Kolovesi Seal Trail® - the internationally most famous canoeing route in Finland.
Kolovesi National Park is one of the most respected nature reserves and a very popular
canoeing area. It's mentioned at all major travel guides like LONELY
PLANET and PETIT FUTE. Both LONELY PLANET and NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC have
listed KOLOVESI NATIONAL PARK among the secret destinations of the
KOLOVESI one of the few parts of Lake Saimaa, where motor boating is
prohibited in order to secure the peace of nature. The rare Saimaa
ringed seal lives in this area and in the Kolovesi area the seal
population is at its densest. The forests of wilderness-like islands are
mostly in their natural state. Many rock-paintings tell the story about
the ancient history of the region. Lake Kolovesi is very clean and rich
in fish. So for many reasons it’s impossible to find a similar
wilderness-like canoeing destination in the whole southern Finland.
Kolovesi tour suits best for campers, who don’t long for modern
conveniences and services. It is also a good destination for a one-day
family trip. One-week trip extension to Linnansaari national park is also possible.
- Trip duration: from 3 to 7 Days
- Departures: Daily from12.00 onwards
- Degree of difficulty: 3 days easy, 7 days moderate
- Trip type: Independent/self-guided
- Entry/exit points: Kirkkoranta canoe launch: Kirkkorannantie 200, 58180 Enonkoski
- How to reach: For those without a car Kolovesi
Nationalpark is almost inaccessible directly using public transports.
Nearest railway stations are located in Varkaus (85 km) and in
Savonlinna (57 km). Nearest bus stations are located in Savonranta (21
km), Heinävesi (35 km) and in Enonkoski (25 km). Taxi transfers
available all-around the region. Safari bus daily from Oravi to Kolovesi (book from the office).
- Accommodation options: Very limited options -this
is 100% wilderness area with no services! Accommodation mainly in tents on the desicnated camp sites. Camping and making fire is allowed in the national park only on the marked camp sites. Always carry a camping cooker! Few pictures of the camp sites! Three wilderness cottages
inside the park area (from 4 to 14 persons). Hostels nearby in Enonkoski
(25 km away) and Heinävesi(35 km away).
- Rental huts: huts in Mäntysalo and Huhtiniemi.
- Rental luxury villa just outside the national park boarder: Villa Kolovesi
- Crocery stores and shops:The nearest shops are in
the municipality centres of Enonkoski and Savonranta. Enonkoski is about
25 km from Kirkkoranta boat launching place. It is about 21 km to
Savonranta from Kirkkoranta.
- Route description -an overview: This route starts
from KIRKKORANTA canoe launch where you your canoes and equipment. There are NO PRIVATE SERVICES at
Kirkkoranta. A full tour around the Park and its main islands Mäntysalo
and Vaajasalo is only ca. 37 km. That’s why this route suits well for
example to be canoed during a weekend (Fri-Sun). The route is easy to
canoe independently using designated camp sites. If you are going to
stay longer in the area, it’s recommended to canoe first from the
northern end of the island Mäntysalo towards the narrow stream of
Vaaluvirta, and then around the island Pyylinsaari and to return along
the stream Ruokovirta back to lake Kolovesi (tour lenght 33,8 km). If
you don’t mind one portage, you can also return to Lake Kolovesi via
Käkötaipale (13,1 km). This way the length of the whole tour can be 70 -