Patvinsuo National Park (Patvinsuon kansallispuisto)

Patvinsuo National Park



Location: North Karelia   Map

Area: 105 km2

Official site


Description of Patvinsuo National Park

Patvinsuo National Park is located in North Karelia region of Finland. The natural park covers an area of 105 km2. Patvinsuo National Park is good for one day hikes through swamps, bogs, lakes and pine forests. Numerous lakes and small rivers are inhabited by the beavers. Their dams are clearly visible although the animal is fairly shy. Another common animal in the region is a bear, but it is also very reclusive and avoid human contact. Among birds of the Patvinsuo National park most common are wild geese, cranes, waterfowl and swans that nest here in summer. The administration of the Patvinsuo nature reserve constructed several tower across the park for bird watchers including one at the Teretinniemi, Lahnasuo and Surkansuo.


The scenic Suomunjärvi is located in the northeastern part of the area. It is over 600 acres in length, five miles long, and four miles wide at its widest point. The lake is barren, clean water and sandy. It has as many as 24 kilometers of sandy beaches. The maximum depth of the lake is as much as 27 meters. Suomunjärvi is fishy and known for its vendace, which spawns only in December. Hiking trails around the lake.

There are more than half the variety of bogs in the park. The bogs are extensive and watery. The park is located in the transition zone of the southern oases and the northern oases. The oasis swamps in the park are mostly cream oases. Aapa bogs have more demanding plant species than oasis bogs because they receive nutrients from the surrounding fabric bogs in early summer. The centers of the extensive bogs are crumbling tails and the drier edges are membranous. Intermediate forms of Oasis and Aapasuo can also be found, for example, in the northern part of Lahnasuo. There are also smaller slopes on the slopes of the dangers. The largest bogs are Patvinsuo, Hulkkonen and Lahnasuo.

The area is in a forest vegetation exchange zone. The forests in the area represent both Southern Finland and Ostrobothnia-Kainuu forest types. The age of forests varies. The forests of the park are mainly pine-dominated, dry canopy forests. There are about 700 ha of old primeval forests in the park. They are found in the six-dominated Desert and Pine-dominated Hietavaara as well as Rauvunvaara and Säästö-Maksimansaari.

Fauna and flora
The fauna is wilderness and includes many species that thrive in the swamp and are northern. Large carnivores live in the area. The population of the bear is abundant and the wolf, lynx and wolverine belong to the fauna. The bear also appears in the park logo. The lighthouse population of North Karelia originated from the Canadian beavers planted in the park in Nälmänpuro in 1945. The park's beaver population is currently about 20-30 beavers and their dams are in almost every stream. The otter also occurs in the area. Birds include the Buzzard, the Cuckoo, the Whooper Swan, the Wild Goose, the Cuckoo, the Peregrine Falcon, the Blue Buzzard, the Capercaillie, the Peregrine Falcon, the Little Egret, the Oriental Bird and the Blue Tail. Birds of prey and chickens are common. Several pairs nest in the area. In Patvinsuo it appeared on 17-18. May 2006 a real rarity: the eastern turtle dove. Birds and other animals can also be observed from the bird tower and two bird stages: Patvinsuo has a Teretinniemi bird tower, Lahnasuo on the edge and Surkansuo has bird stages. Among the fungi in the area, rare dwarf species are found, among other things. Insects in the area include vultures, old bulls, woodpeckers and terns, as well as species that thrive in burned forests, such as fireflies, which are endangered in Finland. Rare limestone, lemon dwarf and purple dwarf can be found in the drooping area, for example.

Patvinsuo has long carried out diverse research activities. Among other things, the origin and development of the bogs of North Karelia have been studied there in the 1960s. A major research project has been the study of Suomunjärvi fisheries and hydrology. It has been done by the Karelian Research Institute of the University of Joensuu. The research was done in 1973–78 and is still ongoing. Variations in the fishery and especially the vendace stock are monitored annually by means of experimental seines. Various researchers have studied the flora, fauna and fauna of the park every year. Studies in the area of ​​the national park have found several endangered beetle and dwarf species. One area of ​​research has been the dynamics of the old forest. In 1989, experiments on the burning of vertical forests began. Their purpose is to restore the natural state of forests through the use of fire. The experiment was the first of its kind in Europe. At the same time, changes in the beetle species and dwarf species of the burned forest have been studied. Patvinsuo has also long been part of international water and shore bird protection programs (Project Mar and Project Telma). It is also part of the Convention of Wetland, an international program for the protection of wetlands. Iso Hietajärvi in ​​the northern part of the national park is one of Finland's four research areas for integrated environmental monitoring.

The park has been used for forest restoration since 1989. During burning, small woods have been burned in an attempt to mimic the natural course ignited by lightning. The aim is to restore the felled forests to their natural cycle. Rare beetles, among other things, thrive in burnt forests, for which new habitats have been created. Species changes in burned forest islands have also been studied in the area, especially for beetles and dwarf species.


The first inhabitants arrived in Suomunjärvi as early as the 17th century. The oldest building is the Kuikkaniemi smokehouse, built in the early 20th century. The Finnish forest ranger's farm was established in the 1860s. The current buildings of the farm are mainly from the 1940s and 50s. There are many pine trees in the area as memories of times gone by. The most famous is the Finnish pine tree 200 meters from the nature hut. The oldest records in it are from the 19th century. Residents have made extensive use of the area. There has been fishing, hunting and clearing forests. The cattle have traveled on forest pastures and marshes have been mowed. In the wake of the mowing, there are several bases in the swamps as signs. The forests in the area have not only been cleared but also used for coal burning. It is commemorated by the Mäntypolu coal mill. Tar burning was practiced until the 1950s. Most of the forests are former commercial forests. Forestry expanded in the area after World War II, when timber was felled the most. At that time, there were up to ten forestry and swimming huts in the national park area.

There are motorways around the park and a road runs through it south of Suomunjärvi, and along it you can reach the Suomun Nature Park. There are 80 kilometers of marked hiking trails, of which as many as 20 kilometers have been extended. The most popular route is the 15-kilometer-long Suomunkierto tour of Suomunjärvi. Patvinsuo combines the Karhunpolku (138 km), Susitaival (90 km) and Patvinpolku (80 km) routes of the Karelian Tour.

There are three nature trails: Patvinsuo nature trails present the flora and birds of a mixed forest (Kuusipolku 3 km), various bogs (Lakkapolku 3.3 km) and dry fabrics (Mäntypolku 4.5 km). There are a total of three bird towers and platforms: Patvinsuo has a Teretinniemi bird tower, Lahnasuo on the edge and Surkansuo has bird platforms. There are two kitchen canopies, nine campfire sites and eight camping sites. There are five parking spaces on the roads around the edges of the park. Surkanpuro has a caravan area.

Suomu's information center is Suomun Luontotupa, which has a guide during the summer. The nature lodge offers accommodation, a beach sauna, boats and canoes, and the sale of fishing permits.

The areas of the Hiienvaara shooting range, which is owned by the National Park and Metsähallitus and used by the Border Guard, partially intersect and access to the shooting range is prohibited.