Enchanting autumn of the Geopark

In the autumn, you can experience the atmosphere of the north in the Geopark. The stunning colors of autumn, the preparation of nature for winter, the migration of birds and the sunny days call you for a hike.

Unforgettable autumn trips in the Geopark

Hiking in autumn when the air is fresh is a Geopark experience at its best. The mires are especially wonderful in the autumn. Hike the trails, cycle along the small roads or find some other way you like to explore the Geopark. You can find Geopark’s places to visit and routes on our Discover pages.

Photo: Pasi Talvitie, Kauhaneva, Kauhaneva-Pohjankangas National Park

In the fall, forests and mires offer huge amounts of wild berries such as lingonberries and cranberries, as well as a wide variety of mushrooms, which one can pick freely. In the pure nature of Geopark, you can collect these ingredients of delicious food and at the same time also benefit from the well-being effects of being in nature. Read more on our articles Mother Nature’s convenience store and Forest baths in the Geopark.

Photo: Terttu Hermansson

On a rainy autumn day or when the evenings get dark, you can just pull on the wool socks and warm up by the fireplace of the cottage. Atmospheric accommodation options in the Geopark can be found on our Accommodation page.

Photo: Korsuretket, Pikku-Itävalta

For a mire trip with children 

The Geopark has several mire sites where hiking is easy, safe and comfortable even with children. Welcome to a mire adventure in the Geopark: pack your favorite snacks in the backpack and come to duckboard trails to admire the great colors of the mires! You can find the mire sites and the best tips for children in our article.

Photo: Laura Koivumäki, Vaarinneva, Hämeenkangas

Bike in the Geopark

It is worth exploring the Geopark and its destinations by cycling either alone, with a friend or with a larger group. Enjoy the countryside on the small roads or the forests and mires on the mountain bike trails. The Geopark’s routes are easy and also suitable for inexperienced cyclists. Read more about our biking tips in the article (in Finnish).

Photo: Terttu Hermansson, Kauhaneva, Kauhaneva-Pohjankangas National Park

You can rent a bicycle from our area:

Kuva: Pasi Talvitie, bike from e-bike Holidays

Use the services and enjoy your stay

The companies in the area offer diverse, high-quality and nature-friendly tourism services for day visitors and those staying longer in the area. For further information visit our Services pages.

Photo: Pasi Talvitie, Alkkianvuori

Taste regional cuisine in the Geopark’s cafés and restaurants. Skilled bakers and chefs prepare delicacies in which wild berries, mushrooms and other local ingredients have a main role. In the farm stores and boutiques, you make unique purchases.

Photo: Terttu Hermansson, cake from Kahvila-Konditoria Postelli

On guided tours and activities, you will enjoy the Geopark deeply. You can also rent equipment for independent adventures. After the outdoors, pamper yourself with wellness services. Stay in a cosy cottage or in a small hotel. High-quality accommodation options for a wide range of needs are available throughout the area.

Photo: UK-Majoitus

ENJOY HIGH-QUALITY AND NATURE-FRIENDLY SERVICES

Picks from the current offering of our area

By the campfire in the Alpo’s savannah

Stay at the campfire site in the Alpo’s savannah ITE art park. In the campfire site only screws and nails are new. The legs of the benches are old metal and rubber rings, and the wood used is old too. The fire is made in an old pot. The firewood used to be a barrel of oil. The campfire site can be used freely as long as safety is ensured. Read more about the Alpo’s savannah and the Arts Route (in Finnish).

Come to the Alpo’s savannah campfire site on Wed 29.9. at 12 to 1pm. and make the Savannah Rose and discuss culture and rural villages. The event is part of a nationwide Rural Parliament. Read more about the event (in Finnish).

Photo: Terttu Hermansson, Alpo’s savannah

Visit the Visit Suupohja website before a trip 

The versatile and inspiring Visit Suupohja tourism website presents the offerings of Geopark’s northernmost municipalities and their surrounding municipalities also outside the Geopark area. On the website, you will find Nature Destinations and Routes in the Suupohja Region, as well as cultural sites and accommodation, food, activities and other services. Read more on the Visit Suupohja website (in Finnish).

