South Päijänne’s nature is dominated By Finland’s second largest lake, Lake PäijänneLake Päijänne
Lake Päijänne is the second largest lake in Finland. In the middle of its open waters you can find a nature lover’s treasure, Päijänne National Park, which consists of small islets and bigger islands with steep rocks or sandy eskers. It is situated in the southern part of the lake and contains around fifty islands and islets
The very heart of the national park is Kelvenne, one of the largest and most handsome esker islands in Finland. You can explore the entire length of the esker island of Kelvenne and its varied nature shaped by the Ice Age along a 9-km hiking trail. Other esker islands in the park are Papinsaari, Huhtsaari and Hietasaari. These esker islands have several sandy beaches and lagoons that are popular among hikers and boaters. The park’s scenic attractions include Pulkkilanharju esker ridge, which can be best explored along a 4-km long trail of which about 2-km forms part of a nature trail. In addition to Pulkkilanharju, another part of the park that can be reached by car is the island of Päijätsalo in Sysmä. Marked trails lead up to a watchtower built on the highest part of this scenic island in 1899, offering beautiful views over the open waters of the lake.
You can reach the national park either by cruise boat from Padasjoki, Vääksy and Sysmä, by water taxi from Padasjoki and Lehmonkärki, by canoeing or with your own boat. Parts of the national park (Pulkkilanharju esker ridge in Asikkala and the island of Päijätsalo in Sysmä) can also be reached by cycling and by car. In wintertime the islands of the national park can be reached by skiing, snowshoeing or by snowmobiling! The information points of the national park are situated in Päijänne House by the Vääksy Canal and in Lehmonkärki resort in Asikkala. Also, all of the tourist information points are great places to start if you would like more information about the park.