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 a steep hill about 500 meters from the parking lot.
Hyyppärä is a versatile Natura 2000 proctected 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.
Legends of the 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. I decided to walk to the other side of the spring to take few pictures. 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 gonna 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
How to get there:
Public transport: Unfortunately there is no public transport to Kultalähde.
Bicycle: There are no specific roads for cycling.
Car: A small Oinasjärventie road that leads to Kultalähde passes also Kiikala airfield. That road has been in very bad condition for some 50 years, and will probably be for another 100 years. So drive carefully and take care of your vehicle if you are planning to visit the site.
The blue dot in the map is the parking lot. Black dotted lines are trails in the forest. Kultalähde is the small round pond in the beginning of Lammensuo bog. Green lines mark the Natura protected area.
There are many unmarked trails in the forest, but the best way to reach the Kultalähde is from road Oinasjärventie, not from a nearby camping center (leirikeskus in Finnish) where Google Maps wants to direct you. Believe me, because I tried that first. The Saarentie road to the camping center is closed by a gate in middle of the way, so you would have to leave your car to the gate and walk from there. The parking lot along Oinasjärventie road is closer Kultalähde. The parking lot has also a big sign to Kultalähde, so you won’t miss it. There are no trail markings to the spring, but here’s a hint: Follow the main path and when there are options, select the trail that goes down the hill.
Accessibility: There are no services for the disabled in the area, and the short trail is demanding.
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. 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.