Photo: Visit Suupohja, Hyypänjoki Valley

Probably the best chocolate cake in Finland

Is the chocolate cake of Valkoinen Puu Cafe the best in Finland? Visit the Kauhajoki café, taste this delicacy which is the most popular in the selection and decide for yourself! Baked with locally produced organic spelt, the Secret Garden’s Chocolate Cake attracts customers to Valkoinen Puu cafes up to hundreds of kilometers away.

In addition to this favorite chocolate cake, the gluten-free and lactose-free apple-caramel brita and a gluten-free, velvety chocolate dream cake suitable for vegans are also just some examples of the delicacies offered in the cafe. Read more on the Valkoinen Puu website.

Photo: Valkoinen Puu

Sauna experiences at Kirkkokatu Wellness Center

After the hike, warm up in the saunas of the Kirkkokatu Wellness Center. Children have their own fairytale sauna experience, where fun sloth, teddy bear or flower masks can be used for skin care. In the sauna for couples, you relax by candlelight and enjoy the skin-friendly complaints of organic products. Read more on the website.

Photo: Kirkkokatu Wellness Center

Experience the unique Arts Route from Kammi to Skantz

Along the Arts Route, you can visit five magnificent destinations: Kammi-kylä Village, Alpo’s savannah, Anne’s Art Café, Karvia Church and the open-air museum area, and the Skantz Cultural Center.

Each destination on the route, located in the municipalities of Kauhajoki and Karvia, has its own story. Each site is full of detailed and unique art. Take the entire 37 km route or visit individual destinations. Read more on the brochure, the map and the website (all in Finnish), and take a closer look at the Arts Route.

Photo: The Arts Route from Kammi to Skantz

Delicacies and Geonalle products in Raijanholvi

Raijanholvi offers delicious home-cooked food at the lunch buffet. Jellies and jams for the cakes are made by self from local berries. For sale are Raijanholvi’s own finalist berry meringues as well as Geonalle’s products, such as hats, kuksas, mugs, booklets and dark blueberry chocolate with Geonalle’s picture. Read more on Raijanholvi’s web pages (in Finnish).

Photo: Raijanholvi

KykyDesign’s Art Diving

Finding talent is an art that focuses on involving people. The services of KykyDesign include cultural well-being services, where the main emphasis is on promoting health and well-being.

The new concept of the autumn is an experiential Art Diving (Taidesukellus®) workshop (3 h), which is well suited for companies or hikers looking for their creativity. Now it is time to book an activity for the Christmas seasons parties as well. KykyDesigns is located in the former Yrjänäinen school in Kauhajoki, but they can also come to you if necessary! Read more on KykyDesign’s website (in Finnish).

AUTUMN IS THE BEST TIME FOR HIKING

Get yourself warm and have snacks by the campfire

Enjoy snacks by the campfire. You can also sit down to eat and admire the scenery at the beak of any stump. When sitting and eating snacks, you have time to notice even the smallest details of the environment. You can buy snacks with you from the cafés and restaurants in the area.

Photo: Terttu Hermansson, Lauhanvuori National Park

There are lots of great resting places in the geopark where you can spend time by the campfire. In most of the places there is firewood freely available to visitors. You can find most of the resting places on the Retkikartta map service. Information about other resting places you can find on the Geopark municipalities’ own websites.

Photo: Terttu Hermansson, Lauhanvuori National Park

Outdoor etiquette

When hiking, it is always important to consider nature and other people. A smart hiker respects nature in every way, keeps pets in leashes, prevents debris from forming in advance, and brings debris out of the terrain and sorts it properly.

Please use marked trails and follow the rules for different modes of travel. Stay overnight only in marked camping areas.

Photo: Metsähallitus Parks and Wildlife Finland, Outdoor Etiquette

Campfires are allowed only on marked places. Always check the Finnish Meteorological Institute’s website for current warnings. During a forest or grass fire warning, fires are strictly prohibited. Learn more about Metsähallitus Parks and Wildlife Finland’s Outdoor Etiquette.

Read more about how to act responsibly while visiting the Geopark.

Photo: Metsähallitus Parks and 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, Pauliina Lilja from Lilja’s Yarn Shop is knitting mittens with glass veranda pattern, Local History Museum of Siikainen

Main photo: Mirja Koivisto / Tarinakuva, Kauhaneva, Kauhaneva-Pohjankangas National Parks

Other photos: Terttu Hermansson

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WELCOME TO THE AUTUMN GEOPARK!

