Peranka - Hossa canoeing route in Hossa National Park

Canoeing · Arctic Lakeland Kainuu
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37.4 km
83 m
122 m
Round trip Scenic
Peranka-Hossa canoeing route takes you past meadows, lush mixed forests and dry pine heaths. The route consists of expansive lake sections and exciting rivers. It is suitable for experienced canoeists.
Perankajoki River is a versatile canoeing route with narrow river sections and expansive lakes. The landscapes on the way vary from lush meadows to dry pine heaths. A number of rapids and fast-flowing sections at the beginning of the route in Perankajoki River offer a challenge to canoeists. Later on the flow is less strong and you can take a breather, enjoying breath-taking scenery and the clear waters of calm lake sections. Beaches, open wilderness huts and lean-to shelters on the way invite you to take a break.

After still lake sections towards the end of the route, you come to Lounatkoski rapids. Shooting the rapids at the trail bridge is not recommended (rapids of difficulty class II+ or even III). Before the hazardous section, a trail for pulling the canoes begins after a warning sign on the left bank (approx. 50 m).

While the route can be used throughout the summer, in dry periods you may touch the bottom frequently and come across sharp rocks, especially at the beginning of the route.

Highest point
258 m
Lowest point
207 m
Best time of year

Safety information

In case of an emergency during your excursion, for example if you get lost, have an injury or spot a forest fire, call the emergency number 112 immediately.

Plan your route in advance and familiarise yourself with it. When out canoeing, scout challenging whitewater sections from the shore before attempting to shoot them. Remember that when in flood, the river is always dangerous – during a flood, you cannot trust the route descriptions and classifications of rapids. On the lake sections, it is a good idea to stay close to the shore.

Suitable for canoeists with some experience.

Tips, hints and links

There are several launching sites and other service infrastructure on the route: Hevonperseenmutka lean-to shelter, Kukkuri open wilderness hut, Lavajärvi open wilderness hut, Syrjäsalmi lean-to shelter, Nimettömänkoski launching site, Joukovirta lean-to shelter, Lipposensalmi lean-to shelter and Jatkonjärvi camping site.

Hossa National Park’s rules and guidelines:

Pets must always be kept on a leash and under control in the national park.

Please note that fires are prohibited during forest fire warnings at all campfire sites that are not equipped with a flue.

Please use the firewood sparingly and only when needed. Firewood is delivered to the campfire sites during the winter with snowmobiles. During the summer, the firewood storages are filled where necessary.

There are no waste containers and no waste management at the national park. Food waste can be placed in the outdoor toilets. Small amounts of clean paper and cardboard can be used as fire lighters at the campfire sites. Other waste must be taken away with you and not left in the terrain. 


The route starts at Iso-Perankajärvi Lake; from Peranka junction, follow Road 5 to the north for 200 metres, turn to a forest road, and follow this road to the shores of Iso-Perankajärvi Lake. (251 m)
65.395084, 29.021415
65°23'42.3"N 29°01'17.1"E
35W 593900 7253993


The route ends to Papinpetäjä isthmus on the northeast shore of Nurmiselkä in Lake Hossanjärvi. There is a landing place there. (ETRS-TM35FIN: N 7262586, E 615997)

Turn-by-turn directions

Peranka - Iso-Kukkuri, 15 km

At the beginning of the route, the river has many bends and rapids. On the six-kilometre route between Peranka and Road 5, there are seven class I rapids as well as sections with calmer and faster flows. There is a launching site at the bridge on Road 5. Approximately one kilometre down the river after the bridge come the fast and rocky Laukkukoski rapids (II+!). In low water conditions, the lower part of Laukkukoski rapids is not suitable for canoeing, and you should be prepared to pull the canoe. After Laukkukoski, there are two class I rapids over a short distance. The route continues along a river section with a less strong flow for two kilometres before reaching Hevonperseenmutka and its lean-to shelter.

The route then takes you to Hevonperseenkoski rapids (I) and, after two bends, Pitkäkoski rapids (II), where you are likely to touch the bottom multiple times in low water conditions. Next comes a slow-flowing section of a kilometre and a half, followed by Saukkovirta rapids (I). Beavers nest in the upper part of Saukkovirta rapids, and you must be prepared to pass a possible dam. On the next kilometre after Saukkovirta there are a few sections with a faster flow, at the end of which Perankajoki River, the total length of which is 15 km, flows into Iso-Kukkuri Lake. The next section consists of lakes connected by rivers and rapids.

Iso-Kukkuri - Lavajärvi, 5 km

Iso-Kukkuri is a lake some three kilometres in length which divides into two parts after midway. The route follows the northernmost section, at the end of which is located Kukkuri open wilderness hut. The hut stands beside Peurokoski rapids (I). Stream deflectors are found under the trail bridge crossing the river. When visiting the hut, it is a good idea to land before the stream deflectors on the right-hand side. When shooting the rapids, you should be careful not to drift sideways to the deflectors.

