Petäjävesi – Jämsä, Wanha Witonen canoeing & kayaking route, 75 km


60 – 75 km


Wanha Witonen canoeing / kayaking route runs through varying scenery filled with Finnish summer cottages, rural areas, fields and rocky shores. The route consists mostly of narrow lakes but there are also some beautiful river parts along the way. Additionally, couple of rapids bring some excitement to the journey. The name “Wanha Witonen” means “old fiver” in Finnish and stems from the picture that was in the old five markka note. Pictured in the five markka note there is a rower; the scenery was painted in Rasuanniemi, which can be found towards the end of the route.

  • Duration: 2-4 days
  • Suitability: Suitable also for beginners and families

Kirveslahden venelaituri – Pirkonsaari 5km
Pirkonsaari – Kuivaniemi 12,7 km
Kuivaniemi – Survosenkoski I , 6,8 km
Survosenkoski I – Lylyniemi 5,5 km
Lylyniemi – Iso-Hiekka 7,4 km
Iso-Hiekka – Runonsaari 4,8 km
Runonsaari – Varpaisniemi 5 km
Varpaisniemi – Oinaalan veneranta, Jämsänkoski 6,1 km
Oinaalan veneranta, Jämsänkoski – Hulkkion Majakka, Kaipola 13,7 km

Kalliokosken power station 100 m
Jämsänkoski 3 km


Plastic kayaks are recommended on this route. Due to some rocky parts the route isn’t suitable for kayaks or canoes made from carbon fiber. It is possible to divide the trip into smaller parts as there are many places accessible by car on the way. Check the water level and placement of the rocks in the rapids beforehand from the shore. The route is marked with yellow triangles along the way (at times visible from a far distance) and they guide your way from start to finish. These triangles are marked on the map as guide points. Resting points are also marked by yellow triangles and there you can find at least a place for a campfire, an outhouse and a table with benches. Wood for the fire is usually provided at the stopping points, but you have to be able to do your own kindling with an axe and a saw that can be found on every stopping point. Although the route is marked, you should have a map of the Wanha Witonen route with you.

You can buy a waterproof map of Wanha Witonen route (12 €) at the Tourism Information Office in Jämsä or at local tourism companies.

An experienced paddler will finish Wanha Witonen route in two days. If you want to enjoy the beautiful scenery at a more relaxed pace and get to know the sights along the way, you should prepare to paddle for 3-4 days. There is accommodation available on the route.

The route starts from Petäjävesi Kirveslahti dock (next to the crossroads of Rantatie and Miilutie roads). Cars can be parked near the dock. It is also possible to start canoeing/kayaking from multiple starting points along the route. Equipment can be rented from Kievari Rantapirtti or Eräopaspalvelu Talvi and they can also transport kayaks or canoes to/from starting/finishing points along the route.

Kirveslahden venelaituri (dock)
Miilutie 2
N62° 15.408′ E25° 10.638′

Piesaskyläntie (607)1
N62° 12.357′ E25° 11.210′

N62° 08.679′ E25° 12.125′

Kievari Rantapirtti
Petäjävedentie 448,
42440 Koskenpää
N62° 07.198′ E25° 09.674′

Keuruuntie (6046)
N62° 06.406′ E25° 05.128′

Koskenpääntie (604)
N61° 59.707′ E25° 08.147′

N61° 54.052′ E25° 10.126′



Kirveslahti dock – Pirkonsaari 5km

The start of the trail is located in Petäjävesi, at Kirveslahti dock. You can drive your car right next to the dock so it is easy to start your trip there. The car can also be parked there for a longer time.

Right at the beginning you need to paddle underneath three bridges before you get away from the roads and the village center. Before the third bridge you pass the old church of Petäjävesi which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Please note that it is prohibited to go ashore at the church so it is best to visit the church before starting to paddle – you can for example leave your canoe/kayak at the starting point (Kirveslahti) and walk to the church and back (1.2 km/15 minutes walk one way). After passing the church you go under the last bridge and start your way towards the first guide point.

Pirkonsaari island is the first resting point with these facilities: campfire, an outhouse and a table with benches. You can also put up a tent there.

Pirkonsaari – Kuivaniemi 12,7 km
From the island you continue for 1,5 km over lakes towards Majaniemi cape where you can find a guide point. A beautiful and narrow river leg starts from Majakoski until the first rapid Hankakoski. During low waters there can be parts of the river where the kayak/canoe can get stuck or scrape some rocks. Note that if this should happen, the current will be so slow that it is safe to get out of the kayak/canoe and push it away from the shallow point.

You can easily check the water level and the difficulty of the current from the bridge that goes over the rapid. The challenge in the rapid is the narrow canoeing line which avoids the rocks.

The canoeing line starts from between the rightmost concrete blocks before the bridge. Continue on the right side passing the bridge pillar from the right side. After the bridge move to the left to avoid rocks on the way.The rocks can be easily seen on low water.