Mother Nature’s Convenience Store

The diverse and clean terrains of the Geopark offer a huge amount of nature’s own delicacies that any hiker can pick up, eat right away, or prepare for food even by the campfire.

Would you like to taste the blueberries from the top of Lauhanvuori, cranberries from the kermis of Kauhaneva, or porcinis from Hämeenkangas? The forests and swamps in the area are guaranteed to produce a healthy and fresh harvest from spring to late autumn.

In the spring, the first foragers are delighted by the false morels emerging from the sandy forest land. After careful pre-treatment, delicious soups and stews can be prepared from the false morels. Spring and early summer are the best time for foraging wild herbs. The healthiest salad base can be created from the leaves of foraged ground elder, dandelion, fireweed and wood sorrel. Please note that plant foraging is prohibited in conservations, nature reserves and national parks.

Perhaps the one of the most anticipated berries of the summer include the favourite berry of many people, bilberry, the exceptionally diverse health effects of which have long been talked about around the world. Bilberries taste the best when freshly picked, eaten while sitting on a hummock in the forest. The sweetest pies are made from picked bilberries. Excellent bilberry terrain can be found all over the Geopark area, but the top of Lauhanvuori in particular is known for its abundant bilberry yields. Lauhanvuori has been the chosen bilberry site for people from long distances away.

The treasures of the bogs, the coveted, golden-yellow cloudberries ripen at the same time as the bilberries. In a good year for cloudberries, there can be a lot of berries in the wetlands, but the best cloudberry sites are quickly found and harvested by hard-working pickers. Healthy cloudberries are good as such, but they are also widely used in baked goods, such as the traditional cloudberry cake. Later in autumn, the red, tart cranberries ripen in the wetlands. Cranberries should not be picked until after the first frosts of autumn, as the frost softens the acidity of the berries These wetland berries could be the hallmark berries of the Geopark – after all, the wetlands form the most important habitat in the Geopark. The nutritious, mild-tasting bog whortleberry also grows in the wetlands, but it is under-used.

In late summer, the lichen-covered heath of the pine forests turns red in places as the lively lingonberries ripen. Large quantities of lingonberries, so versatile to use, can quickly be picked from good growing sites. These nutritious berries can be picked late into the autumn. You can also find the much less used but super-healthy crowberry in the same type of habitat. It is worth being bold and trying it, and using it in many different ways, much like the other wild berries.

In late summer, the lichen-covered heath of the pine forests turns red in places as the lively lingonberries ripen. Large quantities of lingonberries, so versatile to use, can quickly be picked from good growing sites. These nutritious berries can be picked late into the autumn. You can also find the much less used but super-healthy crowberry in the same type of habitat. It is worth being bold and trying it, and using it in many different ways, much like the other wild berries.

Even in the early summer, an attentive hiker can find golden chanterelles along the trails. What could be a tastier delicacy than yellow chanterelles roasted on a pan over a campfire? As the summer progresses and autumn arrives, you can find a wide variety of delicious mushrooms on the vast heaths of the Geopark and Hämeenkangas, such as boletes, russulas, and milk-caps that thrive on the sandy ridges. The verdant spruce forests produce favoured mushrooms, such as trumpet chanterelles, which often produce large yields. If you are really excited about foraging for mushrooms, you should pack a mushroom book, a knife, and a basket, and head to the forest anywhere in the Geopark either in the summer or in the autumn. In addition to picking plenty of mushrooms, you can also experience great nature adventures!

Thanks to the Everyman’s Rights, the delicacies offered by the nature of Geopark are freely available to everyone − and for free! There is always a joy of searching for and finding good sites, which is an integral part of the experience. Even if you don’t find amazing berry and mushroom spots, or manage to collect large amounts of harvest, it is not worth getting discouraged. The most important thing is to go on an excursion, to observe the environment, and to enjoy nature while respecting it.

Text: Laura Koivumäki

Photos: Terttu Hermansson, Pasi Talvitie

Welcome to the wintery Geopark

The winter of the Geopark is full of activities. Enjoy cross-country skiing on maintained tracks, snowshoeing on quiet mires and downhill sledding. Have a snack by a campfire. The wintery Geopark has a charming nature and plenty of services to enjoy!

