TOP 10 Hiking Trails and Routes
TOP 10 Hiking Trails and Routes
It takes little effort to enjoy the great outdoors in Kuopio. Since there are a lot of pedestrian and bicycle routes, it is easy to go cycling no matter which part of the city you live in. Many routes run along the shores, which is a great motivator for residents who appreciate spending time near water.
“There are marked outdoor recreation routes and forest trails all over the city. Everyone can choose whatever type of outdoor exercise they prefer,” says Manager of Civic Services Kati Vähäsarja from the City of Kuopio.
You can choose your route based on how much time you have and your fitness level and abilities. If you want, you can go for a walk or a run on a trail running near your house. If you want a more intensive workout, you can head to the trails of Puijo or Neulamäki-Vuorilampi. Longer hikes are possible in the local national parks, Southern Konnevesi and Tiilikkajärvi.
Favourite lakeside and summer terraces
There is an outdoor recreation route that runs along the shore from the passenger harbour via Väinölänniemi and Haapaniemi all the way to Saana and Bellanranta. The route is ideal for people living in the city centre and for tourists. Instead of walking, you can also explore the route in the summer on a Vilkku bike, which is an electric city bike.
1. Wanha Satama
Wanha Satama is a summer restaurant located in an old customs warehouse in the passenger harbour. The restaurant is a nostalgic venue with live music in the weekends. The large, sunny terrace invites visitors to spend the summer day next to Lake Kallavesi.
2. Cafe Väinö
Cafe Väinö is a summer café in sunny Väinölänniemi, also known by its nickname Vänäri. The café and its palm trees offer visitors a chance to enjoy a tropical beach atmosphere on the best beach in town. You can also rent a paddle board and other equipment from the café.
“Saana” is how you pronounce “sauna” in the Savonian dialect of Kuopio – and Saana is also a modern sauna world opened in 2019. It is not just a sauna, but also a restaurant and a terrace on the lake, plus a versatile recreational centre. Saana is located in the area of Bellanranta near the beginning of Saaristokatu.
Local Cruise Destinations
You can indulge in beach life on the island of Hietasalo, also known as the Riviera of Kuopio. The distance from the passenger harbour to this island in southern Kallavesi is about five kilometres. You can get there by your own boat or a cruise ship in the summer.
“We have organized cruise concerts where passengers get to enjoy good food and drink in addition to live music during their cruise. In the summer of 2021, we took the boat to shore on Hietasalo Island where passengers had a chance to swim,” says CEO of Kuopio Roll Cruises Noora Kivi.
Kivi reminisces about the cruise that spontaneously turned into a fun beach party. When the ship docked in Hietasalo, there were other swimmers and campers on the island already, so they too got to listen to Tero Vaara perform evergreen hits by the band Mamba.
5. Alahovi Winery
Alahovi Winery produces wines, ciders and beers, and is located on the island of Vaajasalo, east from the centre of Kuopio. The Alahovi winery shop was the first of its kind in Finland when it opened in 1995. The winery also allows you to taste the local cuisine of Savo.
The ships of Kuopio Roll Cruises carry passengers to Alahovi during the summer season. “We offer four cruises a day to Alahovi. You can choose to buy only the cruise or an all-inclusive service package from us,” says Kivi.
Must-see hiking trails
Neulamäki-Kolmisoppi and Puijo are valuable examples of the fact that nature reserves can also exist near a city centre. These areas successfully combine the protection of nature and recreational use.
Located in the district of Neulamäki, Pilppa is a great family outing destination throughout the year. The area has two lean-tos, which you can also reserve in advance for private use.
The association Puijon Latu ry takes care the Pilppa area and its buildings and runs the outdoor café at the hut known as Pilpan Maja.
Neulamäki-Kolmisoppi is a 230-hectare nature reserve located in the recreational area of Neulamäki. The gently rolling hills and rocky terrain of the area offer a challenge for friends of outdoor exercise, in addition to some of the most incredible views.
The nature reserve is located just four kilometres from the city centre. In the winter, there is a ski café at the Tervaruukki outdoor hut, run by the orienteering club Kuopion suunnistajat.
Located 2,5 kilometres from the city centre, Puijo Lodge and Puijo Tower on top of the Puijo hill are must-see places for travellers. And no wonder, as the 75-metre tower offers stunning views in all directions.
The area contains some 200 hectares of protected forest and three nature trails, of which the entire Puijo trail runs through the nature reserve. You can choose one of the trails to admire the old primeval forest or traditional Eastern Finnish hillside settlements at the Konttila farm. You can also enjoy various types of exercise in Puijo, such as disc golf.
Local National Parks
9. Southern Konnevesi
Southern Konnevesi National Park is located an hour’s drive away from Kuopio in the municipalities of Konnevesi and Rautalampi. The national park features rugged cliffs and rocks, hills and clear-watered lakes. The trails are challenging due to the large differences in altitude.
The park is suitable for both boaters and those without a boat. The Vuori-Kalaja area has an accessible short trail that is suitable for wheelchair users.
Tiilikkajärvi National Park is located in the municipality of Rautavaara about a 1,5 hours’ drive from Kuopio. The terrain is easy enough to navigate and suitable for hikers of different skill levels.
The national park allows you to explore lake sceneries and esker formations in the wilderness. The area is surrounded by aapa mires with cottongrass. Tiilikan kierto is a circular trail that includes the crossing of Selkäsalmi Strait by rowing boat. Of the many natural beaches in the area, the most magnificent is Venäjänhiekka (“Russian Sands”). The name is associated with a border stone in Tiilikkajärvi marking the Treaty of Teusina (1595). The symbols of Sweden and Russia have been carved in the stone.