Hiitolanjoki is a 53-km-long river, of which 9 km flows in Finland’s territory, in Rautjärvi, and 44 km in Russia’s territory in Hiitola. The river area is a versatile fishing, birdwatching and hiking destination and a sight of cultural and industrial history. You may see swarming dragonflies and otters splashing in the water, and you can observe a large number of bird species. The power plants at the Ritakoski, Lahnasenkoski and Kangaskoski Rapids were used in energy production for 100 years. Hiitolanjoki is a breeding river of the threatened Ladoga salmon. The access blocks for salmon at the power plant dams will soon be removed, first at Lahnasenkoski.
The Hiitolanjoki recreational areas are located in two separate parts. The Hiitolanjoki Scenic Trail (Hiitolanjoen maisemapolku) runs between the Ritakoski and Lahnasenkoski Rapids. The distance to the Kangaskoski Rapids, closest to the Finnish–Russian border, is 3–4 km. The canoeing distance is 4 km.
It is safest to move in a group if you do not know the terrain.
Before setting off, read about the destination and check the weather forecast.
Wear sturdy footwear and clothes that suit the weather. It is recommended that you take first aid equipment, rainwear, a spare set of clothes, as well as enough food and drinks with you. In wet weather and in winter, duckboards, rocks and quays may be slippery. During the snowy season, the trails and routes are not maintained.
In an emergency, dial 112. Inform the operator of your location and what has happened and listen to their instructions.
Duration approx: 1 h
Trail markings: There is an information board at the start of the trail. The trail is marked with signposts.
Suitability: An excellent trail for admiring nature, birdlife and scenery.
Difficulty level: The trail features a narrow path, duckboards and some steep steps equipped with railings.
Tips, hints and links
The starting point of the route at Ritakoski power plant (Ritakoskentie 21, 56800 Rautjärvi) can be reached by car and / or bicycle.
Alternatively, the hiker can also arrive at Lahnasenkoski (Lahnasentie, 56800 Simpele), which can also be reached by car and / or bicycle. NOTE! Lahnasentie road is uneven.
Cars can be parked in the parking area next to the Ritakoski power plant.
There is also parking space at the Lahnasenkoski power plant.
Both parking areas are free of charge.