Finland’s road map GT # 5 1:200 000
Small basic map 1:50 000
Pieksämäki # 3232 1, Venetmäki 3214 2, Haukivuori 3231 1 and Kangasniemi 3213 2

Naarajoki’s paddling route’s map 1:50 000
Landfalls and camping sites have been noted onto the map as well as historical sites and service stations. It is strongly advised that you purchase this map for your journey. You will find the map in Pieksämäki’s tourist information offices as well as other places.
Kyyveden Nature Tourism map 1:50 000
Puulan Nature Tourism map 1:50 000


Overview and rapid’s classifications according to the International Scale of River Difficulty 
There are no major rapids and the currents are weak. On the international scale of river difficulty (I-VI) the route is classified as I-II. There is no need for spray shirts on Indian kayaks. 


Beginning and ending locations
On this route it is easy to choose the length of your journey. Lomatrio gas station and camping site is a good place to start your journey from Pieksämäki. Lomatrio is situated by the Pieksämäki to Kangasniemi road. There are several places along the Naarajoki route to begin and end your journey: Tensala’s bridge, Niskanivu, Välijoki Village Bridge, Porsaskoski, Nykälä, Haukivuori, Läsänkoski and the final destination being Kangasniemi. 

The entire journey from Pieksämäki to Kangasniemi is 110km, an experienced canoeist with minimal heavy equiptment would be able to canoe the journey is 3 days (37km/per day). An average experienced expedition canoeist would canoe the journey in 5 days (22 km/per day) and a canoeist who is less experienced would complete the journey in a week (16 km/per day).




The river flows through mainly unpopulated areas. It begins in Naarajärvi and ends at Niskajärvi. The length of the river is 20 km and the drop height is 4 m.

From Lomatrio you paddle along the west bank of Naarajärvi for about 1km, and then you will come to the beginning of the Naarajoki. From the mouth of the river you paddle for 300m, paddle under the Kantalantie road to Alanteenlampi. Through the center of the pond there is the easiest access through the wild plant life. There are also many birds on the pond during the summers. The river continues towards the south wide and straight and then begins to narrow as you come to Isosuo. The trees along the Isosuo swamp are primarily small pines. There are birch trees, alder trees, and several different kinds of willow plants along the river banks. There are also cloudberries and cranberries during specific times of the year. The swamp’s southeast corner is drained. There is a high voltage cable above the river and swamp. After Kortemäki the landscape changes where the soil is harder and the tree growth is denser. The current is stronger in the moorland areas and is straighter then in the swamp areas. After about 2 to 3 hours of paddling you come to the Tensala Bridge where you paddle under it. During the spring flood the water is too high and the bridge cannot be paddled under and so you must carry your equipment around the bridge. After 1km there is another bridge. Continuing down the river you will reach the Lounaansuo swamp area. Here you will see the remains of timber rafting which was created after the war. These canals were created by hand, without the help of machinery and you will also notice that the canals are straight without curves.  

The shores are covered in dense vegetation.  The Lounaanlampi will be to your west, the river fall connects to the Naarajoki. Those interested in birds will have a lot to admire on this pond. After about 400 m after the previous waterways you come to Sahinjoki which is the intersection of Maurunjoki and Naarajoki. The Iso-Naakkimaa waters connect to the Sahinjoki from the east. After the rivers connect the current becomes stronger and the river rears towards the west. On the shores you will notice the work of the beaver settlements.  Soon you will reach a shallow rocky area which will last for about 400 m, this area is called Kälystenkoski. On this river the paddling route is clear. 

After 1 km you will reach Niskanivu resting area. You will find a Laavu, which is a lean-to made from wood. Near the lean-to there is a campfire area, firewood, toilet facility which is accessible to people with disabilities and there is a waste collection point. 

Soon after Niskanivu you will reach the beautiful Suuraukeansuo swamp. Keep to the south-side of the swamp; this is where the current from the river goes. Ahead there is a village and the landscape begins to change. You can notice how the trees begin to form a roof over the river. Slightly before Niskajärvi lake you come to Välijoki village Bridge, you can camp here and complete a one day excursion here. The land fall is after the bridge, on the right. If you are on a multiple day excursion it is advised that you camp here or continue to either Vehva or Niskajärvi.




