4 days canoeing at the Päijänne Nationalpark


Since last years trip to Kelvenne island at the Päijänne Nationalpark, been wanting to go back and rent a canoe or kayak. You can read about kelvenne trip from here : Kelvenne hammock meeting or watch the video, which has some parts in finnish.

Early June talked with my friend Tuukka, and he wanted to join too. Also few other friends were interested.

I started a new job in the beginning of May, but my boss agreed to give me a week vacation, partly unpaid. This doesn’t matter, wanted to join few days somewhere anyway.

Week before trip, we were only ones who were going. But Niko lend a boat from his parents and few came with it. Me and Tuukka spend 4 days and they were only one night, sat – sun.

Our Mad River Explorer 16 canoe

We met at the Padasjoki ABC gas station 10.15 am, and met Lev with his daughter there. He was waiting for the Jani and Niko, who came 40 min later with the boat in the trailer.

We called to Padasjoen Latu Association, where we rented the canoe. Followed the renter a bit later to the Mainiemi paddling center, where he gave us the canoe, paddles and vests.

Our journey was about to begin!


Photo by Lev


Weather was alright, quite cloudy and small winds only. Took some time to us to get used to paddling so we can go straight!
First destination was the small island Vähä Haukkasalo, 4 km away. 500 meters before the Vähä Haukkasalo (Lil’ Hawk Backwoods), others drive next to us. So we got almost perfect timing with our plans to meet there. They found us easily, because i shared location via google maps for couple of hours.

Vähä Haukkasalo was a nice place with beautiful view to the lake. There was a couple spending time already, but had enought space to land there.

Park has lot’s of firewood right now, Jani knew that they fill all the park woodsheds in June. Last year they were almost empty, heard that some people take wood from sheds to their saunas etc… basicly stealing.

Other left for a boatride around the lake and checking some place for our hang. Our next destination was Lietsaari, 4 km away. Small isle with a one big tree looked funny.


Took another hour to paddle to the Lietsaari. There was some bigger boats spending time and people were walking on the short trails. Nice sandy beach here and we were thinking if we could stay here. Unfortnatly, this is not allowed to camp, but seems people ignore it. Lietsaari has some good spots for tents and lot’s of trees to hang a hammock.

I remembered that one of my friends, Vesa told me that he would be canoeing here too. I thought i give a call to him, but noticed a canoe coming… could it be….haha, it was him! He actually thought same thing, since he saw us paddling here. It’s been awhile from our last meeting.
We made some food and discussed if we stay here or going to the Isohieta where i was last year. Called to others, who were quite far away from us. They were having lunch at the Hietasaari island, which was 5-6 km north from Isohieta (+3km from our location).

As you can see, we decided to paddle to the Isohieta. More room, excellent beach and beautiful view. It was only 3pm so we spend some time by paddling slowly.

We took the best places with Tuukka, Others came about half an hour later and we build our small hammock village. This beach was a bit crowded, but it didn’t matter.


Sun came out finally, weather was perfect!

I took a short nap, because i din’t sleep well night before. Later we had quite a few visitors asking about hammocks. Some had basic TTTM hammocks where children spend a time mostly.

Water was amazingly clear here and on the other islands too. It was warm enough for swimming too. There were lot’s of families enjoying their summer vacation. Some flew here with seaplane, some came with jet skis but most came with boat.

We had great time here, Lev cooked us again and man that was a good eating. Fireplace was quite growded all the time, so we had to waith until 7pm to get space for our cooking.

Sun was setting 10pm and it was beautiful. Wind died and it was calm and silent. Althou one group sang for couple of hours around the campfire.

Can’t remember what time we got up, i had my breakfast in the hammock. It was really warm night, i could have slept without the topquilt. I had Hammock Gear 40F Incubator and Burrow with snaps. Opened burrow compeletely, used as a blanket. Hammock is Warbonnet XLC with Super Fly tarp

Niko and Jani had their new Dutchware Chameleons, Jani just got his and this was his first night. He had good sleep in there. I got chance to see and try it too finally. Dang, it felt quite right! A bit later i placed an order….. these meetings are always expensive!!

Burnt orange Chameleon coming…..

After the others left, i decided to stay and enjoy lazy time at the beach. Tuukka and Vesa wanted to see the Kelvenne, they hit the trails. Too over 4 hours until they came back. I had my lunch while waiting and they made food after they came back.

It was time to move to the other location, our next target was Lammassaari. We planned to stay there for next couple of days, since next day would have bad weather.

Took more than an hour to finally get in there, but this place wasn’t as good as we hoped for. A bit dark place and quite rocky. I couldn’t find a good spot for hammocks, or maybe i am just too picky… haha!
So we rest a bit, talked where we should go. One option was the first place where we were, Vähä Haukkasalo, only 30 min paddle. It was just 6 pm so we had still time to paddle back to the Kelvenne too. But Vähä Haukkasalo it was then.

Great views from Lammassaari (sheep island) thou 🙂

paddling though the small isles

On our way, there ws many small isles, i was thinking that could be stay on those? But these had sings for landing not allowed. Dang. I was seeing myself setting my hammock top of the rocky hill….room with a view.

We found a perfect spot for our hammocks. This day will be really warm and sunny, so evening went fast with food making, chatting and enjoying the weather.

Next day was lazy, because it started to rain early in the morning. Weather forecast was changing all the time, once showing sunny, moment later rain and thunder.
It was the rain and thunder. Thunder storm was quite severe, we heard it from far away and it was getting closer. My hometown Tampere had worst time, come buildings were damaged by fire caused by lightning.

It caught us finally, altought it passed us from north. But it really close, because one hit really nearby!

But i love thunder, i love the sound of rain. I saw flashes and some lightning far away earlier.

Much later in the evening, weather cleared up and air felt so fresh. Spend some time sitting in the rock and looking beautiful view. I love to be near water, panoramic view, clouds and sound of wind.


It was another lazy morning, we packed slowly and had a breakfast. It was sunny and really warm, but quite windy. A bit over hour later, journey was over when we arrived back to the Mainiemi.

Over all, great time, great weather and great company. Looking forward to go longer trip next year, possibly i will buy my own kayak. Time will show what will happen 🙂

Thank you for my friends, Tuukka, Niko, Jani, Vesa, Lev and his daughter Maria. You are awesome! 🙂

Thank you for reading, enjoy your summer!


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