Kuolimo canoeing tour is a great way to explore the canoeing possibilities and great landscape on Lake Kuolimo and Lake Suomijärvi. Here you canoe on drinkable clear waters. Tour can be started from Savitaipale, Partakoski or Suomijärvi.
Duration: 1-4 days
Route description starts from Camp Suomijärvi where you can rent the equipment. From Lake Suomijärvi the route goes through culvert to Lake Kuolimo where you have multiple optional routes according to your route plan.
WEST FROM LAKE SUOMIJÄRVI
If you are heading towards Kuitura in western Kuolimo, start canoeing northwest to Kauriansalmi strait. There is a lean-to shelter at the westernmost point of Kuituranlahti cove, which is a good place for a break or to spend a night. There is also a 3 km long nature trail starting from Kuituranlahti. From here you return to Kauriansalmi strait where is a grocery store, restaurant/café and viewtower.
EAST FROM LAKE SUOMIJÄRVI
Other option is to head east after arriving to Lake Kuolimo. In the beginning the route goes close to Suomenniemi village, which is about 1 km walk from the lake. West from here is a narrow, about 1 km long, area before reaching more open waters at Morruuvuorenselkä and rocky Morruuvuori hill. There is a landing spot at Vehkalahti, about 2 km from Morruuvuori rock. West from here, in the western part of Kirvesselkä, is a restaurant and accommodation services available at Kiesilän Kievari.
Route continues east towards Suomensalo island. On the eastern side of the island is a popular rest area with lean-to shelter, campfire site, outdoors toilet and a pier. From here it is about 8 km to Savitaipale village and its services. On the way you will cross Isoselkä, the biggest open water area on the route. On the way to Savitaipale you can take a break on lean-to on the western side of Lehtisensaari island, see the prehistoric residence at Rovastinoja on the southern shore of Isoselkä or visit the Lepänkato recreational area close to Savitaipale.
After this section the beautiful locations of eastern Kuolimo are waiting. Kärnäkoski and Partakoski rapids flow from Kuolimo to Saimaa. They are not really suitable for Canoeing through, but both are nice places to see. In Kärnänkoski rapid there is an old fortress and a lean-to shelter with campfire site and a pier. At partakoski there is a cafe/restaurant in beautiful surroundings. Luotolahti strait is with rocky hills is certainly one of the highlight of the area. There is also a lean-to shelter by the lake about 500m north of Luotolahdenvuori rocks. Nature trail goes from the lean-to shelter to the top of Luotolahdenvuori rocks offering magnificent landscape over Kuolimo. If you wish to proceed to Lake Saimaa you can carry your canoe at Orraintaipale, 3 km from west from Partakoski rapids.
Good to know
Route is suitable for persons in good physical condition. There are 10 landing spots and commercial services on the shores of Lake Suomijärvi and Kuolimo, which are good guidelines for planning your route. On the landing spots you will find lean-to shelters, outdoors toilets and on few of the a pier also. Food supplies can be refilled on a few spots around the lake, but keep in mind that the distances between services can be reasonably long. Equipment rental services are available at Suomijärvi. From there you can also get professional advice for canoeing in the area.
To start the route
Savitaipale can be reached by bus from Lappeenranta and Mikkeli. Equipment rentals are available at Camp Suomijärvi. There are several options for starting place around the lake.