It is possible to pass the rapid by carrying your kayak/canoe (approximately 200 meters) along the path which starts from the left side of the river and is marked with a yellow triangle. There is a dock from where you can start carrying the kayak past the rapid.

After the rapid the river part ends and you come to Piesasjärvi lake. Follow the left shore and pass Vasikkosaari on its left side. The signs will guide you to the southern part of the lake where you have to be sharp and bypass the Pinkkaniemi cape from the left side. At the end of Pinkanniemi there is a guide triangle which shows you the way to Suolijoki river.

Paddle along Suolijoki river for a couple of kilometres until you come to Ravunkoski and Lapinkoski. These “rapids” are more like currents than rapids and you may not even recognise them as you pass them by.

At Kalliokoski rapid there is a power plant which has to be passed by carrying the kayak/canoe. The path is again marked by a yellow triangle and a dock. The carrying distance is 100m but there is a cart with which you can pull your kayak easily. Next to the rapid you can find a fishway and a table if you want to take a rest. If you are lucky you can see some fish making their way to the other side.

After the rapid you arrive at Salosvesi lake, where there can be higher waves on windy weather, but soon you get to the cover of islands. The next stopping place is Kuivaniemi where you can see a glacial erratic. On the resting point you can find a lean-to, an outhouse and a camp fire place.

Kuivaniemi – Survosenkoski II, 6,8km
From Kuivaniemi you continue towards Kievari Rantapirtti where you can stay for the night, have a meal and book a sauna. After Kievari Rantapirtti you pass underneath Petäjävesi – Jämsänkoski bridge where a 200m current called Virtalankoski begins. Next there is Kalmanvesi lake where islands will give shelter to the paddlers. Here you will follow guides which will lead you to Siniänvirta.

Siniänvirta widens up to a pool after which you come to the first Survosenkoski rapid. The rapid is about 100 meters long and drops 1 meter. It is advisable to check this rapid from the bridge which goes over it. It is also possible to carry your kayak/canoe with the help of a cart. There is also a camp fire place.

Go straight in the middle between the pylons. After the bridge the rapid turns to the left before calming down. The rapid is easy to go through if you just follow the main stream avoiding the rocks on the sides.

After Survosenkoski I, the rapid changes to a calm river leg. After 300 meters you will arrive to Survosenkoski II rapid. The second Survosenkoski is a little more demanding than the first one due to the rocks on the bottom of the rapid. It is recommended to get familiar with the flow beforehand. It is possible to bypass the flow on the left side of the rapid. The carrying distance is approximately 150 meters.

Survosenkoski II – Lylyniemi 5,5 km
After the rapids, Vähä-Rautavesi lake opens up and the route follows the right shoreline until Iso-Rautavesi lake. Iso-Rautavesi is the longest open lake section of the whole trip and on windy weather crossing it can be slow and demanding. Follow the shore line to get away from the waves. Right after this you come to Lylyniemi rest stop. The resting place has a big camp fire place, toilet, table and great views to the lake.

Lylyniemi – Iso-Hiekka 7,4 km
From here you continue to Rautavirta narrow passage, Uuttana lake and finally to Luomenjoki river. The river ends at Luomenkoski rapids. The first rapid has a mill house that the rapid passes by. The rapid is short but fast with a 0,5 meter drop in the middle. Canoeing line goes on the right side of the rapid, at the beginning you have to look out for a rock on the right side. After the rock do the drop in the middle of the stream. This rapid can also be avoided by carrying the kayak/canoe across the island. The carrying path is 100m long and starts from a small dock. The second rapid is more of a current and ends at Pirttijärvi. From Pirttijärvi turn left into a narrow opening leading to Lahnajärvi lake. At Lahnajärvi you will find the nice resting spot Iso-Hiekka with a campfire site, an outhouse, a shelter for cooking, a camping area and a table.

Iso-Hiekka – Runonsaari 4,8 km
From Iso-Hiekka the lake continues as a narrow passage until Väännäkoski rapid, after which you will quickly arrive at Runonsaari resting point. The island is surrounded by summer cottages and it is sheltered by a cape.

Runonsaari – Varpaisniemi 5 km
After Runonsaari island the journey continues on a narrow lake until Vuohiselkä. Following the shore line you can see the first signs of the approaching Jämsänkoski village. The rest stop Varpaisniemi with its facilities (public beach, toilet, a covered campfire site) is close to a road between beautiful properties close to the water.

Varpaisniemi – Oinaalan veneranta, Jämsänkoski 6,1 km
As the trip proceeds, the number of buildings start to grow. After the beach and Köyrysaari island, you will arrive to the exact place after which the route was named. Architect Eliel Saarinen painted a rower at this strait, and the picture ended up in the five markka note. The name of the route Wanha Witonen originates from this; ‘wanha’ means ‘old’ and ‘witonen’ is a ‘fiver’ – thus, it means ‘Old Fiver’. After you have passed Rasuanniemi, you can go ashore at the bed and breakfast Mataran Puuro ja Peti’s dock and stay there overnight. At Rasuanniemi you will find nature trails and learn about local history. While crossing over Rekulanselkä, you can watch the beautiful buildings decorating the waterside on your left, or the untouched nature on the right. When arriving at Jämsänkoski, you will first see Aarresaari island’s local museum and its historical buildings. During summer time there are guided tours available at the museum.

