Guided Paddling Escape into the Wilderness in Eastern Finland

Guided Paddling Escape into the Wilderness in Eastern Finland

Guided Paddling Escape into the Wilderness in Finland

The Koitajoki river is beautiful, isolated, and relaxing. Join our guided canoeing or kayaking tour and discover the true silence and versatile nature of North Karelia. On this tour you can safely enjoy the nature, clean air, and waterways of easternmost Finland. In complete silence, far from everything we paddle 100 km in five days along the Koitajoki river and surrounding lakes enjoying wilderness campsites and nightless summer nights.

We meet n Petkeljärvi - Finland's smallest national park. Before camping the first night in the park, we enjoy a few kilometers of pine ridges shaped by the ice age. The adventure begins the next day heading out of the park on a narrow lake that soon widens to lake Nuorajärvi into which the Koitajoki river flows across the border. The river meanders downstream through sparsely populated wilderness through woods and along protected swamps, with are rich in bird and animal life. From the river our journey continues to the wilderness lake Koitere famous for it’s hundreds of islands and sandy beaches.

We camp on the beach of one of largest islands before crossing the lake to the last stage of our paddling adventure on a narrow river through a conservation area. From there we drive to Koihu cottages along Koitajoki to enjoy sauna, North Karelian style of dinner and the last evening and night. We camp at tiny and peaceful campsites with huts or lean-tos, fireplaces, and outdoor toilets.

The guide will plan, and if necessary, modify the tour details based on the wishes and abilities of the group respecting the weather conditions. The route, speed, itinerary, and even total length can flexibly be modified to fit to all participants making this guided tour a perfect adventure for travelers who enjoy outdoor activities and have some prior kayaking or canoeing experience. Participants need to be able to swim and have some experience camping in nature, and everybody needs to be comfortable paddling about 20 km per day for several days in a row. 

31.5. - 6.6.2023 | 11.6. - 17.6.2023 | 31.7. - 6.8.2023

Duration: 6 nights, 7 days.
Kayak and canoe options: Single kayaks, duo kayak, and canoes for two.
Total paddling distance: 100km

Price: 1530€ /person/6 nights, 7 days.
The package includes: Guide service, all paddling equipment, all camping & cooking gears, meals, snacks, and non-alcoholic drinks in nature, dry bags, tentssleeping bag and mattress, possibility to purchase upgrade options.Transfer to Joensuu railway station to start point and back to the railway station or Airport.

Please note: 

  • We advise you to take a travel insurance. 
  • ​We reserve all the rights to change the order of the activities or the content of the program if necessary due to the weather or other conditions.
  • The tour is not suitable for persons with reduced mobility.   
  • Participants will be able to select food and drinks for the trail from our selection beforehand. Food selection is based on North-Karelia and Finnish producers. In the first day at Petkeljärvi we’ll enjoy special dinner and at the last evening North Karelian style dinner.

What do I need to bring? 

  • A few sets of proper clothing to ensure that you stay warm and dry during the adventure.
  • Possibly a backup power source in case you need to charge e.g., your phone since there is no electricity during the trip. 
  • In the summer there may be insects (not dangerous, but inconvenient), so consider bringing insect repellent and/or hat, and medication if you are allergic. 
  • Kayaks do not have big storage capacity, so be selective what you bring. Canoes have more space. 
  • If you want to fish, persons between the age of 18 and 64 need a fishing license, which you can be purchased on the website or we can buy it for you. You can rent fishing equipment from our ‘Upgrade options’.


Below is a sample itinerary, which can be modified depending on weather conditions and the participants’ interests and experience.

Day 1: Petkeljärvi National Park – the starting point of the adventure 
On the first day we meet around noon in the park and take the afternoon to familiarize ourselves with each other as well as the rental equipment and safety procedures. Before dinner we have time to paddle and enjoy the park’s unique scenery of pine-clad ridges formed during the Ice Age. The first night we spend in our tents on the National Park campsite.

Day 2: Lake Nuorajärvi 
Our adventure begins in the morning by paddling out from the national park narrow lake towards the wide lake Nuorajärvi. There are a few summer homes enroute and we might see some fishermen, but otherwise it will be very peaceful. We stop for lunch on the sandy shore of Jänissaari island. The first inhabitants lived on the south shores of this island already in the stone-age. After crossing the lake we will go through a narrow and shallow canal into the Koitajoki river and reach Linnalampi lean-to having completed more than 20 km on the lakes.

 Day 3: Koitajoki river
The start of the river is straight and wide and flows very slowly passing some houses and swamps. We stop for lunch at Ristiniemi hut where the river touches the edge of lake Mekrijärvi. From there we have another 10 km to small marina near the village Huhus where we have access to fresh drinking water, and where you can send supplies in advance if you desire. This is also where we will be driven to after having completed the trip.

 Day 4: Passing famous Kesonsuo swamp
There are several protected swamp areas on both sides of the river, for example the large and very wet Kesonsuo, which the river bends around meandering around small islands. When arriving at Kangaskoski sandy beach for overnight camp we will again have paddled more than 20 km stopping half-way for lunch at Lylykoski fireplace.

Day 5: River Haapajoki and lake Koitere
We will cross a small artificial lake and soon we find ourselves paddling in river Haapajoki. After our lunch break at the swimming beach in Savilahti we will try to find some rock art by the river. We follow the gently flowing Haapajoki upstream to lake Koitere. On calm weather this beautiful lake with hundreds of islands offers a silent and wide scenery. We spend the last night in a lean-to on the magnificent sandy shores of the island Lammassaari or on smaller islands nearby. If the winds are predicted to be strong, we will choose a route and camp site close to the shore, which also has a nice beach.

Day 6: Käenkoski at river Syväysjoki - the end point 
The final day we will paddle a slightly shorter trip of 15 km at yet one different type of river, which is small and winding and called Syväysjoki. This runs through an open protected swamp and ends up in Käenkoski village marina. From there cars and trailer will pick us up to KoiHu cottages in Huhus. We’ll spent the last evening enjoying sauna and North Karelian style dinner before having a good night sleep in beds of the cottages or in tent if you so wish. 

Day 7: Departure to home 
After the breakfast and final packings transportation will take you to Joensuu railwaystation.