To content
Punkaharju - Vuoden retkikohde 2017

Punkaharju Snowshoe Park


Snowshoe walks give you an opportunity to experience winter nature in a way that is almost impossible to find otherwise. We have created eight magnificent and clearly marked snowshoe trails around the ridges of the Punkaharju Nature Reserve and other exciting terrain.
 
The trails include alternatives for all ages and fitness levels, and no previous experience in snowshoe walking is required on the easier trails, although Punkaharju Snowshoe Park does provide experienced hikers and nature walkers with plenty of challenges. You can go for a snowshoe walk on your own, with friends or you can ask to go one of our guided walks.
 
Download OpenMetsä application for Snowshoe park trails on your mobile.

Punkaharju Snowshoe Park


Mustaniemi scenic trail

Lenght : 1,7 km, Snowshoe walk approx. 45 min

Degree of diffi culty: easy; suitable for beginners

The Mustaniemi trail starts from the spacious parking area, which is kept clear of snow throughout winter and is situated alongside the Harjutie road. The Kuikonniemi war history trail starts from the same location. These two fairly short trails complement each other nicely, and may be combined into one walk. The Mustaniemi trail is mainly easy terrain. There is an exciting descent down the side of a ridge halfway through the trail, but even this stretch is easily managed at a slow pace. The entire trail runs along the lakeside and gives onto a beautiful view of Lake Pihlajavesi, which is part of the Saimaa lake system.

The length of the trail is 1.5 km, and it is suitable for beginner snowshoe walkers.

The trail is marked by Punkaharju Snowshoe Park ribbons tied around tree trunks.

Route brochure (.pdf)

Printable map (.pdf)


Kuikonniemi war history trail

Length: 1.2 km Snowshoe walk approx. 40 min

Degree of diffi culty: easy; suitable for beginners

The Kuikonniemi war history trail starts from the spacious parking area, which is kept clear of snow throughout winter and is situated alongside the Harjutie road. The Mustaniemi scenic trail starts from the same location and the two short trails can be easily combined.

Kuikonniemi was part of the 1,200-kilometre Salpa Line bunker line built in 1940–1 and 1944. The bunker line stretches from the Gulf of Finland all the way to Lapland.

Part of the snowshoe trail runs through the valley-like anti –tank trenches towards the restored dugout and trenches at the highest point of the cape. On guided walks, you can go inside the dugout and eat your packed lunch by the warm stove. You can also see a section of a protected trench in its original condition.

The length of the trail is 1.2 km, and the terrain is slightly rolling but well suited to beginner snowshoe walkers. There are information boards at the start of the trail.

The trail is marked by Punkaharju Snowshoe Park ribbons tied around tree trunks.

Route brochure (.pdf)

Printable map (.pdf)


Kokonharju old-growth forest trail

Length: approx. 2.5 km Snowshoe walk approx. 1 h 30 min

Degree of difficulty: mainly easy; some challenging terrain

The Kokonharju old-growth forest trail starts at the Arboretum parking area by Highway 14. Also our longest snowshoe trail and a popular crosscountry skiing route that go through the Arboretum and research forest start at this location.

At the start of the trail, you can admire the wide range of tree species growing around the Arboretum. Kokonharju is a magnificent area in its natural state, where you can find the tallest pines in Finland. The first part of the trail runs through the top of the wintery ridge in the middle of enchanting beauty. Around halfway along the trail, you descend into the valley of the old-growth forest, where you can truly experience the stunning effect of the tall trees and the calm of the surrounding nature.

The trail is approx. 2.5 km long, and is suitable for beginner snowshoe walkers with normal levels of fitness, as long as you go at a slow pace.

The trail is marked by Punkaharju Snowshoe Park ribbons tied around tree trunks.

Route brochure (.pdf)

Printable map (.pdf)


Research forest and visit Karjalankallio laavu hut

Length: 6 km  Snowshoe walk approx. 4 h

Degree of difficulty: suitable for fit and experienced snowshoe walkers

The trail starts at the Arboretum parking area by Highway 14. The Punkaharju Arboretum and research forest have a long history: the first foreign seedlings were planted here in 1887, and more extensive research work increased during the 1920s. One part of the extensive research forest area exhibits foreign species while other sections feature typical Finnish forest.

At the very start of the trail, walkers can see dozens of different tree species in the arboretum area of the park. The names of the trees can be found on small plaques, and more information is available in the Arboretum brochure that is available at the Tourism Office in the Lusto forest museum, for example. After around half a kilometre, the trail heads towards the Kokonharju old-growth forest, where you can see Finnish pine forest typical of the Punkaharju region.

The laavu hut is a perfect place for a longer stop, eating your packed lunch and admiring the lake view. On the way back, you first walk along an easy forest road before entering the research forest woodland again. Little by little, the trail takes you to Seppälänmäki hill, and finally it descends back to the starting point.

