TAINIONVIRTA CANOEING ROUTE 43 KM, HARTOLA-SYSMÄ
The canoeing route from Hartola to Sysmä passesthrough a cultural heritage landscape and offers anunforgettable adventure in the calmly flowing riverwith sounds of aquatic birds in the background. Theroute is suitable even for beginners. Most of the rapidsare easily passable, and the most difficult sectionscan be skipped by walking along the shore. The routemakes for a good weekend trip, and it can be accessedfrom spring until late autumn.
Lenght: 43 km
Altitude difference: 14 m
Duration: 1-4 days
Starting point: Hartola Koskenniska, Aurinkorannantie 86, Hartola N61 34.042 E26 02.823
Ending point: Sysmä centre, Vellamontie, Sysmä. N61 30.000 E25 41.470
KOSKENNISKA – GASTHAUS CAMPING KOSKENNIEMI 3,6 KM
The first section passes through inhabited areas. The first shootsare at the very beginning of the route, in Ekonkoski. The Ekonkoskirapids are approached using the right-hand side of the river, and therapids are shot on the right-hand side. After this, the route continuesin a calm stream past the Itä-Häme Museum towards the Highway4 underpass, where you can dock at a coffee house’s landingstage. The next shoot is the quietly flowing Vuoteenkoski next toGasthaus-Camping Koskenniemi.
GASTHAUS CAMPING KOSKENNIEMI – KEIJULANKOSKI LEAN-TO SHELTER 4,0 KM
The route continues in an easy stream until it reaches its most difficultsection, Vanhanmyllynkoski rapids. This is a relatively longshoot section including a turn to the left. It’s a good idea to familiariseyourself in advance with the currents and rocks, and the exactcourse you’ll take. The rapids can also be passed by carrying thecanoe on the shore. The first canoe-carrying route is the Hotilankoskidam before the Keijulankoski lean-to shelter. The landing site is onthe right-hand side of the dam. The landing site for the Keijulankoskilean-to is before the rapids on the right-hand shore.
KEIJULANKOSKI LEAN-TO SHELTER – KIRVESKOSKI DAM 3,8 KM
In the Keijulankoski section, the canoeing course is on the left-handside of the rapids. After this, the route continues in an easy streamthrough field landscapes all the way to the Kirveskoski dam. Thelanding place in Kirveskoski is on the right-hand shore. The easiestway to get your canoe to the launching site is to pull it in the brookfor the last 20 metres before the landing stage.
KIRVESKOSKI DAM – HAAVISTONNIEMI LEANT-TO SHELTER (HUUTONIEMI) 5,6 KM
Approximately 700 metres downstream after the dam, it seems asthough the river divides into two. Pass the surface rocks from theright. The final 2.9-km section of this leg is in a lake.
HAAVISTONNIEMI LEAN TO-SHELTER (HUUTONIEMI) – MAATIAISKOSKI DAM 9,9 KM
This leg of the route consists of both lake and river sections. Thereare three resting places: the Joutsjärvi lean-to shelter, Enojärvi landing,and Krouvin Camping’s landing. If the wind is high, it is safer tostay close to the lake shore. Before the Maatiaiskoski dam, there isa river section that divides twice. Always choose the left side. Passunder the Nuoramoinen bridge on the right-hand side. The landingsite is quite close to the dam, on the right-hand shore of the river.
MAATIAISKOSKI DAM – ROUVASAARI ISLAND 3,3 KM
This is the longest, most open lake section of the route, so you mustpay attention to wind conditions when choosing your course. Youcan pull the canoe ashore on Rouvasaari island. On the northwestside of the island, there is a sheltered landing place, whereas thenortheastern side has lots of surface rocks.
ROUVASAARI ISLAND – VIRTAANKOSKI DAM 4,8 KM
The route continues across Lake Nuoramoisjärvi onto the last riversection. Before the Virtaankoski dam, there is a 3-km river sectionwith easy shoots. At the dam, the landing site is on the left-handshore. You must carry the canoe about 50 metres to pass the dam.This can also serve as the end point of the canoe trip for those whodon’t want to complete the final, longer lake section..
VIRTAANKOSKI DAM – CAMPING SYSMÄ
The first kilometre of this final leg is a river section with an easystream. Then, you paddle along the shores of the lake for about 6.6km and arrive in the centre of Sysmä. There are no common restingplaces along this leg.
There are six Class I rapids along the route, as well as four damswhere you have to carry the canoe. During high water, the Ekonkoskiand Vanhanmyllynkoski shoots have quite a strong flow, and shouldbe followed from the shore before attempting them. All rapids can beskipped by walking along the shore. There are four dams that mustbe skipped on ground by carrying the canoe. In lake sections, windconditions must be taken into account when determining the course.
GOOD TO KNOW
Canoes are available for rent in Hartola. The Kuninkaanpolku trail(see p. 11) goes close to the river at the start of the route, and theItä-Häme Museum by the suspended bridge is also worth visiting.
Tainionvirta is one of the most popular rapids fishing destinations inSouthern Finland for both fly and spinning fishers. A special permitand the State Fisheries Management Fee are requiredfor fishing inthe river. Permits are sold separately for the Hartola and Virtaa areas.The lakes along the route are also rich in fish. On the lakes youare allowed to fish with the State Fisheries Management Fee. Anglingwith a float and bait is covered by everyman’s rights on the lakes,but not in river.
HOW TO GET THERE
Apart from the official starting point Koskenniska, the route can bestarted in Koskenniemi, Keijulankoski, Kirveskoski, or Krouvi Camping,for example. Hartola has good bus connections. The other startingpoints can be reached by car.