Nature Attractions

nature, peace and beauty

The national landscape of thousands of islands and lakes in South Karelia, Lappeenranta and Imatra has attracted tourists and nature lovers throughout history. The area is known for its clean, unique nature, as well as many natural attractions and places to visit, where both families with children and more experienced nature walkers can enjoy themselves.

On this page you can get acquainted with the most beautiful natural sites in South Karelia. In addition to the blue lake landscapes of Lake Saimaa, the most beloved attractions in Borderlands include the barren and steep ridges of the Haukalpi hiking area, the effervescence of Imatrankoski, Hiitolanjoki, popular with fishermen and hikers, and the fairy-tale Statue Park of artist Veijo Rönkkönen.

Hiitolanjoki

Rautjärvi

Hiitolanjoki, located in Rautjärvi, is especially known for its lake salmon stock, which is Finland's last original and completely wild. The Hiitolanjoki river flows into Laatokka and there are several rapids along it, of which Ritakoski, Kangaskoski and Lahnasenkoski are worth visiting.

Picture: Markku "Marsa" Anttonen

Siikalahti bird trail

Parikkala

Siikalahti is one of the most magnificent bird wetlands in Finland. As Siikalahti is a nature reserve, several very rare bird and plant species have been found in the wetland. If you are interested in bird watching, you should definitely head to Siikalahti! In addition to birds, Siikalahti is also well suited as a family nature trip, for example, thanks to duckboards.

Picture: Markku "Marsa" Anttonen

Aate-Pekka's trail

Parikkala

The Aate-Pekka trail starting from Oronmylly is a hiking trail of varying terrain. The route leads its passers-by across both streams and ridges. The Aate-Pekka trail is only a bit over 3 kilometers long, so it is well suited for families with children for a day trip, for example.

Picture: Katariina Roiha

Haukkavuori

Simpele

Haukkavuori is the highest point in South Karelia, with the Haukkavuori nature trail in the terrain. From the highest point in the province, breathtaking scenery of forests and waterways opens up. Haukkavuori also has a campfire site and a shed where you can enjoy snacks or grill sausages, for example.

Picture: Markku "Marsa" Anttonen

The Trail of Pöröpeikko

Parikkala

Although the Pöröpeikko trail is only about three kilometers long, it is relatively demanding due to its hilly terrain. Along the path you will find the strangest traces of the ice age, for example in the form of various boulders. Along the route you will also find a shed to enjoy snacks.

Picture: Etelä-Karjalan virkistysaluesäätiö

Äpätinkangas

Rautjärvi

Did you know that Äpätinkangas received the status of a nature reserve in late 2019? This is due to the area’s unique barren nature, caused by storm damage. Although the area is full of rotting wood, it is a place worth visiting!

Picture: Kekäleniemen kyläyhdistys ry

Kummakivi

Ruokolahti

Kummakivi is one of the most incomprehensible wonders of Finnish nature. Namely, this seven-meter-wide boulder balances on top of the rock and looks like it could fall off at any moment. Kummakivi is located in Hauklapi, Ruokolahti.

Picture: Kaisa-Maria Remes / SGP

Kemppilä's Myllykoski

Ruokolahti

Kemppilä's Myllykoski is a free-flowing waterfall between Ihalanjärvi and Jukajärvi, with a drop of up to 17 meters. Myllykoski is at its most spectacular during floods. In the vicinity of the rapids you will also find a shed and a village house where you can rest and enjoy this magnificent landscape.

Picture: Etelä-Karjalan virkistysaluesäätiö

Kissankierros

Ruokolahti

Kissankierros in Ruokolahti is a 7 km long nature trail that follows terrain trails. There are also sections of elongated trees on the route. Along the route you can stop to breathe or enjoy a snack in the Vaaranmäki shed or get to know the story of the Haisevanlampi cave.

Picture: Mari Matikainen / Etelä-Karjalan virkistysaluesäätiö

Trails of Harju

Parikkala

If you like to go for a short or a little longer outdoor activities, the Harju route is a good choice. On the route, for example, you will find the Likolampi nature trail, which is about 2.5 kilometers long.

Picture: Jari Venhovaara