Olhava, Repovesi National Park

Olhava, Repovesi National Park

Autumn

I have now hiked in Repovesi National Park in autumn and winter with both trips being equally interesting in their different ways. One of the places I visited during both trips was Olhava, a huge rock cliff that is a popular spot for climbing, but also a great place for photographs.

During the autumn I was restricted to the lakeside but in the winter with the lake frozen I was able to move freely and take photos from any angle, I was also able to walk right up to and along the cliff.

What’s your favourite view?

Olhava, Repovesi National Park

Winter

In response to the photo challenge A Good Match

Further reading:

Don’t forget to read about my latest visit to Repovesi National Park in Winter, as well as my other posts from my nature trips in Finland:

Repovesi National Park in Autumn

Three Nations Border Point

5 Things to do in Finnish Lapland in Summer

Repovesi National Park in Winter

Among my many aims during the winter months was to spend a night camping. I had been camping many times but in the U.K temperatures generally stay above zero and the chances of snow is almost none. To winter camp in Finland would be an interesting experience and, more importantly, a test of what I could endure.

With a few friends we drove out to Repovesi National Park with the aim to spend a night in the Finnish nature. Luckily, the temperature was a pleasant -8°c., not too cold but cold enough.

Repovesi National Park in Winter

Repovesi National Park in Winter

While walking it was easy to stay warm, normally stripping back to only the necessary layers but once we stopped it became important to put those layers back on.  My difficulty has always been my toes, no matter what I do when I stop they are the first body part to get cold and the hardest to keep warm.

Repovesi National Park in Winter

Hiking during winter had one great difference, there were short cuts everywhere, when ever we needed we could just cut across the frozen lakes rather than keeping to the trails, making the national park very accessible. There wasn’t much snow cover so walking without the assistance of snow shoes was comfortable.

Repovesi National Park in Winter

Our aim for the day was the rock formation Olhava and we arrived a little before sunset, though there would be little chance of seeing one. The clouds broke for a moment when we arrived but more rolled in as we made the climb to the top.

Repovesi National Park in Winter

After spending some time on Olhava, we decided to camp in the area and use the fireplace by the lake to cook our dinner and supply some much needed warmth.

Repovesi National Park in Winter

After dinner we headed back to Olhava across the frozen lake to take a few night time shots, using our headlamps to create different light effects on the iconic cliff face.

Sleeping was the time I was dreading the most, it was easy to stay warm while walking but during the night that might become more difficult, especially if the temperatures dropped. I layered up, almost wearing more clothes now than I had been wearing during the day. I was determined to sleep well.

Repovesi National Park in Winter

The next morning we broke camp and hit the trail without breakfast, aiming to be back at the car park before lunch and indulge in a pizza on the drive back to Helsinki. It wasn’t as cold as yesterday but by the time all our gear was away we needed to start moving to warm up again.

Compared to the others I had similar experience but I didn’t have the gear. I had to pack more to make sure I was prepared, extra clothes. two spring sleeping bags combined with a liner,  and two sleeping mats. Everything was used to ensure I ‘survived’ the night.
Repovesi National Park in Winter

A short route was planned with some backtracking involved. We wanted to take in the view from the viewing tower, a place I had also visited during the Autumn. Repovesi National Park is full of excellent viewing spots and we had managed to visited a few of the best during this short trip.

After the viewing tower we cut our way back across lakes to find the shortest and most enjoyable route, making any detours that we desired until we found out way back to Lapinsalmi Bridge. This time we crossed the lake underneath it rather than crossing it as we had done the day before.

Repovesi National Park in Winter

If you have enjoyed this then my other experiences in the Finnish nature may be of interest to you.

Further Reading:

Repovesi National Park in Autumn

Three Nations Border Point

5 Things to do in Finnish Lapland in Summer

Pleasure in the Pathless Woods

Pleasure in the Pathless Woods

 

“There is a pleasure in the pathless woods,
There is a rapture on the lonely shore,
There is society, where none intrudes,
By the deep Sea, and music in its roar:
I love not Man the less, but Nature more,
From these our interviews, in which I steal
From all I may be, or have been before,
To mingle with the Universe, and feel
What I can ne’er express, yet cannot all conceal.”

Do you know the quote? If you have any quotes about nature I would like to hear them.

Repovesi National Park

Repovesi National Park is a few hours drive from Helsinki but worth the trip if time allows. For a day trip I would recommend the Ketunlenkki Trail, a 5km circuit that takes in some of the best spots in the park. and the route that I took.

Repovesi National Park

After leaving the car park the Ketunlenkki or fox trail takes a short walk around the edge of the lake before the trail climbs to the impressive Lapinsalmi suspension bridge which links the east and west banks.

Repovesi National Park

Repovesi National Park

Repovesi National Park

Repovesi National Park

Steps lead to the top of Katajavuori hill where there are great views over the surrounding lakes and forest. Make sure to climb the last flight which takes you above the trees and to the cliff edge for the best views.

Repovesi National Park

Repovesi National Park

Repovesi National Park

Approximately halfway around there is Kapiavesi rest area, prefect for a picnic and equipped with a fire pit for grilling sausage. As it was a hot day we took the opportunity to jump off the jetty and take a swim in the lake.

Repovesi National Park

Repovesi National Park

The trail is easy to follow and marked with an orange marker all the way round, some have even been made into a smiling face.

Repovesi National Park

The fox ferry is a small hand operated ferry that connects the last water crossing. It’s a short distance but the ferry requires a little effort to get it moving across the lake to the other side. Just hope that it is on your side when you arrive.

Repovesi National Park

After the ferry it is only a short walk back to the car park where you can enjoy some refreshments at the small cafe situated there.

Repovesi National Park

© Our Shadows Will Remain