Cycling and canoeing routes

Cycling and canoeing are best ways to explore the nature around Villa Lummelahti. You’ll feel the wind, hear the birds and sense the scents of the forests. You can find a few cycling and canoeing route suggestions from this page. All routes can be viewed on a map service from which also gpx-routefiles can be downloaded.

Also, be sure check safety tips from the bottom of this page before heading out the lake or on to the road!

Overview of the routes


1. Cycling to Suomalansaari: an Island at the brink of the earth.

Description of the destination: Suomalansaari is an esker island at the brink of the earth. The shores of the island form the final frontier before the great open waters of the lake Saimaa. If one wishes to travel on land to the opposite shores at the other side of the lake, the distance to travel from Suomalansaari is vast, easily over 100 kilometers. The narrow ridges, sandy beaches and before all, the incredible views to lake Saimaa make Suomalansaari well worth visiting. These parts of the lake Saimaa are living habitats of the rare and endangered Saimaa seal. It is possible to see a seal observing curiously the people passing by.

Description of the route: Get on your bike and head east. Roads to follow are: First on Kopinniementie, then to the left at Kuivasensaarentie. Next Rahikkalan-Pettiläntie and finally Suomalansaarentie. On your way you’ll be able to enjoy lunch and beverages at Pettilä village and see the Rahikkala village which is also known as the church builders village. There’s a statue to honour the memory of those skilled men, who developed the finnish way to build wooden churches. Near Suomalansaari you can take a break, swim on the fine beach at Ketvelinlahti and admire the beautiful esker at Ketvelinharju.

2. Cycling to Sarviniemi: Into the middle of the lake Saimaa.

Description of the destination: Sarviniemi is a cape in the middle of the biggest open water of the lake Saimaa. The cape itself is part of the 2nd Salpausselkä, a big terminal formation formed by the latest ice age. Sarviniemi has a harbour, nice swimming beach and a well equipped piknik site with a cooking shelter. Longer distance cyclists can book a ferry ride that takes them either to Lintusalo island or cape Kyläniemi. 

Description of the route: Quiet gravel roads lead to Sarviniemi from Villa Lummelahti. The roads to follow are: first Kopinniementie, the right to Kuivasensaarentie. Then Pönniäläntie after the Tukialansalmi strait. Then Pyhälahdentie and Rantatie after which you’ll arrive the asphalted Suur-Saimaantie. Now you’re almost there, only 1 km to go before you reach Sarviniemi. On your way you’ll see countless lake bays, pine forests and hilly esker terrains. Also notice that near Sarviniemi your route follows the border of the training site of the Finnish defence forces. Notice and follow all the instructions that you’ll see on the roadside signs and you will not wander to places where moving is prohibited.

3. Cycling to Kärnäkoski, Partakoski and Savitaipale: Get your bike and let’s hit the town!

Description of the destination: This route collects the best sights and services on round trip. At Kärnäkoski you’ll see General Suvorov’s fortress and a mill museum, at Partakoski you’ll fall for the traditional landscape and can enjoy beverages from the restaurant Partaranta. Finally at Savitaipale town you can consume all the services that a typical small Finnish town offers.

Description of the route: The roads to follow on this cycling trip are: first Kopinniementie and right to Kuivasensaarentie. Then right to Korholantie and right to Kurhilantie. Next right to Kivistöntie, right to Sammakontie and right to Koskeintie. Then you’ll be on an asphalted Partakoskentie and reach Kärnäkoski and Partakoski. Next you’ll turn back and follow Partakoskentie to the Savitaipale town. From there follow Taipalsaarentie, turn left to Kurhilantie and you’ll be on familiar roads that you travelled in the beginning of this trip. 

4. Paddling to Kärnäkoski: Forts, sheeps and flowing water.

Description of the destination: Kärnäkoski fortress lies almost at the opposite shore from Villa Lummelahti. The fortress was built by a famous russian general Suvorov in the 1790s. The fortress area is a fine attraction and culturally significant place in the whole Finland. An old mill museum can also be found from the area and at summertime sheeps graze the hills of the fortress. Approximately 500 meters south from the fortress lies a hill fortres and a cooking hut where one can have a picnic. The Kärnäkoski-river itself is the one of two rivers that flow from the lake Kuolimo. 

