Päijänne National Park’s largest island Kelvenne, have been one of my favorite spots to visit. This 14 sq.km island which is locating in Padasjoki, Sysmä and Asikkala area, have been established 1993.
Very small part of this park’s laavu’s and fireplaces can be visit by ground. Most of the camping places are located in the small islands and Kelvenne. This is the place for kayaks and canoes and there is also ferry services and boat taxi’s.
Last summer i was planning to visit here but after i sold my car, i noticed that the bus schedules were ridiculous to get here and back home. And Padasjoki didn’t have any camping services. Ferry’s operating times were also limited, it was available for public service in july only.
So i planned a trip for this summer and one of my friend wanted to go with me too. I got an idea, that what about we make an hammock meeting? Friend thought that it would be great idea, so i created the event for finnish hammock group in Facebook. There was many interested and we had total of 11 people taking part.
We have a funny name for our meeting, but not sure if it works in english. Puista riippuvaiset – Dependent of the trees?
12. july arrived finally, tuesday morning started with heavy rain, weather should be better when we get in the Padasjoki harbour. Most of us seem to be a bit too excited about this trip, since we didn’t get much sleep haha!
We met in the ferry around 8.30am, just in time because ferry was just about leaving. It will take about an hour to get in the Kirkkosalmi (church strait) where we have a 9km trail ahead.
M/S Elbatar is an small ferry for 50+50 people (cabin + outside), build 1984. It started as Pujo 2 in the west coast area like Rauma and Kokkola, where it was brought to Padasjoki in 2002.
Captain Olavi Virtanen told me that they started these routes 2002 summer and the boats name, Elbatar, came from sailors who have been many times at the Italian island Elba.
Ferry cruises around Paijänne and captain tells about sightseens and history during the cruise.
9.30am we arrived to Kirkkosalmi and it was raining a bit. During our hike we got few small showers, but the mosquitos were bothering much more than rain.
2 girls haven’t hiked before and this will be their first experience to sleep in a hammock. They weren’t so happy about hiking in the rain, but forgot it soon as we got in the Isohieta (big sand)
Trail was mostly very easy to walk, only few small hills and steep places, which were a bit slippery due the rain. There is some unoffical trails too, but some parts are forbidden because of birds breeding season, so better not use them. Trails in the ashore were a bit rocky but still no problems what so ever.
I didn’t have much time to take photos because others were flying ahead! We got our first break at the Kyyränlahti (Kyyrä’s bay) Still have around 5 km to go. Weather is clearing up finally, seems we going to have a nice evening on our destination.
Kelvenne fireplaces were basicly all same. Every place had stone build base with adjustable metal grill. Also a Muurikka pan, which was nice surprise. Only Hinttolanhiekka (HinttolaSand), Nimetön (Nameless, or Unknown) and Isohieta (Bigsand) offers place for camping. Every place had also toilet and woodshed with axe and a saw.
At the Karhunkämmen (Bear’s pawn) we met one person who was coming to this meeting. He arrived day before with his kayak. There was 2 other persons at the Isohieta, but they already left in the morning.
Finally at the Isohieta! Took around 4 hours to get here and boy we were exhausted. It was 1pm when we arrived. Beach looked really good and it is quite long, around 300-400 meters. And best thing was, that hardly any mosquitos! Maybe because of heavy wind sometimes.
First we hang our hammocks, some found a place a bit far away, they didn’t like the wind which was a bit heavy occasionally, specially when rain was approaching.
During our time, i forgot to take photos from hammocks…only 2-3 photos but i have made an video, where you can see some of them. Link is in the end of this blog.
But we had 3 TTTM, 3 WBBB XLC, Dream Hammock, Hennessy, DD Frontline and one chinese made hammock.
After food most of us took a nap, i went for a swim! Man that felt goood….
Later in the evening we were enjoying some drinks and snack on fire, we saw an hydroplane landing and approaching us. We joked about it that this guy most likely isn’t coming to hammock meeting, but when he turn off the engine and open the door… ”Hello, is here to hammock meeting?” We just totally lost it haha!
We helped him with his hammock, since he said it was his first time to sleep in the forest in it. Also he got a new tarp so help with that too. It was a tarp i haven’t seen before, SeaToSummit Escapist 3×3 with 1200mm waterproof.
He was going to sauna, which located an small island nearby and one of us left with him. They came back 2 hours later refreshed. Had some drinks and sausages, everybody started to be worn out a bit.
It was time to rest and see what next day will bring us.
Morning started with some small rains and we got few small rains during the day. Mostly it was sunny and warm.
In the morning, guy with the plane offered a small flight around the island. Wow, of course i wanted to go! I got my camera ready and off we go….!
Man it was fun to see Päijänne from the air! Almost forgot to take photos! It was a beautiful sight to see sparkling lake and shapes of the islands. We flew near the Isohieta where is saw others waving to us. So many sandy beaches in the island of Kelvenne!
Some had to leave today, so we decided to accompanied them to the Likolahti, where Elbatar will be pick them up. On our was was a lot of blueberries and mushrooms, which some were left behind to pick them up.
Since the ferry was staying here 30 mins, we got some beer and cider from the cabin. There was lots of people coming to the ferry, since local people are coming here to enjoy swimming and sunbathing for few hours.
Rest of the day went for lazy time, eating good food and pancakes! One even had some strawberry jam with him. Since my friend is a cook (and a doctor) he made some good food from potatoes and mushrooms. Awesome time.
Only thin what we forgot to do, was to check out others hammocks! It was so fun there to be able to swim, eat, sleep and so on…
Next morning we woke up around 7am, made breakfast and packed up. Rain said goodbuy to us 9.30am when we left from Isohieta.
Backpacks were much lighter now so we had a long break in the Nimetön. My friend went even swimming, we didn’t have any hurry. Still had an hour left at the Kyyränlahti before ferry arrived to pick us up.
We took the earlier ferry, so we could have time to relax and see sightseens. It would take over 3 hours untill we are back in the Padasjoki.
There was 4 short stops on our cruise and we has couple of beers and icecream. Captain was telling about the history and show us some big nests of Osprey. Weather was perfect today.
2 days went really fast and everybody was happy about meeting and experience. So hopefully we can meet again in this summer, everybody hoping to have a new meeting.
So we said goodbye for now and drove home with smile on our face 🙂
Video from the meeting, sorry folks, it’s finnish only but hope you enjoy it 🙂