Helvetinjärvi National Park


I am writing to this finnish outdoor site called Retkipaikka.fi (Outdoor Place, finnish only, but i am sure that translator helps if interested)) and after i publish a story about hammocks, it really hit the spot. Didn’t find any finnish hammock group, so couple of weeks ago, i created a finnish hammock group to the Facebook. I got lot’s of members in sort time and possibly few new friends for hiking. One member contacted me, because we live in same city and so we decided a day and place of our hike.

Helvetinjärvi map
Helvetinjärvi map

Helvetinjärven Kansallispuisto (Hell’s Lake National park) locates 70km north at Ruovesi, around 70km drive from my hometown Tampere. It’s very popular park with good services; one wilderness hut (needs reservation), a day hut at Helvetinkolu and few fireplace with camping possibilities and toilets. Every place has wood, which you can chop for yourself and to next visitors (this should be done as being friendly to others, some do, some don’t…). Usually these place has an axe and saw. Helvetinjärvi has also great cliffs with great views. It’s known for this Helvetinkolu fissure, which is about 200m long, 5-8m deep and 2m wide. Near this place is also a place for climbing. North end of the Iso Helvetinjärvi has a place for ice climbing in the winter.

Kankimäki restaurant and parking
Kankimäki restaurant and parking

So our hike started from Kankimäki (rodhill) where is also a restaurant. My friend has been here many times and he was suprised that there were so many people. Also we met big groups on our way, so park was quite crowded.

Highway to trail...
Highway to trail…

Gate welcomed us to the Helvettiin (to hell). There were also few jokes on the other signs like this Helvetistä itään (From hell to the east -joke is from James Dean movie East of Eden, which is in in finnish Edenistä itään; from Eden to the east) which made me laugh.


Long stairs to helvetinkolu
Long stairs to helvetinkolu

Trail was really easy to walk, since this part was made for nature trail. It’s only 4 km long and has signs for information about surrounding nature. After 2 km walk, we arrived to this cliff, which has great view to the Iso Helvetinjärvi.
We check the gorge next to it and walked down to the Helvetinkolu hut. Steep wooden stairs were a bit funny to walk, because it didn’t fit to my steps haha! Tripped couple of times, but manage to keep myself on my feet.


Helvetinkolu day hut looked nice place! hut had fireplace and table for dining etc. It isn’t allowed for overnight stay. Good campfire place outside and seperate toilets for men and women. Group of schoolkids were enjoying views, they said that came with canoes there. We had a chat with older couple on campfire and had some tea.


We had to walk stairs up and back to the sightseen place and from there we went down to the trail. We passed the clinbing place, where some of the schoolkids were looking some climbers getting ready.


Trail went up and down, i was sweating like crazy haha! But it was easy to walk, no rocks or big roots. It was great to walk and look around, instead of only seeing your feets.

Friend told me that there might be some deer keds (or fly) which are nasty ones. In finnish it’s Hirvikärpänen, literally Moose Fly. Those  are bad at flying, but once they get into you, they drop their wings, get inside of your clothes or in your hair. Hard to kill, because they got really hard shields. Luckily only very few flew into me and got rid of them fast. They don’t like human blood, but might cause an infection.


Sings were good and it was easy to keep track where we were. Quite a lot storm damage around, but trails were cleaned up. Friend told me that there are other unoffical trails here too, some of them have been tried to close to save nature.


We arrived to our destination Iso Ruokejärvi (Big Ruoke lake) after 40 min walk. Hang the hammocks first and look around. No people here, we saw only one couple with kids after we arrived, but got peace rest of the day.

C'mon, take your trash with you!
C’mon, take your trash with you!

One thing which made us a bit angry and sad, was 2 buckets full of trash. Why people are so lazy and thoughtless. Unfortunatly we didn’t have any bag to collect them. Need to remember to take one bag for those cases. C’mon people, if you can carry them there, you can carry them back too.



I had my Ticket to The Moon hammock and bugnet with me this time. I made some loops to my hammock, so i am able to use DD UnderBlanket with it. My friend has a DD Ultralight hammock and tarp. Got nice place with good view from my hammock.

Bushbox XL
Bushbox XL

We were starving so it was time for some cooking. My friend had a titanium pots with Bushbox XL stove. I had my brand new Trangia 27-1 HA set with gasburner. Friend made boiled some vegetables and add minced meat. I had some pork and boiled potatoes. Yummy!

And cup of coffee too. I never been a coffee guy before, but after i bought this Bialetti Moka Express, been using it sometimes. I don’t like recular coffee, but i like these flavor coffees. Had some Hawaian Nuts-coffee, it was good.


Rested a bit and build a fire later. Had small amount some whisky with me and enjoyed it when it was getting dark. Later we just sit, talk and enjoyed warm light of campfire. Too bad it was too cloudy, i wanted to try some long exposure with my camera and phone.

We were just about go to bed from campfire, heard some noise next to us. Tried to look aroud with flashlight, but couldn’t see nothing. We thought it was a fox etc.

Later when i was on my hammock, i heard that it made some funny muttering noise. It was a badger! It was a close by and friend told me in the morning, that he heard it too. Digging some worms etc. I couldn’t sleep for awhile, because i was just listening it haha!


Slept few hours good and woke up around 8 am. Friend got up just before me and made some breakfast and coffee. Packed up and before we were leaving, we remembered that we need to chop some wood to the next visitors.

Suddenly a group of german tourists came there. They were taking photos of us when we chopped the wood! But they wanted to make them too, so handed the axe and saw. We tried to talk with them, but they didn’t talk english. My german was quite poor, haven’t use it for loooong time. We helped them to build a fire and left.


It was easier to walk back, since backpacks were a bit lighter and we had more downhill this time. Stopped once to have some tea and enjoying the view. Also took some photos from Helvetinkolu fissure took about an hour and half to get back to the Kankimäki parking.

Helvetinkolu fissure
Helvetinkolu fissure

Helvetinjärvi is a beautiful place and going there again someday. Lot’s to see and wanna go to the trail which goes aroud the lake. Friend told that there are great places with great views. So let’s see, when i can go next time. I start a school on monday, so weekends are freetime only. Been working 18 years as an trucker, but wanted to change. So i will be a network electrician in the future. Haven’t been n school for 20 years, so it’s quite funny to go now. But i believe this job is suitable for me. Future shows, but i am confident.

Enjoy the great and colorful autumn!


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