There is about 1 km from Välijoki Village Bridge to Niskajarvi Lake. Ahead you will notice that there is an island. Continue the route by paddling around the island from the north side towards the west to Etelä-Aapeli service station. Here you will find accommodation (for a fee), sauna and other necessary services

If you to continue the journey rather than stay at this location overnight than you can continue towards the west. You will reach Välijoki River; this river is shallow and has a I-rating on the International Scale of River Difficulty. Continue the journey down the river and you will get to another Laavu (lean-to) with a campfire area, firewood, toilet facilities and waste disposal area. 

About 500 m From this lean-to on the northwest bank there is a river called Rantojoki, this river is a few km long down to Pyhäluoma. The journey continues from Pyhäluoma to Porsaskoski where there is a mill dam. You should walk around the mill dam building on the left bank. Soon after the mill you will come to Pitkäsjärvi Lake, you will see a small peninsula, this is passed and then you head towards the south.
Next you will come to Pitkäsjoki River, Palvalampi pond and Nykälänjoki River. There are four small rapids on Nykälänjoki River. By the Nykälänjoki River there is a service station called Koskentila, in this area there are great fishing opportunities. You need to buy a separate permit from the Koskentila if you wish to go fishing here. 

Continueing down Nykälänjoki River you will reach Orjuulampi pond and Nykälä village. This is usually where a one way excursion will end. If you intend on continuing the journey, then you will come to a bridge and soon after that you will reach Kyyvesi area. 

The next possible camping site is on the islands in Kyyvesi, the nearest one is Pitkäniemi camping area and it is about 4km, on the east side. Here you will find space for camping, camp fire area, toilets and accommodation including sauna for a fee.



Kyyvesi is narrow at its northern parts and is comprised of three areas; Pilkonselkä, Jänisselkä and Kuvasselkä. There are a dozen camping areas on Kyyvesi. If you are heading to Haukivuori then the route to the north of Emäsalo is the best, there is good accommodation for the nights and the route is more scenic. 

It is easiest to canoe towards Kangasniemi from Kerolahti by going towards Kuvasselkä and from there to the north side of Honkasalo Island. From here continue to Tähtiniemi towards Mäkiselkä, here you will find a camping site called Luusniemi camping site. From here you can continue down the narrow rivers to Rauhajärvi Lake.

Once you get to Rauhajärvi Lake continue for about 1km towards southwest and around the Pohjaniemi, there is also a camping area here. Continue towards the northwest. Keep on the west bank until you reach the beginning of Läsänkoski rapids. This area is surrounded by lush trees. Some of the rapids you should not paddle because they are not safe. The excursion’s biggest rapid is here and it is advised that you don’t go down it if you do not have the necessary skills. If you choose to go down it then it is advised you go and take a look before going down it. After the rapid in about 1km you will come to Puula.

Next you paddle along the east side of Vuojaselkä towards the north-east, coming to Likoniemi’s camping site. From here there will be a suitable distance for a day trip through Vuojaselkä, Pauninsaari’s Camp site, Kotkainen, Pilkanselkä, Suurolansaari’s camp site and Ruovedenselkä to Kangasniemi’s marina or Puula’s Canoeing Centre.



The lakes and rivers in the beginning of the journey are ideal for fishing and have a diverse fish population: pike, perch and roach fish. Naarajärvi has proven to be a good place for catching pike and perch. Please make sure that you are aware of the permits and payments needed to fish in these areas.

In Porsaskoski and Nykälänkoski some fish have been released but a separate permit needs to be received to be allowed to legally fish here.

You'll need a special permit for fishing in Läsänkoski, Kyyvesi and Puula. In Kyyvesi and Puula there are pike, perch and roach fish as well as sanders, whitefish and lake trout. 

Throughout the route there are over 20 service sites. You can get more information at the info-office and on the route-map.

Pieksämäki’s Canoeing Association ry.
Paddle Master, phone number +358 40 503 8324

Travel information
Pieksämäki, +358 44 588 2219,

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