Aurinkovuori Hill is a magnificent ice-marginal ridge that forms a part of the Second Salpausselkä. An exceptionally thick layer of soil has accumulated on the bedrock at Aurinkovuori – at its thickest up to 130 metres of mostly sand and gravel that was transported and sorted by the glacial streams. Aurinkovuori Hill is situated between the lakes Päijänne and Vesijärvi, and offers beautiful views over both of them from the trails and campfire site.
Heinola National Urban Park is an attractive combination of nature, culture and history. The town´s idyllic centre, situated at the crossing of the river Kymijoki and a long esker, has beautiful parks and buildings dating back to 18th and 19th centuries. One of the features of special interest is the largest tree of Finland, the Czar´s poplar, which grows in the Rantapuisto Park
Kammiovuori Hill is located in the northern part of Sysmä and the Salpausselkä Geopark area. The site offers stunning views over Lake Päijänne. There is a marked trail with a lean-to shelter and campfire site in the area. In addition to Kammiovuori Hill, the area has several other rugged rock formations of national significance.
Kapatuosia is a steep-sided ridge that was formed by the meltwaters of the continental ice sheet about 12,000 years ago. Archaeological excavations at the site have uncovered remnants of wooden structures. On top of the hill there is a viewing tower, which visitors can climb to enjoy the beautiful views over Lake Vesijärvi. At the foot of the hill lies the grand medieval church of Hollola.
This unique eight-kilometre-long esker island lies in the heart of Päijänne National Park. There are camping sites and a hiking trail on the island, that allow visitors to enjoy the beautiful sandy beaches, as well as paths high up on the esker, surrounded by peaceful woodlands. One of the island’s several cone-shaped kettle holes has turned into a small lake, and some lie underneath the water level on the sides of the esker, forming deep and sheltered natural harbours.
Photo: J. Väätäinen, GTK
Kiikunlähde Spring is a unique and delicate nature site, situated on private land. The terrain surrounding the spring has suffered from erosion due to the large number of visitors. The parking space is closed and traffic on Kiikuntie road is being restricted. We urge that this site will not be visited for the time being.
The viewing tower in the Kullasvuori recreational area next to Padasjoki Harbour offers a wonderful view over Päijänne National Park. Kullasvuori Hill is part of an esker that was formed during a late phase of the Ice Age, when meltwaters transported gravel and sand to the base of the rocky Tuomasvuori Hill.
Lapakisto is a popular destination for day trips and a significant nature reserve due to its size and diversity. Elongated lakes surrounded by steep rocky hills, alternating with patches of forest and mire, are a typical feature of the area. The reserve has five marked hiking trails, with small shelters and campfire sites situated along them.
The Lehmusreitti trail goes around the centre of Lahti, never veering more than two kilometres from the central market square. The trail is about 11 kilometres in length and runs through urban woodlands, parks and areas of cultural significance, and around Salpausselkä. The route takes you to numerous interesting sites, such as the Häränsilmä kettle pond and Radiomäki Hill.
Photo: Ossi Saarinen
Linnaistensuo Mire is located at only about seven kilometres from the Lahti city centre, but feels like a wilderness. The tranquil mire landscape can be best experienced by walking through it along the duckboard route. The nature reserve is part of the national mire-conservation programme and was founded to preserve a representative sample of a raised bog typical to southern Finland. The peat layer of the mire is nearly three metres deep on average.
The Pajulahti Sports and Olympic Training Centre is located in Nastola, Lahti. In the cafeteria you can see Finland’s nearly two-billion-year-old bedrock up close, as one of the walls is a bare quarried rock wall. It is formed of two main types of rock: light-coloured granite and dark mica schists. Pajulahti is surrounded by diverse lakeside nature and offers a wide range of activities and services.
Pirunkirkko Cave, a huge rapakivi granite rock formation shaped by the continental ice sheet, is an impressive geological site in the Paistjärvi Hiking Area. It is a leaning cliff forming a cave that resembles a gigantic lean-to shelter. According to folktales, local people used Pirunkirkko as a refuge during hostile invasions in the 18th century. The hiking area features easy marked trails running along beautiful eskers, campfire sites, clearwater lakes, cliffs and sandy beaches.
This narrow esker, running across the southern part of Lake Päijänne, was voted the most beautiful scenic route in Finland – it is easy to see why! The Pulkkilanharju Esker resulted from deposits of the meltwater system that transported material to the Second Salpausselkä some 11,500 years ago. It is part of the national esker conservation programme and one of the most significant geological sites in the area. Part of the esker belongs to Päijänne National Park, and visitors can experience its nature on marked trails.
This national park comprises roughly 50 islands and islets around the southern part of Finland’s second largest lake, Päijänne. The clear waters, open-lake scenery, sandy beaches of the esker islands and rugged rocky islands are the perfect backdrop for an adventure. The park can be experienced on land in Pulkkilanharju, Päijätsalo and Virmaila. Guest harbours and related services can be found in Padasjoki, Asikkala and Sysmä, and Kelvenne Island can be reached by a boat service in the summer.
The rocky island of Päijätsalo on the eastern side of Lake Päijänne is part of a nationally valuable landscape and partly situated in Päijänne National Park. The island, located near Sysmä village centre, is almost connected to the mainland and can be conveniently reached by road. The highest point of Päijätsalo Island is 85 metres above the water level of Päijänne, and its viewing tower offers a beautiful view across the open lake towards Tehinselkä.
The impressive kettle hole landscape of the First Salpausselkä in the city of Lahti by Lake Vesijärvi was formed through the melting of enormous ice blocks that split off from the continental ice sheet and were buried in the gravel and sand at the end of the last Ice Age. This landscape with steep slopes provides excellent terrain for winter sports, and the Lahti Sports Centre grew around international cross-country skiing and ski jumping competitions that have been held on the Salpausselkä in Lahti every year since the 1920s.
Tiirismaa Hill is the highest point in southern Finland. It consists of quartzite, sedimentary rock that originated in the quartz sand accumulated at the bottom of a shallow shore about 1 850 million years ago. The monumental Pirunpesä Gorge is a cliff fissure in the quartzite Tiirismaa bedrock that has attracted visitors since the 1800s. There is a 4.5-kilometre marked hiking trail with info boards, a small shelter and campfire sites in the area.
Vierumäki is located on the sandur and delta plains of the Second Salpausselkä, formed of sand and gravel deposited at the margin of the continental ice sheet nearly 12,000 years ago. North of the Vierumäki Resort & Sport Institute of Finland, Salpausselkä is joined by eskers formed of sand and gravel in meltwater tunnels or cracks in the ice sheet. Visitors can experience the picturesque scenery on nature trails, which run along the narrow and steep-sided eskers, surrounded by small lakes. Vierumäki Resort offers a wide range of activities and services.
Vääksy Canal, built in 1871, runs across the Second Salpausselkä and is one of the busiest recreational inland waterways in Europe. Vääksy canal connects Lake Vesijärvi with Lake Päijänne, the difference in water level between the two being about 3 metres. The canal, Vääksy River and the Old Vääksy village together make an ideal destination for a visit. Attractions in the area include a watermill museum and the Recreational fishing museum of Finland.