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Repovesi National Park is a lot different from the other National Parks in Finland, because the land is not solely owned by the government. Lapinsalmi area, all the way to Kuutinkanava and the northmost parts of the park, belongs to the Aarnikotka Forest Nature Reserve and is still owned by UPM. Löppösen Luola cave area, in the middle of the park, is owned by Woikoski Oy. One of the landowners in the area is The Finnish Defense Forces. The eastern border of the park is joined with Pahkajärvi training area’s safe zone, where visiting is absolutely forbidden. Pahkajärvi was founded in the 1950s and the adjoining Vekaranjärvi garrison followed over 10 years later.

Visitors don’t have to mind the land’s ownership (except near the Finnish Defence Forces’ restricted military area, which is marked with military precision by painting trees on the eastern border with white and blue). The trails and services are provided by Metsähallitus, and the rules are similar as in other National Parks. The trails are marked with orange paint, campfires are only allowed at marked camping places, and there are dry toilets and firewood at every campfire place.

Repovesi is an excellent destination for a beginner hiker, or if you don't have time to travel further to the North, or if you want to test your gear or yourself before a longer hike. There are three entrances to the park, most popular being Lapinsalmi. The other two are Saarijärvi in the north and Tervajärvi in the south. It’s good to notice which entrance you want to use (and log into your car GPS) depending where you are coming from and what you want to see in the park. 

From the many trails in Repovesi you can easily plan different circle trail hikes of varying length and difficulty. The most popular and the shortest trail is the 5 km long Ketunlenkki starting from Lapinsalmi. The longest is Kaakkurinkierros, which goes through all the most popular sights in Repovesi National Park. If you want peace and quiet, you might want to head to the north or east parts of the park. Another great option is the new 30 km long Mäntyharju-Repovesi trail.

When planning your hike, make sure to take notice of the elevation changes, which can make the route more demanding. There are plenty of camping spots in the area if you are travelling with a tent, and there are lean-tos at Olhava and Kirnukangas. If you are not interested in sleeping outdoors, you have plenty of other options. Along the trails you can find tipi-like huts that are rentable from Metsähallitus, or you can choose from several different level accommodation options from a private enterprise.

Great views and strong history are what makes Repovesi so alluring. Green forest scenery is dotted with clean fresh waters and rugged hillsides soar towards the sky.

The fauna in Repovesi National Park consists of typical boreal forest area’s animals. Elks, gamefowls, common ravens and Eurasian lynxes are common residents. In the spring, you might see brown bear’s foot prints. The Red-throated Diver (Gavia stellata) is the most famous bird, and to protect it you should avoid walking on the banks of small ponds in spring and early summer. During that time, in the early mornings, you can hear its beautiful song from Olhava pond.

Facts

Repovesi National Park (government owned) area: 15.7km2 (1576.08ha)
Griffins Forest Nature Reserve (UPM) area: 13.7km2 (1396.21ha)
Founded in: 2003
Management: Metsähallitus
Visitors: 150 000 (2016)
Most popular destinations: Hanging bridge, Fox ferry, Kuutinkanava, Mustalamminvuori, Olhava

© Repovalkea Oy / Tervarumpu

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