Finland

Canoe Lakeland

which drains into the Gulf years old.Unique Geology and characterizes the whole Seal Trail Canoe System today. Finland has been majority of lakes are directly connected by water shaped and carved maybe ten times by advancing passages and the main watercourses can even be and retreating glaciers. ground and Trail area is a naturally sculpted masterpiece end moraines and sandy linear landforms called among all the chains of inland lakes in Northern eskers. Magnificent shore when rift valleys and depressions became water. In late summer some of soil from land. the 10 km wide Lake Paasivesi. has hardly any islands at all. representing some The lakes are indeed the most noticeable feature of the oldest and largest exposed rock formations of the Seal Trail landscape. Vast stretches of open water scattered all through the Seal Trail Canoe System. the best of which are chosen to form the Seal Trail Canoe System. Moraines and glacial gravel Park and pristine sandy beaches can be explored deposit created dams. The characteristic landforms of the of Finland. river-like channels and sounds. of the Fennoscandian Shield. They all belong to the in Europe. Surrounding the lakes that are scattered throughout the area are forested Waterways hills and ridges rising up to a maximum of 200 m the Seal Trail is located. Compared with most countries. with hundreds of islands. by four rapids (Class 1 and 2) in Heinävesi all of which can be bypassed through canals. which complicated drainage along the Lake Puruvesi shoreline. Finland has an Lake Joutenvesi has the highest ratio of islands to abundance of elongated lake systems. patterns and along with the rift valley landscape created the unique mosaic of land and water which The name Waterworld could be used to describe what the Seal Trail is all about. The In the last 2. spits and fjords are found at Kolovesi National filled lake basins. islets and skerries are followed by narrow. where both rugged and varied. leveled rocky outcrops.8 billion Vuoksi water system.4 million years. . They were water in the world where as crater lake Paasivesi formed in the wake of the last retreating glaciers. The water flow in accentuated and newer landforms were created as streams and small rivers varies greatly depending ice from glaciers gouged out and accentuated on the season as well as precipitation and depressions. and stripped temperature conditions. The last of the glaciers receded from them might be almost unnavigable. piles of boulders. The height difference between the Finnish Lakeland are the products of continental headwaters in Lake Juojärvi and the main basin uplift and erosion. cliffs. waves. These glacial landforms can be explored Europe. a region where lakes cover over 30 % of the surface area and the land is laced with a complex network of waterways. Finland about 10 000 years ago leaving a land- scape dominated by exposed bedrock. glaciation and continuing Lake Saimaa is 25 m and they are linked together actions of wind. Older landforms were paddled without portaging. Splendid Lakes Outstanding Scenery The topography of the Seal Trail region is therefore and Wonderful The world famous Finnish Lake Plateau. water and gravity. is an outstanding example (656 feet) in elevation. sudden One can say that the Lakeland scenery of the Seal changes in elevation. It also includes a spectacular example of meteorite craters. Here you’ll find bedrock some 1.

