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TOP 10 attractions in Rokua Geopark

Get to know the story behind Rokua Geopark’s landscape and cultural history by visiting the interesting places in Lake Oulujärvi, Rokua esker and dune area and River Oulujoki Valley. Here are our TOP 10 attractions to get started with the discovery!


1. Lemmenpolku trail, Muhos

Lemmenpolku is full of fascinating geology and cultural history! The trail presents the natural and cultural history of the Oulujoki River, from the ancient continent all the way to tar transportation and hydropower plant phases. One of the most important attractions on the trail is the Kieksi conglomerate rock. It is the oldest part of the Muhos formation, petrified gravel and visible only on Lemmenpolku. The nature trail, which is about two kilometers long, is part of the Oulujoki River Valley Tar Route and runs from the Montta Campsite to the Pyhäkoski power plant. The starting points of Lemmenpolku trail can be reached with local bus.

Read more about Lemmenpolku on Outdooractive.

At Lemmenpolku Trail it’s also possible to fish. Photo: Harri Tarvainen / Rokua Geopark.


2. Liimanninkoski trail, Muhos

The Liimanninkoski nature trail takes you from the bright hillside meadows of the Muhosjoki River through thick spruces and lush groves to the bubbling Liimanninkoski rapids at the bottom of the valley. Over the course of thousands of years, the river has carved its bed deeper and deeper into the sandy soil. Liimanninkoski is an excursion destination suitable for the whole family and is also a great learning environment for school groups. Along the 1.4 kilometer path you’ll find a threshing barn for the sheep as well as two info boards that tell about the Liimanninkoski area and the special features of nature. Enjoy a snack while listening to the sound of the rapids on the leant-to shelter on the shore of the rapids.

Read more about Liimanninkoski on Outdooractive.

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Liimanninkoski is also children’s favorite hiking destination. Photo: Harri Tarvainen / Rokua Geopark.


3. Lamminaho farm, Vaala

The Lamminaho farm by the Oulujoki River in Vaala is an exceptionally well-preserved example of the old building style of the Oulujoki River Valley area. There are a total of 20 buildings in Lamminaho with valuable details of traditional construction methods. Most of the buildings and objects at Lamminaho are from the 18th century. In the summer, the site functions as a museum maintained by the municipality of Vaala and as a venue for various events and work demonstrations.

You can visit Lamminaho during summertime. Please check the opening hours on Vaala municipality’s website or on Outdooractive.

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At the Lamminaho farm, you can get to know Oulujoki River Valley’s old building stock and peasant tradition. Harri Tarvainen / Rokua Geopark.


4. Rokua National Park

Rokua National Park was established in 1956 to protect Rokua's natural lichen carpet and special geological features. Rokua area has dunes, kettle holes with marshes or clear water ponds, as well as ancient shore lines. The national park also has natural old pine forests, which are rare for the region, with plenty of dead pine trees and stout old trees.

Rokua National Park is in the heart of the Rokua Geopark area. It offers a great setting for camping and mountain biking. The national park has approximately 40 kilometers of marked hiking trails, 45 kilometers of marked mountain biking trails during summertime, campfire sites and the possibility to spend the night in, for example, the Pitkäjärvi camping area or the Pookivaara rental cabin. There is also an observation tower on top of Pookivaara hill, from which you can admire wonderful landscapes. In winter you can go cross-country skiing or snowshoeing in the area.

After a long wait, Rokua National Park can now also be reached by public transport from the directions of Oulu and Kajaani cities in summer and autumn! Read more on Matkahuolto's website.

Find out more about Rokua National Park on website.

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The white lichen carpet dominates the scenery in Rokua National Park. Photo: Harri Tarvainen / Rokua Geopark.


5. Kalevala Heritage Village, Ahmas

Kaleva Heritage Village is a collection of stories and buildings from past times, such as years of persecution, old livelihoods and folk singers. In the heritage village, you can get to know the rich cultural history of the village of Ahmas, where poetry singers and folk healers are on spotlight. Their poems and spells from this area have ended up as far as the Finnish national epic Kalevala. In Kalevala Heritage Village you will learn, among other things, who Iso-Lassi and Lucia Rusintytär Korhonen were, what poems and spells were recited for in those days, and from whom Elias Lönnrot collected material for compiling the national epic Kalevala. The village is located a few kilometers from Rokua National Park.

Find out more about Kalevala Heritage Village on Outdooractive.

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In Kalevala Heritage Village there is, for example, a compilation of beautiful old buildings. Kuva: Mari Saastamoinen / Rokua Geopark.


