On the route that goes around the Rokua ridge area, you can hike in Rokua National Park, enjoy the countryside, and learn the stories of local poets and folk healers.
The Rokua area with its national park, chosen as the Finnish Outdoor Destination of the Year 2018, is a muted natural work of art shaped by the ice age. The rolling hills and forests are covered with a thick, silver lichen rug. Here and there are crystal clear kettle ponds. In the midst of silence, the sounds of nature are clearly heard. The story of the Rokua ridge begins at the end of the ice age more than 10,000 years ago, when the melting waters of the glaciers and strong winds piled up tens of meters of sand in the Rokua area. Today, Rokua is home to Finland's largest sand dune field, where the highest single dune rises 25 meters above the surrounding terrain. At Rokua there has also been tar burning in its time, and you may notice tar-burning pits and, on the other hand, traces of forest fires that originated from the burning of tar.
The rolling terrain continues to the southeast of the national park as "Little-Rokua" as you head to the village of Neittävä. From Neittävä, you can stop by the road Keisarintie, built in the 17th century. This road heads to the southern part of Rokua National Park and to the Lake Pitkäjärvi parking area. From the p-area you can walk to the Pitkäjärvi hut to enjoy snacks and nature. Continuing to the pristine village of Pelso and Kylmälänkylä, the landscape changes from rolling ridges to idyllic wide open fields and marshes, and there is no longer any clues about the dry sandy terrain.
The Kalevala Heritage Village, in Ahmas is located at the end of the route. The traditional village has a fine collection of buildings as well as stories about the poets and folk healers who lived in Ahmas, whose poems and spells have ended up all the way to the national tale Kalevala.
In the Turn-by-turn directions you will find places and services worth exploring along the Ridges of Rokua route. Check out the area's activities and experiences in our Discovery shop!
In Rokua, you can stay comfortably in the heart of nature in the cottages of Rokuanhovi and Rokua Central Booking Office, in the cottages of Atteson or in a floating tent. If you have a bigger froup the Rokuan Tähti villa of Rokua Holiday Villas would be perfect.
You can rent SUP-boards and canoes from Atteson, and hike bikes and kayaks from Rokua Holiday Villas.
If you take the route by bike, bring a mobile phone, a powerbank and something to drink to the trip. Take something to eat with you and choose equipment according to the season, the weather and the duration of the trip. Most of the services along the route are in Rokua. In addition, Kylmälänkylä has a village shop and a small café.
When hiking in the national park, also bring a more detailed hiking map. Choose clothing and footwear suitable for the terrain. Follow the marked routes. You can pick berries and mushrooms at Rokua. In the ponds outside the national park, you can go fishing and ice fishing within the framework fishing laws. A few lakes need a water body-specific fishing permit, permits can be requested from regional tourism companies and Metsähallitus' customer service.
Do not collect plants, cut branches, damage nature or structures. Keep the environment clean and take the rubbish with you to recycling points. Camping and making a fire are allowed in the marked places. During a forest fire warning, making an open fire is also prohibited at campfire sites. The general emergency number is 112.
Tips and hints
You can start the Ridges of Rokua route from anywhere. In this description, the route is clockwise, but you can also travel the route clockwise. You can travel the route both by car and by bike. The main route is asphalt, but there may be dirt roads when stopping by at places to visit.
If you ride a bike, you can arrive at Utajärvi or Vaala municipal centers by bus or train, 25 and 20 kilometers from Rokua. Note: traveling with a bike is only allowed on the InterCity train. If you wish, you can cycle to Rokua or use the local taxi service.
Book recommendation by the author
Choose equipment according to the mode of transport; the route can be traveled by car and bicycle.
- 4 Waypoints
- 4 Waypoints