which breasted merganser and osprey use the area Carelia for over 1000 years until the late 16th belong to the Inter-European Natura 2000 and seasonally. badger. were once used as important log drives. lake trout. northern hobby. black grouse and hazel hen The Seal Trail Canoe System was established on mercial farms. Birds of the coniferous forest too small to carry more than a handful of com- such as capercaillie. mainly Scots pine and spruce interspersed with never been wild – it has always been our home. are transportation in this vast and sparsely populated Finland. a series of connected lake and located along the Seal Trail. In order to enhance landscape areas. over 80 % of the land area. goshawk. which nowadays offer you perfect canoe nest on wet bogs and mires. gulls. old landmarks and the strong military defences birch and aspen. but are seen rock-paintings found on the steep cliff-walls nearby less frequently than smaller animals. The very best places for getting acquainted with Fish species such as lake salmon. ways. goosander. A typical feature of the entire The ancient traditions of the prehistoric hunters dating from the Second World War in Raikuu boreal landscape is a combination of several and gatherers are still alive in the form of favourite indicate the strategic importance of the region in different biotopes such as forests bogs and mires. the Saimaa Wilderness. like salt. the Kolovesi National Park. in the Finnish Lakeland taking to the waters has beaver. Nature’s infinite variety berry or mushroom picking – and in the legal and the even stranger saga of the demon which is also displayed in a bountiful wildlife. char. Saimaa seals. mills are a testament to the economic forces which their songs. In time the wooden boat also The Heinävesi Route with it’s narrow waterways. perch. steamship traffic on inland waterways altogether eight canals were constructed between 1895-1915 . which covers of Scandinavia since the end of last ice age 10 000 times as warpaths for looting expeditions. Especially for people living mystical side of the Seal Trail’s history. flying squirrel. designated as one of Finland’s national heritage in for the back-country settlers. The same waterways used as The other prominent feature of the Seal Trail To Finns. which are pristine waters. Outdoors Human History This was once a wild frontier land where eastern and western cultures met and where many ancient battles were fought. Relics. Large predators like the brown bear. lynx and wolves also inhabit the area. Finnish outdoor pursuits – especially fishing and Finnish history. These include five big like the black-throated diver.and grayling can be found in these The Seal Trail also adjoins a part of the legendary are the numerous protected areas. otter and the most famous of them all. Of particular significance are the numerous shaped Finnish history. eagle owl and have remained much the same as they were 5000 ever since the late 18th century. and supplies. red. when the first endangered species like the Saimaa ringed seal. century as their preferred route into the Lakeland the national shoreline conservation programs. Fish-eating mammals include mink. A high level of occupation by prehistoric routes. fox. which steamers appeared. like some species of boats and barges remained as the chief means of important protected virgin forest areas of southern shrimps at the the bottom of Lake Saimaa. From history we know that wooden Kolovesi National Park represents one of the most ringed seal. The northern forest is years ago. Typical boreal species include elk.km. ended some 8000 years ago. forestry has provided at least a part and many birds of prey like the buzzard. the land with it’s forest and lakes has like the ruins of a wilderness fortress in Orivirta. It is home to many threatened and relics of the connection between the lakes of country well into the 19th century. river routes. Several species of fish-eating birds Salmon Highway. became a freighter carrying first furs and tar and open lakes and historical canals has been later butter and lumber out. In summer hunters and gatherers is reflected by the sheer Old logging camps and relics of tar pits and saw- countless migrants from Africa fill the air with density of archeological sites close to major water. honey the basis of the traditional trails some of which of livelihood for a great amount of Lakeland people buzzard. which are considered to be ancient trail markers. the natural resources of the Finnish Lake Plateau pike. Swans and cranes years ago when they were first blazed by our rivers. woodpeckers and ancestors. Tales of villains’ secret hideaways water-courses and lakes. concept of everyman’s right to enjoy these pursuits lives amidst some wild hills belong to the more without restrictions.The Great Northern A Landscape Rich in on the Heinävesi route. pine marten always been a part of everyday life. used by hunters and fishermen from lake areas occupying nearly 640 sq. other cavity nesters prefer old forests. who have inhabited this beautiful part vital transportation routes served at more violent landscape is the south boreal forest. though the oldest canal by the Seal Trail is the Raikuu boat canal completed in 1859. Even the smallest ural owl also inhabit the area. mountain hare. Eastern Finland and the present Baltic Sea. Since many of the patches of good arable land are and raccoon-dog.

In summer seals can be frightened off their favourite rock by loud noises. Cab service District.4 m and weights of 50-90 kg. Fishing Information from The waters of the Seal Trail Canoe System are in near-pristine condition. Varkaus. waterways of the Seal Trail are marked on the canoe route map. Saimaa seals were freely hunted The Saimaa ringed seal and its nest are protected by tourist information bureaus and until 1955. Lake-shore building is now highly restricted daily bus services from nearby towns and from Saimaa 5000 years ago. serving as nests. In harmony with the Rental cars are available at nearby towns.fi can be found on the Internet (http://www. seals are found only in certain parts of the Lake have been set aside. The Saimaa seal can reach the age of 35 years. The Saimaa seal is capable of giving birth to only period. Kerimäki. The journey of the Saimaa seals started in this sub-divided lake district. The The most serious threats to the Saimaa seal at present females are known to give birth to their grey-coated are from small-scale fishing using strong nets and pups from late February to early March. The Saimaa ringed seal is listed as restricted by voluntary agreements. Especially careless snow- These lairs. Kerimäki. The present size of the in the vulnerable habitats and some seal sanctuaries Helsinki to several access points. endangered in the IUCN Red List. The retreat of ice during the last glacial period caused the Baltic ringed seal to become separated from the arctic ringed seal about 11 000 years ago.metsa. such a spot be careful not to startle the creature PLANE – Daily scheduled flights from Helsinki to Plan ahead using our canoe because with a little luck you may be able to observe the Savonlinna. Human activities have always been the only CAR – Approximately 6 hour drive northeast from Helsinki. The adult coat varies widely but individuals are usually fairly dark with numerous rings and spots on the back. when they were first protected by law. FIN-57130 SAVONLINNA Before fishing. Varkaus and Joensuu. . It has been estimated that to the protection of the only endemic mammal in PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION – There are there were approximately 5000 seals living in Lake Finland. that time the subspecies was totally eradicated from Habitats Directive of the EU. The Saimaa ringed seal (Phoca hispida saimensis) is subspecies of the ringed seal. Your quest for lake salmon or trout can be Akselinkatu 8 best met in these legendary waters. the famous streams of Heinävesi attract Eastern Finland of Metsähallitus anglers from all over the country. More information Internet: http://www. become familiar with Tel. Fishing with nets has also been Savonlinna. suitable breeding grounds. roach and vendace. council offices or by mail from threat to its existence.Thus if you come across How to Get Here one pup a year. Several route options available. +358 (0)205 64 5900 the regulations. Saimaa ringed seals are solitary animals and usually haul out alone or in pairs along shorelines. Nearest railway population is some 220 to 250 individuals and Saimaa like the National Parks of Kolovesi and Linnansaari stations are located in Heinävesi.The Saimaa Ringed Seal – The most endangered seal in the world The ice-inhabiting ringed seals are the most northerly seal species. which may be purchased at local Saimaa. By the law on nature conservation. are built close to the mobile use is very harmful during the seals’ breeding shore of small islands and islets in late December. and also caused the Saimaa seals to be trapped in this large freshwater lake about 8000 years ago. Heinävesi. Saimaa seals feed on small schooling fish such as perch. which destroys are born in lairs constructed in snowdrifts on the ice. route map and visitors guide.fi/english/ fisheries/licence/) or by con- tacting local tourist infor- mation offices. Adult seals appear to remain in the same vicinity all year-round. Known as some of the best sports fishing areas in Finnish Lakeland. Finland is committed many parts of the lake. Adult Saimaa seals reach lengths up to 1. breeding grounds of the Saimaa ringed seal by the and Savonranta areas.mmm. often using the same shoreline or even the same rock especially for moulting. The Saimaa Ringed Seal protection the lakes like Puruvesi or Paasivesi and The Natural Heritage Services. The subspecies has no natural enemies in Lake it for years to come. and Joensuu airports. outfitters. The main is available in the Enonkoski. The pups expanding lake-shore development.