6. Oulujärvi Hiking area, Manamansalo

The old pine forests and long sandy beaches of Finland's only inland hiking area invite you to a memorable adventure! The Oulujärvi Hiking Area covers part of the islands on Lake Oulujärvi and the mainland coastline. There are maintained hiking trails, shelters and places to make fires, as well as landing places for boats. The hiking area offers versatile opportunities for kayaking, boating, hiking, fishing and other recreation. Most of the hiking trails, around 17 kilometers, are located on the island of Manamansalo, which is Finland's fifth largest inland island. Manamansalo can be reached both by car along the road from the northern side and by ferry from the southern side of the island.

Read more about Oulujärvi Hiking Area on website.

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Enjoy the incredible views of the vast Lake Oulujärvi on the shoreline trails of Oulujärvi Hiking Area. Photo: Niko Laurila / Rokua Geopark.


7. Deer Trail, Manamansalo

Along the 2.5-kilometer-long Deer Trail, you can get to know Manamansalo's rich cultural history on top of the ancient Ancylusjärvi shore cliff. There are about 70 ancient deer hunting pits along the path and a deer hunting village built in prehistoric spirit, the main building of which is a peat barn. At the end of the Deer Trail is the Manamansalo Memorial Church, in the vicinity of which there have been inhabitants since the Stone Age. The place is a Stone Age artifact discovery site, and Kainuu province’s first Christian cemetery and church were also located there, which were, however, destroyed during the Russo-Swedish War in 1580.

Find out more about the Deer Trail on Outdooractive.

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The deer hunting village embodies the buildings from the Stone Age. Photo: Henri Luoma / Rokua Geopark.


8. Kilonniemi Gneiss Site, Manamansalo

At Kilonniemi in Manamansalo island, you can get to know the oldest bedrock area in the European Union, a gneiss rock crystallized 2700 - 2600 million years ago. It is a remnant of an ancient continent, which during its history has fallen into the collision zone of continental plates several times, folded into mountains and eroded again into a flat rock surface. The striped and folded appearance of the gneiss is a reminder of these turmoils. The information boards next to the rock tell about the oldest rock areas on Earth and the dating of the stones, and present the gneiss outcrop in a visual way with the help of pictures and texts.

Read more about Kilonniemi Gneiss Site on Outdooractive.

The gneiss has a gorgeous striped appearance. Photo: Harri Tarvainen / Rokua Geopark.


9. Old wooden churches, in Muhos, Utajärvi and Vaala.

The churches of Muhos, Utajärvi and Säräisniemi were built in the 17th and 18th centuries, and they are significant representatives of wooden church architecture. The churches are also part of the River Oulujoki pilgrimage route.

Completed in 1634, Muhos church is the oldest wooden church in Finland that is in year-round use. Hannu, the tower builder, is considered to be the builder of the church. During the Great Northern War (1714-1721), the Russian troops destroyed the Muhos church, but did not burn it down, so the church was restored to use in the years of peace after the war.

Utajärvi's magnificent church was completed in 1762. Over the centuries, its style has been changed in different ways, but the current interior and exterior follow the original. The Utajärvi Local History Museum is located in the same yard as the church.

Säräisniemi church in Vaala is an idyllic and beautiful wooden church built between 1779 and 1781. It was built in Säräisniemi to replace the Manamansalo church, which was destroyed during the Russo-Swedish War in the 16th century, because the journey to the next closest church, Paltaniemi, was long and crossing Lake Oulujärvi was dangerous. The stone base of the Säräisniemi church is more than two billion years old, beautifully folded gneiss, which was quarried from the nearby Pirunkallio,  "the Devil's Rock".

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The Muhos church is located on a beautiful spot by River Oulujoki. Photo: Harri Tarvainen / Rokua Geopark.


10. Local History Museums, in Muhos, Utajärvi and Vaala

Each municipality in the Rokua Geopark area has a local museum, where you can learn about local history and many kinds of treasures.

The Muhos Local History Museum operates in an old grain warehouse on Tikkalanmäki in the center of Muhos. The museum is maintained by the Muhos Local History Association, founded in 1953. The museum presents a wide range of museum objects and recorded folklore from the region.

The Local History Museum in Utajärvi, operating in an old grain storehouse, presents necessities and tools related to agriculture and forestry as well as tools used in households. In the museum yard, you can find a rowing boat from the time of the free Oulujoki River, built according to the model of an old tourist boat.

The Säräisniemi Local History Museum in Vaala is located in the premises of the Säräisniemi village’s oldest school. It is maintained by Säräisniemi Museum and Local Heritage Association founded in 1957. The basic collection of the museum was gathered from different villages of Vaala in the late 1950s. Since then, the collections have been supplemented several times.

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​​​​​​​The Säräisniemi Local History Museum is located by Lake Oulujärvi in Vaala. Photo: Henri Luoma / Rokua Geopark.