Enjoy the winter events

Entrepreneurs of the area offer targeted, safe experiences for families and small groups. For example, a guided trip to the snowy forest, dining by the campfire and a sauna after it will create the perfect winter holiday atmosphere.

Please remember the corona virus instructions when visiting the Geopark. Geopark’s partner companies are responsible for arranging the events, so please always ensure that they take place and ask special instructions from the companies.

Photo: Matti Hautalahti, Kammi-kylä

Here we introduce you some gems of Geopark’s winter offering. You can also easily buy experiences through Geopark’s online store.

Enjoy the treats of Valkoinen Puu Café

Enjoy the cafe’s cheerful service as well as hearty, American-style cakes baked from the best, locally sourced ingredients! Read more on the Valkoinen Puu website.

Swim in the ice hole in Eteläpää

In the tourist center Eteläpää you can swim in the ice hole at least every Sunday during the winter season. Before swimming and having a sauna you can ski on the nice trails of Eteläpää. Read more on Eteläpää’s website (in Finnish).

A family trip to an atmospheric croft

With Kurkikorpi Grandma’s host couple, you can sled to Asell’s croft. There you can have joyful outdoor games and roast stick buns and sausages on the campfire. Take a peek into the 19th-century life of the croft and warm up by the oven. Ask for more information.

Sauna experiences next to the National Park

Lauhansarvi next to Lauhanvuori National Park offers relaxing sauna experiences for families and groups. Enjoy the soft steams of the smoke sauna and spend time in a traditional hut, pamper yourself in the peat sauna or choose a sauna with a hot tub. Read more and book your sauna experience on the web store (in Finnish).

Winter vacation in SyVilla

SyVilla’s winter scenery and nature will charm you at first sight. In SyVilla you will stay comfortably and enjoy the sauna and the outdoor jacuzzi. If you wish, you can also relax in the smoke sauna. Read more and book your holiday on the web store.

Photo: Terttu Hermansson

Taikapolku takes you to winter nature with snowshoes

Snowshoes open new sights to winter nature in Lauhanvuori National Park, the Hyyppä Valley and elsewhere in the Geopark. With snowshoes you can enjoy varied terrain calmly or a little faster. Good snacks complete the lovely experience.

Book a tour for your own group or take part in ready-made departures:

  • Saturday 27th of February at 11 am Brooks of Lauhanvuori National Park
  • Saturday 27th of February at 7 pm Mire in a moonlight in Kauhajoki
  • Sunday 7th of March at 10 am Lauhanvuori National Park

Read more and book your experience on the Taikapolku web store (in Finnish).

Photo: Ismo Nousiainen / Taikapolku, Hyyppä Valley

Winter experiences in Luomajärvi Horse Inn

Luomajärvi Horse Inn offers wonderful winter activities with ponies and other domestic animals in an old-fashioned rural setting. Read more on the website and book your own experience. Some examples:

  • Trail riding with a pony or a horse and sleigh riding to lean-to including delicious snacks by an open fire
  • A day on the farm for the whole family
  • Snowshoeing in the forest to a lean-to with a campfire
  • A nice moment with ponies for children including pony-care and a leash ride

Photo: Luomajärvi Horse Inn

Exercise and have fun in the winter nature

There are hundreds of miles of groomed trails in the Geopark. Ski slowly or raise your heart rate in varying terrains. Read more about Geopark’s skiing opportunities. You can also explore the winter nature of the Geopark, for example, on horseback or snowshoeing. You can find service providers for guided tours and equipment rental in the Activities section of our website. You can also go wild on the mighty sledding hills of the Geopark.

Photo: Kuntoutuskeskus Kankaanpää, Hämeenkangas

Rent equipment for winter activities

Geopark’s partner companies and the municipalities of the area rent equipment for winter activities. Here are some options. Ask companies for more information. Some of the equipment can be rented in Geopark’s web store. The following web pages are in Finnish.