The trail is marked by Punkaharju Snowshoe Park ribbons tied around tree trunks.

Route brochure (.pdf)

Printable map (.pdf)


Ridge trail

Length: 4.5 km/3 km Snowshoe walk approx. 2 h 30 min/1 h 45 min

Degree of difficulty: relatively easy; basic level of fitness required

The ridges surrounded by water in the Punkaharju Nature Reserve and tourism area provide ideal terrain for snowshoe walking, featuring one scenic view after another, history that comes alive in the Kruunupuisto area and the Valtionhotelli hotel area with Villa Keisarinna steeped in the history of the Russian Empire.

You can start your walk either on Tuunaansaari island, which is located within the Punkaharjun Lomakeskus holiday resort and Holiday Resort Harjun Portti area, or at the southern end of the trail around the Kruunupuisto hotel area. Both alternatives provide access to the trail right from your doorstep. The following trail description uses the Tuunansaari–Kruunupuisto route, but is useful even if you choose to follow the route in the other direction.

The trail includes two ridges: Lammasharju ridge towards the Tuunaansaari end and Takaharju ridge towards the Kruunupuisto end of the trail.

is marked by Punkaharju Snowshoe Park ribbons tied around tree trunks.

Route brochure (.pdf)

Printable map (.pdf)


Rural hare trail for the whole family

Length: 2.5 km/0.8 km Snowshoe walk 1 h 30 min/45 min

Degree of difficulty: easy, no previous experience required

The snowshoe trails on Vaahersalo island have been designed for families, covering the easy terrain around the two holiday resorts. You can start the longer trail by the yard or cottages at Hotel Rantakatti, or an alternative starting  point is the nearby Hepokatti B&B, which welcomes families in particular. A 0.8-kilometre Little Leveret trail for children starts from the yard at Hepokatti . This trail is suitable for the youngest snowshoe walkers.

The trail zigzags around the nearby forest, where you can actually walk in the tracks of the forest’s hares, while a section of the trail runs by the side of open fields where you can see the pure white snow glistening beautifully. You will also be able to see some horses in their stables.

You can also stop at a laavu hut where you can eat your packed lunch by a campfire. The laavu hut is only a short  distance away from Hotel Rantakatti. Those who started their walk from the Hepokatti B&B can continue the walk from here.

The 0.8-kilometre mini trail that starts out from the Hepokatti B&B is recommended for smaller children. This is an ideal trail to practise snowshoe walking with granny and grandad! The trail is marked by Punkaharju Snowshoe Park ribbons tied around tree trunks and other clearly visible places.

Route brochure (.pdf)

Printable map (.pdf)


Rural elk trail

Length: approx. 3 km Snowshoe walk approx. 1 h 45 min

Degree of diffi culty: easy; no previous snowshoe walking experience required

The Naaranlati Estate offers a variety of accommodation options surrounded by natural beauty, only a 15-minute drive east from the centre of Punkaharju. An easy trail starts from the estate and mostly runs along a cartway used during summer, in the midst of glistening untouched snow. The busy pecking of the great spotted woodpecker or sudden fl ight of a fl ock of black grouse is the only noise disrupting the silence. Before reaching the halfway point, the trail diverts into a typical Finnish mixed forest that was a field only a few decades ago, giving you a good opportunity to see the results of a good planting programme and forest management. If you walk quietly in the deep snow, you might even spot a group of elk feeding nearby – the branches of broadleaved trees and the buds of pines and birch trees are a wintery treat for them.

The length of the trail is 3 km, and it is suitable for beginner snowshoe walkers. Most of the trail follows a cartway, but occasionally the walk takes you on the small paths in the forest.

The trail is marked by Punkaharju Snowshoe Park ribbons.

Route brochure (.pdf)

Printable map (.pdf)


Squirrel trail

Length: approx. 2.7 km Snowshoe walk approx. 1 h 45 min

Degree of diffi culty: relatively easy; no previous snowshoe walking experience required

Tynkkylän Lomaniemi specialises in high-quality holiday home accommodation and catering, situated by Saimaa’s Lake Pihlajavesi, 24 km south of central Punkaharju. These waters are said to be the best for spotting Saimaa ringed seals, and many visitors have done so in the past.

The snowshoe trail starting from the yard runs along the nature trail used in the summer. The trail covers relatively easy forest terrain. From time to time, the trail diverges into a tall spruce copse with a real enchanted forest feel. 

A cape halfway the trail off ers beautiful island scenery over Lake Saimaa. For example, you can see Kongosaari island, which is home to some robust structures that are part of the 1,200-kilometre Salpa Line bunker line.

The trail is marked by Punkaharju Snowshoe Park ribbons tied around tree trunks.

Route brochure (.pdf)

Printable map (.pdf)