Kolovesi National Park
Kolovesi National Park is known for its sturdy cliffs, labyrinthine archipelago and rock paintings. If you’re lucky, you may spot the Saimaa ringed seal. Kolovesi is a paddler’s paradise, because motorboating is forbidden in most parts of the national park.
Kolovesi National Park is located in Enonkoski, approx. 60 kilometres and an hour’s drive from Savonlinna. It is one of the most valuable nature reserves in Finland and a well-liked paddling place. The park is a paddler’s paradise, because motorboating is forbidden in most parts of the park to preserve the peace of nature. It is also possible to hike in the park. Hiking and camping in the park is only possible in summer.
Kolovesi is best suited for campers who don’t need many conveniences or services. There are nine (9) small camping areas in the park with a few spots for tents. It is only allowed to camp in Kolovesi in marked areas.
Kolovesi is mostly a water national park, and consists of Lake Saimaa water areas, big Vaaja- and Mäntysalo islands and smaller islands. However, a part of the park is located on the mainland, where it is possible to hike the demanding 3.3 km Nahkiaissalo Nature Trail and the 1.6 km one-way Hirviniemi trail. When hiking, you see old forest and diverse nature.
Also on one of the two big islands of the national park, Mäntysalo, there is the 3.8 km Mäntysalo trail on very demanding and varying terrain. From the trail you can admire Kolovesi’s forests of different ages, varying from old natural mixed forests to cultivated forests.
Kolovesi is a paddler’s paradise, when one can see the ancient rock paintings and experience the total silence of the wilderness. The rocky cliffs soaring from Lake Saimaa dominate the landscape, and the park’s shores are rocky. In the most parts of the park, motorboating is forbidden.
You can visit Kolovesi on your own or with a guide. The park is an ideal destination for day trips, for multiple-day excursions, or you can paddle there from Oravi.
The magnificent Ukonvuori Hill is the best-known attraction in Kolovesi National Park. It is an unforgettable sight, soaring from the depths of Lake Saimaa. You can get to the hill by taking a short quarry route and looking for a small red human figure on the rock face, an approx. 5,000-year-old rock painting. The rock painting reveals that the place was particularly important to the people of the stone age.
There are also rock paintings in the northern part of the park on Vieruvuori Hill and further south on Havukkavuori Hill. The rock paintings were once placed on the rocks based on the height of the surface of Lake Saimaa: The paintings were possibly made from the ice or from a boat. Based on this information, the rock paintings of Kolovesi would be dated to Comb Ceramic time or to Early Metal Age.