Finland is home to many national parks - the most desirable are situated in Lapland, and the most known is probably Nuuksio since it is located near the capital city. But let me tell you, there is one more hidden gem in the southern part of Finland, and it is called Repovesi. Repovesi National Park is situated in the most scenic part of Kouvola, filled with traditional landscapes, peculiar wildlife and mighty forest.
When I have a free weekend for a hike in the summer, I always choose Repovesi over Nuuksio. Yes, the second one is closer, but it is packed with tourists. Repovesi gives space to enjoy your hike, and it is easier to find a camping place further from other people. I also find Repovesi to be prettier since the traditional high cliffs over lakes are easy to find.
Repovesi is full of attractions. Most of them are situated along the Ketunlenkki trail (which means "a Fox Path") and is a 3,5 km round trail marked with orange color. A scenic bridge over cliffs is a known Instagram spot in the woods, and the Fox Ferry is something to try. It is a self-operated ferry that takes you from one shore to the other. This makes your hike an Indiana Jones experience. One more attraction to see is a high hill named Katajavuori. It is less than a kilometer of walking from the bridge through the forest. The path leads to many stairs that take you up to the scenic hilltop. You will find a panoramic view over the lake with the green forest that looks so pretty from above. If you are seeking peace, this might be a place to find it. If you happen to google Repovesi, the pictures you are going to find are most likely made here.
Repovesi is situated in Kouvola, 175 kilometers from Helsinki. There is a parking place right next to the Lapinsalmi entrance of the National Park. Next to the entrance are toilets and a small kiosk where you can have lunch. In summer, there is a bus that takes you to Repovesi from Kouvola bus station. Getting to Kouvola itself can be done by train or bus.
No matter the distance of your hike, remember to take enough bottles for water and check the water spots on the map of Repovesi. There are few places with a self-operated well system that provides drinking water. If you want to use the water from the lake, it is better to boil it first.
If you are hiking in summer, especially in June - get ready to meet mosquitoes, much more than, let's say, in Nuuksio. Do not forget some kind of mosquito protection, for example, a spray. Also, take some extra bags for garbage. The whole National Park of Repovesi is a free-from-garbage area, which means you will have to take away everything you brought back to the city with you. Even the kiosk does not provide trash for your hiking litter. If you are going to stay there overnight - think through your lunches in terms of hypothetical litter.
Basically, this is all you need to know about visiting Repovesi, which I find to be the most scenic national park in Finland, after Lapland. It is a great place to discover Finland's national sceneries, take your time in nature, and have a great hiking experience.
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