The canoeing/kayaking route comes to an end at Oinaala harbour, next to a sports field from where the canoe/kayak can be easily transported over Jämsänkoski center. If you have time, you can visit the old mill ‘Wanha Mylly’ on foot, following a beautiful shore way. At the mill you can learn about the history of the mill while enjoying a cup of coffee or a tasty meal. Within walking distance there are also other places to see: the unique Ilveslinna building and Linnasenvuori hill which is an Iron Age fortress hill and can be explored by following the marked trail. There are also other services available at Jämsänkoski, such as shops, restaurants, a beach and a swimming hall.

The route can be easily continued by ordering transportation over Jämsänkoski from Ilkka Talvi.

Oinaalan veneranta, Jämsänkoski – HulkkionMajakka, Kaipola 13,7 km
From Kellokallio the route continues as an easy river leg, and you will see both countryside and town area. Look out for the traffic on the river – there are often boaters about, and give way when needed. Jämsä town center is right next to the river, and can easily be explored. This part of the route is also suitable for a day trip. If you want to make a relaxed paddling trip and get to know the center area of Jämsä, Villa Hiidenmäki offers quality accommodation right next to it. From Villa Hiidenmäki you can also go for a short stroll on the Hiidenmäki hill where there is protected area and an old burial site from the Iron Age.

From Jämsä onwards the trip proceeds as an easy river leg up until Kaipola harbour. The last leg’s beautiful landscape is varied from farmland to lovely buildings and untouched nature. At some places steep cliffs rise straight from the water up to several meters’ height. The route finishes at Kaipola where it is easy to go ashore with a kayak/canoe. At the harbour you can have a meal at restaurant Hulkkion Majakka, and there is also gas station.

Points of interest:

1. Kirveslahden venelaituri, starting point
2. Petäjävesi old church, UNESCO World Heritage Site
3. Lemettilän tila, cottage accommodation
4. Maatilamatkailu Kumpunen, cottage accommodation and rooms
5. Toppalan mökit, cottage accommodation
6. Rest area
7. Karikkoselkä Meteor crater lake
8. Hankakoski, rapid, rest area
9. Taipaleen tila, cottages
10. Kalliokoski powerstation, place of going ashore
11. Kuivaniemi place of going ashore, glacial erratic ‘’Devil’s Stone’’
12. Kievari Rantapirtti, accommodation, equipment rental
13. Survosenkoski I, rapid
14. Survosenkoski II, rapid
15. Lylyniemi, rest area
16. Myllykoski, rapid
17. Iso-Hiekka, rest area
18. Runonsaari, rest area
19. Vihatti, rest area
20. Varpaisniemi, rest area
21. Mataran Puuro ja Peti, accommodation in rooms (B&B)
22. Rasuanniemi,  place of going ashore
23. Aarresaari kotiseutumuseo, museum
24. Oinaalan veneranta, Jämsänkoski, place of going ashore
25. Wanha Mylly (old mill)
26. Beach
27. Ilveslinna building
28. Linnasenmäki (Iron Age hill-fort)
29. Oinaala slipway
30. Kellokallio slipway
31. Rautakautinen kalmisto, Iron Age burial site, nature reserve
32. Villa Hiidenmäki, accommodation in rooms
33. Virmapyhänvuori,  Middle Ages relic
34. Hulkkion Majakka, Restaurant, End of route


Accommodation in rooms and cottages
Kievari Rantapirtti
Petäjävedentie 448,
42440 Koskenpää
Puh. +358 14 767115

Accommodation in rooms (bed & breakfast)
Mataran Puuro ja Peti
Koskenpääntie 97, 42300 Jämsänkoski
Puh. +358 40 5653523

Accommodation in rooms
Villa Hiidenmäki
Hiidentie 8, 42100 Jämsä
Puh. +358 40 148 6141

Accommodation in cottages
Lemettilän tila
Siltatie 23, 41900 Petäjävesi
Puh. +358 50 414 7275

Accommodation in cottages
Toppalan mökit
Toppalantie 120, 41900 Petäjävesi
Puh. +358 50 524 8973

Accommodation in rooms and cottages
Maatilamatkailu Kumpunen
Kirrintie 94, 41900 Petäjävesi
Puh. +358 40 731 5299

Accommodation in cottages
Taipaleen tila
Taipale 20, 41900 Petäjävesi
Puh. +358 40 828 8802

Canoeing Services

Kievari Rantapirtti
Petäjävedentie 448,
42440 Koskenpää
Puh. +358 14 767115
Aquipment rental

Eräopaspalvelu Talvi
42100 Jämsä
Puh. +358 45 1100 145
Aquipment rental


Jämsä matkailu

Petäjävesi matkailu

Petäjävesi Old Church