Description of the route: The canoeing route heads first to south from Villa Lummelahti. After passing the Kopinsalmi strait the route heads west, goes past Männikkösaaret islands and reaches the fortress. Optionally, for example due to wind or waves, the route can be directed north of the Kopinsaari island. 

Please note: The Kärnäkoski and Partakoski rivers are breeding areas for very endangered trout and char species. Do not walk in the shallow river as it might harm the fish eggs. Also note, that all fishing in Kärnäkoski and Partakoski is strictly prohibited.

5. Paddling to Partakoski: Observing the ancient routes.

Description of the destination: Partakoski is one of the two rivers flowing from the lake Kuolimo to the lake Saimaa. This beautiful rapids has been an important spot for transportation through ages: people moving on land have crossed the rivers here and people moving over lakes have travelled from lake to another via Partakoski. Did you know that people living at the shores of the huge Lake Saimaa have been able to travel to one of Finland’s biggest rivers, Kymijoki, via Lake Kuolimo with just one short neck of land. And because Kymijoki connects to the sea, people using light rowing boats or canoes have been able to travel from Lake Saimaa all the way to the Baltic sea via Partakoski! Nowadays Restaurant Partaranta serves food and beverages for travellers during the summer season at Partakoski.

Description of the route: Just like heading to Kärnäkoski, start paddling towards the south and go through Kopinsalmi strait. Keep going all the way to Kärnäkoski and continue 1 km further to the north west and you’ll be at Partakoski. Optionally you can paddle from the northside of the Kopinsaari island if for example the wind blows strongly from the south. The distance reamains the same.

Please note: The Kärnäkoski and Partakoski rivers are breeding areas for very endangered trout and char species. Do not walk in the shallow river as it might harm the fish eggs. Also note, that all fishing in Kärnäkoski and Partakoski is strictly prohibited.

6. Paddling the Lake Kuolimo: A pinch of wilderness.

Description of the destination: Kuolimo is a magnificent lake! It is clean, quiet and offers great opportunities for those who want to roam in nature. The cliffs and lean to shelter at Orrai, Lepänkanto beach, mount Morruuvuori, strait of Kuolimo and the sandy beach at Suomensalo island are all great places to spend a day. Or even build an overnight camp. However, one must always keep in mind that Kuolimo is a big lake, and canoeing at big lakes requires a sufficient level of experience. Also some bushcraft skills and equipment is needed if the plan is to spend the night out in nature.

Description of the route: Start paddling and head first to the Kärnäkoski. Move the canoe on dry land to lake Kuolimo. From there you can continue for example to Suomensalo island. On your way back, you can move the canoe back to lake Saimaa travelling a short stretch of land at Partakoski.

Please note: The Kärnäkoski and Partakoski rivers are breeding areas for very endangered trout and char species. Do not walk in the shallow river as it might harm the fish eggs. Also note, that all fishing in Kärnäkoski and Partakoski is strictly prohibited.

Safety tips for cycling and canoeing


  • You can ride your bike on all roads but respect the privacy of people’s home yards and gardens.
  • Always ride on the right side of the road.
  • Be alert of cars especially on hilly and curvy rural roads. Cars might approach unexpectedly behind hills and corners.
  • Using of the bike helmet is not mandatory but highly recommended in Finland.
  • When turning to the left or the right, cyclist must show turning signal with hand.
  • When driving on small rural roads, follow the same yielding rules than cars.
  • Be aware if there is loose gravel on the road. It can be slippery under the bike tyre.


  • Check the weather before heading out to the lake. Also check the weather forecast. If the wind is building up or a storm is coming, do not depart out to the lake.
  • Stay close to the shore and do not cross big open waters.
  • Always use a floating jacket or a canoeing vest that will keep you on the surface if the canoe tips over.
  • Before leaving, make sure, that the canoe does not leak and has proper equipment: unbroken and proper paddles, a scoop or a bucket for removing water and a rope attached to the bow of the canoe.
  • Always take your phone with you packerdin a water tight bag.
  • Wear proper warm clothes and pack back up clothes in a water tight and floating bag.