Kultalähde is a natural spring located in protected Hyyppäränharju ridge area in Kiikala village in Salo municipality. It is a small spring with crystal clear water. I have been meaning to visit Kultalähde for a long time, but somehow, I thought it isn’t easy to reach. Turns out it is, if you don’t mind descending and ascending steep hills along the way.
Hyyppärä is a versatile Natura 2000 protected area with forests, ridges, bogs, springs, ponds, ravines, and streams. The Kultalähde is one of the most precious springs in Southern Finland. Another special feature in Hyyppärä is a small Varesjoki stream in 20 meters deep ravine. The whole area has many rare species of plants and insects.
Hyyppärä nature trails
There are two circle trails in the area, 1,8 and 2,3 km long. They both depart to the same direction (anticlockwise) from the parking lot and take you to the Kultalähde. The way to the spring is easy as you walk downhill. On the way back you can choose if you want to take shorter blue trail with one massive hill or follow a slightly longer red trail with four huge hills. Both trails showcase the Hyyppärä ridge in an awesome way.
My pictures never do any justice to anything, but I tried to take a photo of a hiker in the middle of the massive hill on the blue trail. We chose the red trail, which was going downhill from this location. It turned out to be just as challenging.
Legends of the Kultalähde spring
There are many local legends about Kultalähde. According to one story both Kultalähde and Silmälähde springs located in Kiikala village used to be ancient burial sites. I had this in my mind when I arrived to Kultalähde. When I got there, I saw something white at the bottom of the lake. I tried to focus my sight to the round thing in the lake, several meters deep, and to me it looked like it had two black holes in it. For a brief moment it looked like a skull! Suddenly, I saw a black fish swimming over the white “skull”. I was so spooked. I tried to take a picture of the “skull” but I was afraid I’m going to drop my phone in the water. After staring at the “skull” for a good amount of time I decided it was probably a plastic bag or something like that. In any case, it was too big to be an animal skull.
According to another legend Kultalähde has a treasure. Someone had spotted a moonshine still at the bottom of the lake, full of jewels. They had tried to lift it up but failed. After that attempt the moonshine still was spotted only on Midsummer nights. If you wanted the treasure, you were not supposed to approach the spring with even number of people. And you were supposed to be silent. Three men tried their luck and tried to lift the treasure on one Midsummer night, but just when they were getting it to the surface, one of them talked. The treasure sank back to the bottom and hasn’t been seen since. Men and their loose lips!
Directions to Kultalähde and Hyyppärä nature trail
How to get there:
Public transport: Unfortunately, there is no public transport to Kultalähde.
Bicycle: You can cycle to Kultalähde parking lot, but not around the spring area.
Car: Oinasjärventie road that leads to Kultalähde passes also Kiikala airfield. Oinasjärventie used to be in a really bad condition for years until finally in July 2021 it was paved again. There is a sign to Hyyppärä nature trail by the Oinasjärventie road.
Accessibility: There are no services for the disabled in the area, and the short trails are very hilly and demanding. The parking lot was recently moved and expanded.
Special to know: Swimming and fishing at Kultalähde are prohibited, please respect that. Remain on the trail as this whole area is protected. Keep your dogs on the leash.
Also visit in the area
- Iso-Valkee is a spectacular little lake in Hyyppäränharju area. It has few lean-to shelters and it is a great geocaching destination. If you want to swim, Iso-Valkee is highly recommended.
- Aneriojärvi has a birdwatching tower and nature trail, plus a huge Hermolanvaha boulder standing in the middle of a field. Aneriojärvi is known for stone age culture.