Photo: Jennika Hakola / eBike Adventures, Lauhanvuori National Park

Skinbased skies

 

Snowshoes

Mountain bikes

Relax by a campfire

The highlight of the outdoor activities is a meal by a campfire. You can buy ready-made take-away treats from cafés or restaurants of the area. Let the blaze of the campfire an the sounds of the surrounding nature relax you. In the Geopark, there are many sheds with firewood freely available to visitors. Campfires are only allowed at marked campfire sites. You can find these sites on Retkikartta online map service. Please also pay attention to the corona virus instructions and the Outdoor etiquette of Metsähallitus Parks & Wildlife Finland when hiking in the Geopark.

Photo: Ismo Nousiainen / Taikapolku, Lauhanvuori National Park

Our entrepreneurs at your service

Entrepreneurs of the area make your stay at the Geopark as relaxing and successful as possible. Treat yourself with the delicacies of the area’s cafés and restaurants and shop at the farm shops and small boutiques. Enjoy the destinations on a guided tour or rent equipment for your own adventures. Relax in natural treatments and the sauna and stay overnight in some of our high-quality accommodation options. The Geopark offers a huge variety of services for both day travelers and those staying longer. Check out the service offering on our website.

Photo: Valkoinen Puu, Kauhajoki

Stay overnight and sleep well

Rent a high-quality cottage or choose another accommodation option of your choice in the Geopark area. Well-equipped cottages and a wide range of additional services guarantee a relaxing holiday. In the Geopark you can spend a memorable night in an AuroraHut igloo. Read more and book on the web store (in Finnish).

Photo: Tiina Ekholm / Lomamökki Luistokas, Jämi

Experience the Geopark through a film

Get to know the inhabitants, the culture and the nature of the area through 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, Annen Taidekahvila, Karvia

Main photo: Kari Leo, Kauhaneva-Pohjankangas National Park

Visiting a mire with children

The Geopark has several excursion sites that provide you with easy access to mire nature. Duckboards lead tiny explorers to the curious creatures and wonderous details of the mires.

Did you know that wetlands are home to sundews, nature’s plant oddities that eat insects? Searching for sundews and catching insects to feed them with is exciting. It is worth paying close attention to the things around you as there is life among the moss, and the most wonderful insects are flying between the gnarly pine trees.

In late summer, visitors can find delicious cloudberries to taste on tufts of peat moss. In the autumn, visitors can pick tangy cranberries full of vitamin.

Photo: Terttu Hermansson

The easily accessed excursion sites in the Geopark mires and useful excursion tips have been compiled in a brochure. The sites have services that make excursions go more easily, such as places to rest. There are campfire sites, where you can build a fire unless there is an active forest fire warning.

Lengths of the routes:

  • Aitoneva peat museum, nature trail 2 km
  • Kammi-kylä duckboard trail, 1 km back and forth
  • Katselmankallio – Haapajärvi farm duckboard trail, 7,2 km back and forth
  • Kauhalammin kierros duckboard trail 2,7 km
  • Kustaa the Elk’s nature trail 2 km
  • Peräkorpi, trail between Spitaalijärvi and Kivijata 4 km
  • Vaarinneva duckboard trail 2 km from the parking lot and back

Please note! There is no signage yet on the duckboard trail of Vaarinnevankeidas, located in Hämeenkangas. The signposts will be completed during 2022.

Eating a packed meal is often the highlight of the excursion. Children can carry packed meals in their backpacks and sit down to eat on any wood stump.

You should favour durable and lightweight dishes on excursions. Litter can be prevented in advance, and you must take any rubbish generated during the excursion with you out of the wilderness.

Photo: Terttu Hermansson, Katikankanjoni, Kauhaneva-Pohjankangas National Park

You might sometimes get your socks wet or be surprised by rain when spending time on a mire. Packing an extra set of clothes in a watertight compartment ensures that even if you get wet, you can continue your excursion without a care.

If you stay on clearly marked routes, a general map is all you need for instructions during your excursion. Adventures outside marked routes require orienteering skills and using a more detailed map and compass.

When you prepare well, you will get fun experiences and memories from exploring the Geopark and make memories that stay with you for a long time.

Photo: Hanna Tuuri, Kustaa the Elk’s nature trail, Parkano

Main photo: Terttu Hermansson, Kauhaneva, Kauhaneva-Pohjankangas National Park