Basic maps (1:20000): #s 3232 03 and 06, as well as 3241 01 - 04
Small basic map (1:50000): Pieksämäki #s 3232 1 and Suonenjoki 3241 1
Finland’s road map GT (1:200000) #s 5 and 8
Overview and rapid’s classifications according to the International Scale of River Difficulty On the international scale (I-VI) this route is I - I+, making it suitable for canoeing. Your journey may be affected by trees which have fallen into the river and dams built by beavers. It is advised that you are careful and watchful of obstacles in the waters.
Beginning and ending locations (car journeys)
the journey will begin anywhere along the Pieksänjärvi shore. If you leave from the Savonsolmu Hotel the journey to Haapajoki is 9 km. If you leave from Nenonpelto by canoe it will add 4 km to the overall journey. If you leave from Pieksänniemi there is less than 1 km to the beginning of the river. The most convenient way to get to Pieksänniemi by car is through Partaharju. From Pieksämäki center you should drive towards Varkaus for a few km on the road number 70 and then turn left. You turn onto the Partaharju road and drive down that for about 5 km. After you drive past the Partaharju facilities and gardens drive 1,5 km and turn left. Then you drive over railway tracks and the road turns towards the right. The shore is about 1 km drive and once you have reached the shore there are parking places and the lake is easily accessible.
The Haapakoski factory is a convenient place for you to end a day trip. The closest road between Pieksänniemi and Haapakoski are the following: from Partaharju continue your way to the main road and drive towards Kotamäki for 3,5 km until you reach a road junction. Turn left towards Leppäselän and Poikolan farms and the smaller roads towards Korni. There are about 4 km until you reach Korni Bridge. At this point you drive over the Haapajoki and after 7 km you are at Haapakoski.
For a two day journey with the Koskelo gas station as your destination it would be best to drive through the city. You would drive from Pieksämäki on the Suonenjoki road (road # 450) and turn left onto highway #9. From this intersection there is 1 km until the Koskelo gas station.
PIEKSÄNJÄRVI - HAAPAJOKI - HAAPAKOSKI (paddling route)
You paddle around the Pieksänniemi for about 500m towards northeast. At the river mouth you will notice summer cottages on both sides. The Haapajoki River begins by the light sauna building on the left. At the beginning of the river there is a weir which must be passed by foot on the right hand bank of the river. About half a km from the weir you will come to Mykänlampi which has rich plant growth in it, continue paddling for about one km until you reach Kaihlanen.
Kaihlanen is a 1,5 km long shallow pond. During the end of summer the plant growth is usually richer and throughout the year there are many birds by the pond. Haapajoki continues on the east bank behind Kersantinniemi. The rich plant life has enclosed about 100 m of the beginning of the river. After this difficult beginning the river is about 5-10m wide with lush trees on both river banks. After about 1km of paddling you reach Hukankoski and at the same time you go under a bridge for the first time. Before the tracks and rapids you should go to shore on the right side and check the rapids by foot. The paddling route is central, trying to avoid the rocks on the left wide of the stream and the fallen trees on the right side, at the bottom of the rapids. After the rapids there are 2 km until Korni Bridge. The rapids are strong under the bridge and the bridge is not tall enough to walk under. It is always a good idea to try and assess the rapids and plan before you go down the rapids. If you want to walk along the shore you need to do this well in advance on the right side of the river. The next 5 km begins with woodlands scenery and this turns into swampy landscape. Then you paddle under the road again, after this there is only a few more km until you reach the Haapakoski factory. After you paddle past the Laholinnansuo you will reach Haapakoski factory where you can end a day trip. There is a suitable landfall area before the bridge, on the right side and there is a road by it.
If you continue from here you need to carry your canoe past the factory area by the road. This is advised as there are weirs by the factory which should not be entered by canoe.
Haapakoski was born in 1842 due to the iron works in the area. The existing Haapakoski factory was established in 1905.
After the short river section you reach Haapajärvi, here you can find places by the shore or on the islands to rest for the night.
HAAPAJÄRVI - SAVIJOKI - KUTUJOKI - KOSKELO
Haapajärvi is 5km long spanning from the South- west towards North- west. From Haapajärvi you can continue you journey through Savijoki to Savijärvi. Before the lake there are rapids under a low bridge, during high tide the water is too high for canoeist to go under the bridge and during the low tide the water is too low for canoeists due to the weir. After Savijärvi you reach Kutujoki. At this point you go under the new Pieksämäki to Suonenjoki road and soon after you go under the old Pieksämäki to Suonenjoki road. Immediately after you paddle under the road there is a level 1 rapid. The journey continues from here to Kutujärvi and through the narrow rivers to the road # 9 by Koskelo. Here you can end your 2 day journey. If you wish to continue canoeing you will reach Koskelo waters and Rautalampi routes.
On this route there is a tremendous fish population: pike, perch, and cyprinid. Short fishing poles and light spinning rods are suitable for fishing in these areas. If you would like to fish with equipment other than pole fishing rods or ice fishing then you need to apply for a fishing permit.
Pieksämäki’s Canoeing Association ry.
Paddle master, phone number +358 40 503 8324
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