Enjoy the nature

4/15/2019 1:11 AM

HIKING, CYCLING OR CANOEING IN THE LAKE SAIMAA REGION

The heaths of Salpausselkä ridge have smooth nature trails, and you can also climb higher to admire the lake scenery. Spend a few hours hiking across the nearby terrain or bring a tent and go camping. Take the Imatra Geo Trail and experience the impact of history on nature. The historic Salpalinja fortifications are also an interesting day-trip destination, and going with a guide ensures that you will hear the best stories. There are also several geocaches in the South Karelia region.

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BIKING

IN THE ENVIRONS OF LAPPEENRANTA

1. Admire the shores of Saimaa on the Lappeenranta shore route. As well as urban areas, there are several great cycling trails in the Saimaa Canal and Taipalsaari areas.

IN THE ENVIRONS OF IMATRA

2. The Vuoksi Culture Trail follows the Vuoksi river along pedestrian and bicycle paths and bridges. You can bike part
of the trail, 7 or 4.5 kilometres, or cover the whole distance, 11.5 kilometres. The trail is also suitable for walking.

3. The official trail of the Imatra MTB event is ideal for mountain biking, as it offers paths of various lengths. The 10-kilometre trail is also suitable for beginners.

ISLAND TOUR

4. This 170-km route goes around southern Saimaa and includes one or two boat Rides. Another option is the 180-kilometre Western Saimaa Tour, which you can also combine with the Kyläniemi island tour.

CLOSE TO THE BORDER

5. EuroVelo 13, the Iron Curtain Trail, is part of the European-wide EuroVelo network of cycle routes. In Finland, it starts at Vaalimaa and follows the Finnish- Russian border all the way to the Arctic Ocean.

Check out more information about the nature trails and spots here >>

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HIKING

IN THE ENVIRONS OF LAPPEENRANTA

1. The section of the Lappeenranta shore route from Rakuunamäki to Skinnarila is a picturesque oasis on the shores of Lake Saimaa.

2. The Saimaa Canal Culture Trail (1.5 km) starts at the Canal Museum. QR codes offering information in English can be found on Finnish-language guidance boards along the path.

3. Explore the nature of Finnish fens by walking on duckboards in Hämmäauteensuo and taking a break at a lean-to shelter.

IN THE ENVIRONS OF IMATRA

4. Kruununpuisto Park, next to the Valtionhotelli castle hotel, is the starting point for both the Muinaisuoma Nature and Culture Trail (1 km) and the Mellonlahti Nature Trail (3 km).

5. The Lammassaari Shore Trail near Imatra Spa is 3 km long.

6. On the Imatra Geo Trail, you can feel the history from the Ice Age to the present day, and admire the Salpausselkä ridge.

CLOSE TO THE BORDER

7. Head for the River Hiihtolanjoki to take in the river environment and old power plants. Follow a managed hiking trail, stairs and duckboards for 1–4 km along Highway 6.

MORE DEMANDING TREKKING

8. The most stunning stretch of the European long-distance path, E10 (over 100 km in South Karelia), runs from Imatra via Ruokolahti and Rautjärvi to Parikkala. Legs of 2–10 km, ideal for day trips, can be found in Savitaipale, Joutseno, Ruokolahti and Parikkala.

NATURE TREKS AND BIRDWATCHING

9. One of inland Finland's best nature sites is Siikalahti's wetland in Parikkala. There are also excellent birdwatching spots on the Vuoksi river in the centre of Imatra, Lake Pien-Rautjärvi and Konnunsuo Fen.

Rautjärvi
www.rautjarvitravel.com

Check out more information about the nature trails and spots here >>

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CANOEING

IN THE ENVIRONS OF IMATRA

1. In the vicinity of Ukonniemi in Imatra and Rauha in Lappeenranta you can canoe along the shores, admiring the boathouses, or around nearby islands.

2. The canoeing route in Ruokolahti is 10 km long. The route departs from small lakes and goes through a river and the historical canals ending up in the city centre on Ruokolahti.

IN THE ENVIRONS OF LAPPEENRANTA

3. If you canoe in Lappeenranta town bay, you can take a break at a lean-to shelter on Karhusaari Island. Remember to watch out for boats and ships.

4. The Alajoki Trail is about 19 km long and includes five rapids. You can paddle this trail in early summer when the water is high.

5. Pien-Saimaa is a perfect destination for a brisk day paddle, as there are several places for landing along the trail.

6. The Väliväylä Canoe Trail from Lappeenranta to Kouvola takes 4–8 days to paddle. You can spend the nights in leanto shelters. Väliväylä is also a great daytrip  destination. The Kannuskoski area, in particular, offers lovely trails and lots
of rest points.

Check out more information about the nature trails and spots here >>

LANDING POINTS IN SAIMAA

• Karhusaari, near the Lappeenranta harbour: a pier and a lean-to shelter.
• Ruohosaari, Lappeenranta: a leanto shelter and a beach.
• Satamosaari, between Imatra and Joutseno: saunas and barbecues.
• Muukonsaari, Joutseno: a trekking centre with a barbecue and cottage accommodation.
• Ilkonsaari: piers and barbecues and five chapels as an attraction.
• Rastinniemi: barbecues and a long beach.
• Huuhanranta: a lean-to shelter and a spectacular shallow sandy beach.
• Ruuhonsaari: a pier, barbecues and a sauna.

Locations and details: ekvas.fi

Where to rent a bike or canoe?

You can rent a kayak, canoe, bike, SUP board or rowing boat from the Lappeenranta Sandcastle in summer. Canoes, rowing boats and motor boats can be rented from the Vuoksi Fishing Park in Imatra. Many hotels also have bikes available for their guests to hire.

More information about routes
• Descriptions and directions: www.ekarjala.fi/retkikohteet, www.retkikartta.fi
• Routes and downloadable mobile guides: outdoorsfinland.com

Maps are also available, please contact the tourist information for more details: lappeenranta@gosaimaa.com or imatra@gosaimaa.com.

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