In 1939 – 1940, Finland fought the Winter War against the Soviet Union. After the Winter War, the eastern border seemed vulnerable, and the Finns embarked on the largest building project in their history. To protect the border, the Salpalinja was built as a line of defence that was 1,200 kilometres long and extended from southern Finland to Lapland in the north. At the height of the work, 35,000 men were building hundreds of forts and obstacles on the border. On the Salpalinja hiking trail you can get acquainted with dugouts, fortifications and museums, not to mention the surrounding nature.
- Duration: 3-4 days
- Trail markings: Marked with blue paint marks and Salpapolku signposts. Intersections have guide signs.
- Suitability: Suitable for whole family, but is not wheelchair accessible. Partly suitable for bicycling also.
Parts of route:
Majaniemi – Harju 7,5 km
Harju – Bunker museum 8,7 km
Bunker museum – Pyyhinlampi 12,3 km
Pyyhinlampi – Salpalinja-museum 7,8 km
Salpalinja-museum – Muhikko 5,7 km
Muhikko – Hostikka cave 12,9 km
Along the Salpapolku, there are more than 20 dugouts and fortifications in good condition. The signposts tell you about the Salpalinja locations and their history. Animals and plants thrive in the large, sparsely inhabited forests.
From Majaniemi, small footpaths and quiet gravel roads run to Pyyhinlampi, some-times between antitank fortifications. The Bunker Museum is located along the way. At Pyyhinlampi you can take a break at the campfire spot and go for a swim from the jetty. From Pyyhinlampi, the trail continues through quiet forests to Salpalinja Museum. Before the museum is Jermula, where you can reserve a cottage or a ‘kota’ hut for 20 persons and a sauna. There is also a lean-to and a swimming spot at Jermula.
After Salpalinja Museum there are rest spots on the way, with lean-to’s and campfire spots, for instance at Myllylampi and Muhikko. The trail winds along quiet forest roads and occasional footpaths, all the way up to Hostikka Cave.
Good to know
One should prepare well for this long trail passing through forests: good packed lunch, enough water, proper clothing and map. Trail can be divided in several legs. Transportation can be organized by Kymenlaakson taksi. You can also overnight in the lean-to shelters by the trail. Parts of the trail from Ravijoki fire station to Pyyhinlampi and from Salpalinjamuseo to Hostikka cave are also suitable for mountain biking with little variations.
There are few changes in elevation on the trail, and the terrain is mainly easy to navigate.The steepest ascents and descents are around 25 per cent. The signposts become fewer towards the end of the trail. The route runs along gravel roads and wooded footpaths, some of which have tree roots and rocks.The paths from Ravijoki Fire Station to Pyyhinlampi and from the Salpalinja Museum to Hostikka Cave are also suited to cross-country cycling. Cyclists must take short cuts to avoid the most difficult sections, which go through the dugouts and anti-tank fortifications.
To start the trail
N60 29.304 E27 33.818
Transportation to the start of the trail and its different sections:
tel. +358 (0)5 230 7180
Timetables for regular bus traffic: