Nature sites and hiking trails
Seinävuori gorge & hiking trails
The wonder of Tuusniemi
The most popular hiking trail in Tuusniemi
Over centuries, nature has moulded the Seinävuori gorge into an astonishing work of art. The best way to experience it is - of course - by seeing it for yourself. Over the course of history, it has provided a safe haven for people engaging in ancient sacrificial rituals, spending time hunting, hiding from enemies and making moonshine. Seinävuori was also where kettu-Mooses (“Moses the Fox”), a local shaman and hunter, used to do his magic.
A popular 2.5-km hiking trail marked with signposts passes around the valley. You can also continue from the trail to trek to Kaavinkoski (20 km). Guided tours, courses on wild game food and mindfulness activities in nature are also organised in Seinävuori.
The area has two lean-tos with campfire sites, a spacious barbeque hut, a panoramic deck, a water dock, information boards, a woodshed and a toilet. The Seinävuori terrain also provides a great opportunity for berry and mushroom picking.
Vaiko hiking and biking trails
Trek or cycle along River Vaikkojoki.
The Vaikko nature tourism area includes thousands of hectares of varying terrain along the Vaikkojoki river and the surrounding area. The region includes wilderness areas with varying types of vegetation, including nemoral forests and heaths and everything in between. It is also a great place for mushroom and berry picking.
Silmäsuo mire hiking trails
A unique pine mire formed in a kettle wetland.
The hiking trail in the Silmäsuo nature reserve with foot-bridges is an easily accessed trail suitable for people of all ages. The trail ends at the Ahvenlampi pond, where there is a resting site with a lean-to. Pay close attention and you may spot a rare moor frog and vegetation typical to a pine mire, such as a leatherleaf, marsh fivefinger, wild rosemary, hare’s tail cottongrass, bog rosemary or bog cranberry.
A nature trail to the Lintula Convent and Valamo Monastery
The monastery hike starts at the Särkinen hut in Tuusniemi and continues to the Lintula Convent (around 7 km) and the Valamo Monastery (around 27 km). You can also start the hike from the Pankintie road, in which case the hike to the Lintula Convent is around 4 km long. During summers, a café operates in Lintula Convent from 1 June to 31 August. Cabin accommodation is also available. The Valamo Monastery has accommodation and tourism activities around the year.
The trail passes through a varying forest terrain, and bilberries, lingonberries, porcinis, chanterelles and yellowfeet grow in abundance along the trail.
Lake Juojärvi kayaking routes f
Routes on Lake Juojärvi
Kayaking and rowing routes of various lengths to the stunning archipelago of Lake Juojärvi are available at the Puistosatama harbour. Interesting sites along the trail include the Kannassaari and Pyttysaari camping harbours, the Soukan Koukkelo cave located on the Soukka island, a former hiding place of fugitives and deserters, and the Luutsalo island, known for its cave paintings dating back to the stone age. You can rent a kayak or a rowing boat from the tourism info at the Puistosatama harbour, Juojärven Helmi café and the Viitakko resort.
A self-sufficient model farm from the early 1900s
Paimensaari is an excellent site for kayakers or boaters in the Suvasvesi archipelago near the Levälahti village. The Paimensaari farm was the home of seven resourceful and self-sufficient siblings from the 1920s all the way until 1978. The siblings lived by nature’s offerings, grew animals, and even built a small windmill for charging batteries.
After the siblings, the buildings and traditional environment on the Paimensaari farm have been renovated. Trails, guide signs and a beaching site have been constructed on the island. The charming Paimenpolku path leads visitors to the untouched nature of the island and its nostalgic history. While the farm is open for visitors around the year, you can only access the buildings on a guided tour.