Iso-Kukkuri is followed by Pikku-Kukkuri, a lake of one kilometre in length with two islands. The lakes Pikku-Kukkuri and Lavajärvi are connected by Tuirankoski rapids (I). Lavajärvi Lake is some three kilometres in length, and Lavajärvi open wilderness hut is located around half way down on its northern shore.

Lavajärvi - Iso-Nimetön, 2 km

The Nimettömänkosket rapids (I-II-) between Lavajärvi and Iso-Nimetön Lakes can be navigated, or the canoes can be carried around them. The rapids start at the southern end of Lavajärvi Lake, before Syrjäharju isthmus. The third and last whitewater section is the most challenging one. In low water conditions, you should paddle along Lavajärvi Lake to Iso-Syväjärvi Lake and carry your canoe to Iso-Nimetön Lake. Syrjäsalmi lean-to shelter is located on the isthmus between Lakes Lavajärvi and Iso-Syväjärvi, and there is a campfire site on the left after Nimettömänkosket rapids. A launching site is found after the first one of the Nimettömänkosket rapids.

Iso-Nimetön - Lounajajärvi, 7 km

Iso-Nimetön is a narrow lake a few kilometres in length, and the length of Pikku-Nimetön Lake, which comes next, is less than one kilometre. There is a launching site on the southern shore of Pikku-Nimetön Lake. Joukovirta lean-to shelter is located at the far end of this lake, with old hunting pits close by.

After Joukovirta, the canoeing route continues along still lakes for some 5 km through Lakes Joukojärvi, Virtajärvi and Pahkulampi to Lounaja. The old Honkavaara reindeer fence can be visited on the western side of Virtajärvi Lake. A path to the fence starts from the western shore of Virtasalmi. There is a campfire site on the northeast shore of Lounaja Lake, and Lipposensalmi lean-to shelter is located at the northern end on Lipposensalmi isthmus. From Lipposensalmi you can paddle north to Pitkä-Hoilua Lake if you wish or, through Kokalmus, Ala-Valkeinen and Keski-Valkeinen Lakes to Iso-Valkeinen Lake, where launching sites are available. Ala-Valkeinen open wilderness hut is located on the isthmus between Lakes Ala-Valkeinen and Keski-Valkeinen at approx. 3.5 km from Lipposensalmi.

Lounajajärvi - Lounatkoski, 4 km

The western end of Lounajajärvi Lake narrows and turns into Iso-Tolosenvirta River, on the shores of which is Tolosenvirta rental hut. The first whitewater section after the long stretch on the lakes is Tolosenvirta rapids (I). The canoeing route continues along the northern shores of Tolosenlampi Lake. There is also a launching site on the narrow part. You can go around the island before Lounatkoski rapids either by north or south. The two main channels merge in a slow-flowing section before you come to the trail bridge and the most dramatic drop. There is a warning sign on the left bank, and from this spot on, you should pull your canoe around the rapids. We do not recommend shooting the section at the trail bridge!

While pulling your canoe around, you will pass by Lounatkoski rental hut and mill. You can finish at this point in Lounatkoski, which gives a total route length of 33 km. The guideline time for completing the section is 2 days.

Lounatkoski - Hossa, 4 km

The canoeing route continues along a river discharging into Jatkonjärvi Lake. There is a camping site on the western shore of Jatkonjärvi Lake, and the rental huts Jatkonsalmen Pääpirtti and Teräväpää are located on the isthmus before Kenttäjärvi Lake. You can continue the lake route across Kenttäjärvi Lake and Mykränsalmi to Papinpetäjä, which is an isthmus on the northeast shore of Nurmiselkä section of Hossanjärvi Lake, or to Nurmiselkä canoe pier. The canoeing route continues south along the Hossa - Juntusranta route.

Getting there

Hossa National Park is located between road Kuusamontie (main road 6, E63) and road Suomussalmi - Murtovaara (road 843). Most of the national park situates in the municipality of Suomussalmi, but parts of it are in municipalities of Kuusamo and Taivalkoski.

The starting point of this route is Lake Iso-Perankajärvi; approximately 200 metres north of the Peranka crossing on main road 5, turn onto a forest road leading to the shore of Lake Iso-Perankajärvi.


65.395084, 29.021415
65°23'42.3"N 29°01'17.1"E
35W 593900 7253993
Arrival by train, car, foot or bike


A canoe or kayak. A kayaking life vest, a paddle, a helmet for rapids. Waterproof shoes, weatherproof kayaking clothing. In cold waters, a neoprene or dry suit. Sunglasses and a sun hat. A drink, a picnic, spare clothing, a rubbish bag, a first aid kit, a charged phone in a watertight container and a map. To light a fire: matches and a knife. Bring your own toilet paper. Pack your gear in a waterproof container, for example a dry sack. Companies that rent equipment can usually provide you with the gear needed for kayaking/paddling.
Responsible for this content
Metsähallitus - Parks & Wildlife Finland User
Marjo Kämäräinen
Updated: May 19, 2020

Travel Guide: Canoe trips in Arctic Lakeland Kainuu

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