The Kolovesi National Park is a hikers and paddler’s paradise,
where rocky cliffs rise over the narrow lake channels
that form part of the vast labyrinthine Saimaa Lake System.
Ancient rock paintings give insights into how Finland’s early settlers lived in harmony with nature thousands of years ago. With luck you might encounter a curious Saimaa ringed seal. This is one of the best places to spot these unique lake seals. Kolovesi National Park is a preserve for the archipelago nature of Lake Saimaa wilderness and old-growth forests over a hundred years of age. Rock paintings thousands of years old adorn the sheer rock faces. This is quiet, sheltered and a labyrinth of islands.
The Kolovesi National Park is located on the south side of Highway 23. From Savonlinna it is 48 km to the Käkövesi boat launch, 55 km to the Kirkkoranta boat launch and 12 km from the Savonranta Harbour.
Nature and hiking trails can be reached from the Nahkiaissalo parking area and Mäntysalo excursion harbour. Starting points for the hiking trails.
The boat launches are located in the Käkövesi parking area and at Kirkkoranta. At Kirkkoranta there is a self-service company equipment rental point.
Canoeing: Canoeing allows you to truly appreciate the tranquillity of Lake Saimaa, its rugged banks and the surrounding wilderness;
Walking on marked trails: The relatively challenging Nahkiaissalo Nature Trail (3.3 km) takes walkers through mysterious ancient woodland and beautiful lakeland scenery to the site of an old tar-burning pit. There is also a good place for swimming along the trail and a picnic area at the Lohilahti camping site;
Fishing: Kolovesi is brilliant for hook and line fishing. Everyman`s rights allow hook and line fishing and ice fishing without permission;
Visitor Centre: Lake Saimaa Nature and Culture Centre Riihisaari in Savolinna is home for the joint permanent exhibition “In the heart of Saimaa”;
Nature Information Hut: Kolovesi Nature Information Hut is located on the riverbank in an old granary in Enonkoski;
Pick berries and mushrooms: The park is excellent for bilberry (Vaccinium uliginosum) picking!;
Swimming: There is no official beach, but the sandy shoreline at Käkövesi and the various camping sites are good places for swimming;
Boating: Rowing and sailing are great ways to explore the area. Motorboats are only allowed in the northern parts of the park.
There are moorings for sail boats and motorboats along Mäntysalo Nature Trail (at 62°18.42′ N, 28°44.70′ E) and at the Pitkäsaari camping site (at 62°18.50′ N, 28°44.80′ E or 62°18.41′ N, 28°45.04′ E).
The park’s shallow, narrow straits are not recommended for sail boats. Rowing boats can be launched off the ramps at Käkövesi or Kirkkoranta.