE

  • The geosites of Lauhanvuori – Hämeenkangas UNESCO Global Geopark, such as mires, rocks and stones, ancient shorelines, the sinkholes, canyons and gorges of the eskers, and springs and brooks are all part of unique geological heritage, so let us work together to preserve them intact. Explore the sites, but leave no trace.
  • Let the animals and plants of the area live in peace. Do not disturb or feed any animals but observe them from a distance.
  • It is forbidden to pick any plants in conservation areas. Elsewhere, hover, small amounts of herbaceous plants such as unprotected flowers and herbs can be picked under the Everyman’s Rights.
  • When in nature, always choose the trail indicated for your choice of travel. This will cause less damage to nature and make roaming the area pleasant for everyone.
  • The destinations are equipped with protective structures, such as stairs, duckboards and fences, to guide visitors and protect the sites from damage. Follow the instructions provided for moving at the sites.
  • The national parks and wetland conservation areas within the Geopark area have restricted sections, where moving is prohibited during specific time periods to allow birds to nest in peace and rest during migration:
    • Kauhaneva – Pohjankangas National Park: 1 April–15 September
    • Lauhanvuori National Park: 15 April–31 July
    • Haapakeidas wetland conservation area: 1 April–15 July
  • Dogs must always be kept on leash in conservation areas. Clean up after your dog.

OTHER USEFUL INSTRUCTIONS

  • Plan ahead to minimise the amount of thrash already in advance. Choose durable tableware over disposable ones. Organic waste can be placed in the dry toilet to compost, and small amounts of clean cardboard and paper can be burned at the campfire site. Bring all other waste and thrash back with you from your trip and recycle appropriately.
  • Lighting a fire is only allowed at the marked campfire sites. In other areas, open fires may not be lit without permission from the landowner. When a grass or forest fire warning is in force, it is forbidden to start an open fire. Metsähallitus provides some of the campfire sites in the Geopark area with firewood.
  • Camping in conservation areas is only allowed in designated places. In other areas, temporary camping is permitted under the Everyman’s Rights, as long as you respect the landowner and other people.
  • Keep a water bottle with you and refill it with tap water in one of the service-sector companies in the area. Drinking water may also be obtained from the local springs and from wells maintained by Metsähallitus, and the potability of the water is indicated at rest areas and on the Metsähallitus website.
  • The rest areas in the Geopark are equipped with dry toilets, but there is no toilet paper, so bring your own roll. If there is no dry toilet nearby, relieve yourself at a sufficient distance from the trails and water bodies. Remove some of the surface soil, and finally replace it to cover your leavings and used paper. Make sure that no paper is left lying around.

RESPONSIBLE VISITORS CONSIDER OTHERS.

TAKE OTHERS INTO ACCOUNT AND EXPERIENCE THE LOCAL CULTURE

In addition to 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, check out events and get to know the locals and their habits.

When you are roaming 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 at your lodgings, so you will not disturb nature 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, as well as of the sites, trails and services in the area.
  • Enjoy our tasty local food during your visit.
  • Take home locally produced food items, handcrafts or other specialties of the area.
  • Tag your social media updates with #lhgeopark.

 

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 wearing clothing that is suited to the season and bringing extra clothes.
  • 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 caution when moving on waters, and always wear a lifejacket.
  • Do not move on ice-covered water bodies in the winter, if the carrying capacity of the ice cover has not been reliably measured. Remember that the ice is thin in places due to water currents. When moving on ice, always keep the appropriate safety equipment with you.

PLAN YOUR TRIP WELL IN ADVANCE.