A popular kayaking route and nature site
River Vaikkojoki is located in the area of Kaavi and Juuka municipalities. This is a 50-km long, narrow river with dark waters passing through the wilderness with 27 rapids. Along the river, there are well-equipped and maintained campsites and places for taking a break marked with signs. The route is suitable for nearly all kayakers, although first-time kayakers should not go on the route without a guide. You must wear a helmet in addition to your other safety equipment. Vaikkojoki is also a popular site for fly fishing and angling enthusiasts.
A heritage farm with slash-and-burn farming dating back to the 1800s
This small nature conservation area provides visitors with an opportunity to briefly immerse themselves in the lifestyle of the past. In Northern Savo, slash-and-burn farming has been used ever since the 1400s. Did you know that “savo” actually originally referred to the smoke from slash-and-burn farming? In addition to the old farm area, you can also explore the fields and the surrounding nature on two short nature trails.
A smoke sauna along a channel
Located on the border between Kaavi and Tuusniemi, Kaavinkoski is a channel built in 1915 joining lakes Rikkavesi and Kaavinjärvi. The channel area still has an original bridge guard’s cabin with an adjacent garden area, the Saunapirtti smoke sauna maintained by the local village society and a hut that can be booked for private events.
From Kaavinkoski, you can reach the Seinävuori hiking trails. The Swedish–Russian border of the Treaty of Teusina once passed through Kaavinkoski.
Border bridges separating the Savo and Karelia regions
The Ohtaansalmi bridges that separate the neighbouring Savo and Karelia regions are located along highway 9, on the border of the municipality of Tuusniemi and the town of Outokumpu.
The currently used bridge (1996) was built next to the old bridge (1952), and the two bridges form a whole with scenic and historical value. The new Ohtaansalmi bridge is the longest T-beam girder bridge in Finland with a total length of 96 metres.
Paakkila surface mine
A Mecca for divers in Eastern Finland
This quarry with clear water is well-suited for both recreational and cave diving as well as freediving. It is also a beautiful natural sight and a swimming spot. The quarry was once used for mining asbestos, which is a hazardous substance when inhaled, but harmless in the water.
The quarry is around 30 metres deep with visibility up to 20 metres. It has one tunnel whose opening is at the depth of 28 metres. The tunnel leads to another, smaller surface mine. At the bottom of the mine, divers can discover a railway cart, car, motorcycle etc. On the side of the larger surface mine, you will find a map, dock, lean-to, campfire site and a pail closet.
Nb! The surface mine is privately owned. If you intend to visit the site or dive in the waters, you must post information about this in the Facebook Paakkila group or contact the Kuopion Urheilusukeltajat ry divers’ association.
Treaty of Teusina border stone
Swedish–Russian border dating back to the 16th century
Once upon a time, Northern Savo was a border region between Sweden–Finland. Constant wars were waged on who got to govern the area. The Treaty of Teusina was concluded in 1595, resulting in moving the border of Sweden–Finland further into the east.
The new border between Sweden–Finland and Russia was marked on the most significant border points on the terrain as had been agreed in the Treaty of Teusina on 18 May 1595. The border stones are a valuable remnant of past times as they provide information about our changed borders. One of such border area is located by the Ohtaansalmi bridge, around 12 km from Tuusniemi to the direction of Outokumpu.
Pajumäki primeval forest trail
A nature trail for your youngest family members
The trail created to the Annikki Brander-Pitkänen and Yrjö A. Pitkänen Foundation primeval forest is worth a visit for anyone interested in nature. It is also a great choice for school excursions. The trail is around 300 metres long and passes through virgin forest. In addition to endemic species, lindens, Swiss pines and Norway maples grow in the forest.
There are information boards detailing the special features of primeval forests along the trail.
A popular scenic viewpoint in Tuusniemi
Tuusmäen Helmi is a former downhill skiing centre in Tuusniemi. There is a lean-to, a campfire site, toilet and wood shed on the spot. If you look closely and the weather is good, you may spot the Puijo Tower far in the horizon.
Please note, that the last part of the road (about 1 km) is not regularly maintained an may not be accessible by car.