Lake Oulujärvi

With a surface area of almost 900 m2, Lake Oulujärvi is known as the sea of Kainuu. Lake Oulujärvi is the fourth largest lake in Finland and is geographically situated almost in the middle of Finland. Its beautiful sea-like scenery features the flat plains of Ostrobothnia, the fells of Kainuu, shining golden beaches and bare rocky islands.

Lake Oulujärvi differs from Finland’s other lakes due to its beautiful stretches of open water. Lake Oulujärvi also boasts a large number of islands. In fact 650 islands have been counted with an area bigger than 100 m2. The lake’s large size means it is home to an abundance of wildlife. You might encounter marine species such as ruddy turnstones, great cormorants, and white-tailed eagles drifting above the water. As well as picturesque views and varied wildlife, the sloping sandy beaches are also safe and pleasant places for family swimming. Lake Oulujärvi is also located inside Finland’s only lake hiking area, with managed walking trails and other related services.

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Manamansalo

Manamansalo is Finland’s fifth largest inland island. Much of its 80 km shoreline is sandy beaches. The heart of the island is an extension of a sandy ridge which formed in layers on top of ancient bedrock more than 2.5 billion years old. 

Explore the beautiful natural setting of Manamansalo on the trails in the Lake Oulujärvi hiking area. These cover almost 15 km in the northern part of the island. They meander through lichen-clad ground, shimmering silver, past kettle holes filled with clear water and the shoreline of Lake Oulujärvi. The best spot to access the trails is at Teeriniemi, where there is also a hiking area information point. 

In the north-east part of Manamansalo you’ll find Kilonniemi fishing harbour and a gneiss bedrock site presenting the oldest bedrock area in the European Union. Peuranpolku, a trail that presents the history of the island dating back thousands of years, runs from Manamansalon Portti to a Monument church. More up-to-date culture can be enjoyed at Kassu Halonen’s Taidetalo.


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The Lake Oulujärvi hiking area

Lake Oulujärvi boasts the only lake hiking area in Finland. It covers some of the islands in the Niskanselkä northern part of the lake and the shoreline of the mainland. The islands in the hiking area have managed hiking routs, shelters and campfire areas sites as well as places for mooring boats. The Lake Oulujärvi hiking area also offers a wide range of opportunities for canoeing, boat trips, walking, fishing and other activities. The most famous tourist destination in Lake Oulujärvi and also the heart of the lake itself, is the island of Manamansalo, the fifth largest inland island in Finland.

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Gneiss bedrock in Kilonniemi

In Kilonniemi, visitors can see the oldest bedrock area in the EU, gneiss bedrock 2,700 – 2,600 million years old. The remains that can be seen are from the ancient landmass, which over the course of history, several times found itself in the zone where the tectonic plates collided, was folded into a mountain range and was then once more worn down into a smooth rock face. The striped and folded appearance of the gneiss bedrock bears witness to the tumultuous events it has been through. The board next to the rock describes the phases in its history.

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Säräisniemi church

Säräisniemi church dates from 1779 – 1781 and is a beautiful wooden church in an idyllic setting. It was built in the parish of Säräisniemi to replace Manamansalo church, which was destroyed in the Russo-Swedish war in the 1590s, as the journey to the next nearest church, in Paltaniemi, was a long one and crossing Oulujärvi Lake was dangerous. Next to the church, under the trees, is a graveyard with old, decorated gravestones. The graveyard also has a memorial to people of the parish who died in the Second World War. The stone footings of Säräisniemi church are in beautifully pleated gneiss, quarried from nearby Pirunkallio. Pirunkallio means “Devil’s Rock” in Finnish. The gneiss is one of the oldest rocks in the European Union. The is an information board of Säräisniemi village by the parking lot of the church.


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Utajärvi geological time trail

Geological time trail in Utajärvi takes you on a journey through time through the history of Finland’s bedrock. The first rock in the park’s time trail is Siurua gneiss 3.5 million years old. It is also the oldest known rock in the European Union.

Next to the Geological time trail there is an information point located in a woodshed. It shares information about nature, culture and tourism services as well as about interesting attractions and hiking trails in River Oulujoki Valley, Rokua and Lake Oulujärvi areas. A restaurant, cafeteria, gas station and market are located in vicinity.

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