People have lived in Repovesi for thousands of years, as evidenced by the ancient rock paintings at Olhava, Löppösen Luola cave near the park, upstream of Voikoski and on Kapasaari island in Vuohijärvi lake. There are also signs of agriculture from over 2000 years ago in the sediment of the area’s lakes.
Before 1970s the forests of Repovesi were used for forestry purposes for centuries. Majority of Repovesi National Park’s places of interest are connected to the era when tar was a major export of Finland and the water ways were harnessed to the needs of timber rafting.
During the golden age of timber rafting, North Kouvola was filled with all sorts of travelers and handymen. Sometimes the locals were forced to put up strangers, who had come to work and couldn’t find a place in the houses set for the loggers. At the end of the era, in the 1950s, hikers started to find their way to Repovesi.
At the start of the 20th century, the lands were owned mainly by the owner of Kirjokivi manor, the great Rudolf Bernhard Elving. He was the founder of Voikkaa paper mill, which later grew into Kymiyhtiö company, now known by the name of UPM-Kymmene. Because of him, the ownership of the forests of Repovesi were transferred to Kymiyhtiö. After World War II, the area was an important source of timber for Kymiyhtiö and it employed many loggers, drivers and handymen for the cutting and transporting of timber.
Repovesi became a National Park in 2003. Before that it was a hiking area managed by Valkeala council. There was an initiative to establish the Repovesi National Park already in the 1970s, but after a large media circus the motion was forgotten for almost 30 years. With the help of UPM-Kymmene not only a National Park but also the Aarnikotka Forest Nature Reserve were born, the latter of which covers majority of the park’s grounds that are open for public.