First sunny and warm day of spring blessed our trip to the Southern Konnevesi National Park in Rautalampi in the beginning of April. It took less than 1½ hours to drive from Jyväskylä on spring roads. Before the trip we checked beforehand how the Kalaja trail and road conditions will be like. It was still early spring and we thought there might be plenty of snow on the trail and that we might have difficulties accessing the parking lot.
The Kalaja trail is 4,6 kilometers long, and it takes about 900 meters to reach the trail from the parking lot. At the beginning of the trail there was an old chimney on top of a small hill, suggesting that there used to be habitation in the area. Early evening was the perfect moment to walk the Kalaja trail, which is the shorter trail in the park. Sun was setting beautifully by Vuori-Kalaja lake when we began hiking. We were enjoying the warmth from the sun before entering the forest, and admiring the mountainous hills of Kalajavuori.
In the middle of the forest there is a lone, ghostly house. The story of that house extends to present day. In addition to beautiful nature this is a spot worth stopping for a while.
The trail had been used a lot during the winter and the snow had melted in a way that we could hike with just hiking boots on. Vuori-Kalaja lake was still covered with ice, so unfortunately during this trip we didn’t get to see its clear waters. The views were great from the highest part of the trail. It was so high that I didn’t dare to look down from the edge.
At first we thought we came to the national park too late, because the sun was setting. But after we hiked up to the other side of the Kalajavuori hill, the sun came back and was lighting our way. The views from Kalajavuori towards Southern Konnevesi lake were breathtaking, our national landscape at its best.
The only icy part on the way was when the trail was descending to Kitulampi lake. From there it was only a short distance to lean-to shelter at the beginning of the trail. The shelter provides another good opportunity to stop and enjoy to the scenery by the shore of the Vuori-Kalaja lake, protected by the Kalajavuori hill. We had spent enough time on the trail and didn’t stay for coffees at the lean-to shelter at this time.
Kalaja parking area
Törmälän metsätie 136
Text by: Elina Raitanen
Photos by: Elmo Komulainen
Read more about the national parks in Finland from here.