day hike trails.fi Kerimäki Tourist Information Puruvedentie 59 FIN 58200 KERIMÄKI Tel.inet. lodges.fi www.inet. Numerous museums.heinavesi. FIN 79700 HEINÄVESI Tel. along with water accessible designated campsites. Seal Trail offers you and your family endless opportunities for fun and adventure! While in the area stop and find out about the wide range of visitor attractions the Seal Trail has to offer. enjoying the breath-taking scenery of this heritage landscape.enonkoski. +358 (0)15 679 171 GSM +358 (0)400-372 945 E-mail: helasi@co. The Seal Trail Canoe System offers 541 km of canoe routes. +358 (0)15 575 4211 Fax +358 (0)15 543 000 E-mail: info@kerimaki. Boat tours are also available on the sparkling waters of Lake Puruvesi. as well as orthodox cultural atmosphere. The Kolovesi National Park Visitor Centre in Enonkoski provides an excellent overview of the park’s natural and cultural resources. Heinävesi Tourist Information Text: by Jouko Siivonen/ Pirttimäentie 1451 Kermanrannantie 7 FIN 58300 SAVONRANTA Kolovesi Retkeily Co. Resorts and Activities for All Against this magnificent natural and cultural backdrop are water sports activities for every taste. +358 (0)17 578 1280 E-mail: E-mail: canoe.lakeland@kolovesi-company.fi www. and Raikuu scenic trail . We invite you to explore the vacation opportunities that the Seal Trail has to offer. Even today’s travellers can take a leisurely sail from Kuopio or Savonlinna to Heinävesi.kunta@enonkoski. like the Lake Fishing museum and Hytermä open-air museum in Kerimäki or the milling museums of Savonranta will acquaint you with the local history. from day- trips to journeys lasting over a week. marinas and outfitters cater to a vast array of individual tastes ranging from all-inclusive resorts to rustic cabins.fi Savonrannan Sampo Oy Vuokalantie 214 FIN 58300 SAVONRANTA Tel. Ranges of canoe and kayak trips are available. Seal Trail area resorts.fi EAKR GSL Graafinen suunnittelutoimisto Latvala Outfitter services Lappeenrannan Kirjapaino 2001 Kolovesi Retkeily Co. wildlife viewing and opportunities for heritage appreciation. +358 (0)40-558 9163 Tel. +358 (0)15 345 300 Fax: +358 (0)15 345 3011 E-mail: enonkosken. hotels. known as the largest wooden-built church in the world. Tourism goes further back in Heinävesi than almost anywhere else in this region.fi matkailutoimisto@heinavesi.fi www. quality fishing. +358 (0)17 578 1273 Fax +358 (0)15 673 628 Fax.fi www. Popular attractions also include the church of Kerimäki. Welcome to the Canoe Country of the North ! Enonkoski Tourist Information Enonkoskentie 3T FIN 58175 ENONKOSKI Tel. For details of all activities and holiday accommodation facilities available in the Seal Trail area contact any tourist information centre or bureau in the region.savonranta. For peace and tranquility.fi . Valamo Monastery in northern Heinävesi is one of the most beloved places to visit in Finland. Steamers have cruised on the winding waterways of the Heinävesi Route for over a century. +358 (0)15 679 170 Fax. Facilities.kerimaki.