Skiing, culture and beauty at Pielinen 

Skiing culture and beauty at Pielinen 

Pielinen is a lake located in North Karelia and the fourth largest lake in Finland. Adjacent to the lake is Koli National Park, a place with particular cultural value and an important Finnish national symbol. The beauty observed in Koli has inspired painters, musicians and poets across time. There is much to write and discover from this region, from its natural beauty, history and cultural meaning.

There are few places in the world where one can find ice-roads that are officially open. In other words, local governments assure that the thickness of the ice is enough to allow vehicles to cross from one edge to the other. Often the ice roads are very useful to reduce driving distances. For example, the ice-road of the Pielinen is 7 kilometers long, and it is officially maintained by the city of Lieksa. Thanks to the road, the driving distance between Koli and Vuonislahti is reduced by 60 km in winter, as one drives across the lake and does not go around it. 

From the “land” you will always see the signs that indicate you were to drive to the ice-road = jäätie
Starting to drive on the road you will see many traffic signs, assuring you are on the road. It is also indicated where are the other tracks for skiing or skating. Pedestrians can enjoy different winter activities above the frozen lake, e.g. ice-fishing.
Driving on the ice-road February 2023

On Feb 13, 2023 the ice road on lake Pielinen, between Koli to Lieksa was officially open. We can also find the official ski track, and a road for fast ice-skating. All these tracks are officially maintained by the city of Lieksa.  

Different activities to enjoy over the frozen lake Pielinen
If skiing the 7 km is tiresome, you can rest in the middle of the road to recharge 😉

What I found particularly special this year is that the ski tracks, besides to take advantage of the natural beauty they were also knitted with some relevant cultural spots. For example, an intersection of cross-country ski tracks was next to Paateri, which is a cultural jewel. In Paateri one can enjoy the work of Eva Ryynänen either by taking a recharging refreshment at the cafeteria or visiting the museum. Unquestionably a quality pause during your skiing day. The following link is from the entrepreneur in charge of the cafeteria of Paateri.

Entrance to Paateri
Inside the cafeteria at Paateri
Screenshot 2023-03-12 at 17.36.33
A ski route in Koli is on the left side of the Pielinen. After crossing the Pielinen you can ski until reaching Paateri. (see this page for actualization)
Screenshot 2023-03-12 at 17.36.02
On the right hand side of the Pielinen, after visiting Paateri, we can continue with more skiing tracks. (see this site for actualization)

I want to thank to the city of Lieksa that has been doing a wonderful work in creating opportunities for the winter sports in the region, as the idea of Arto Sihvonen of the fast ice-skating track and having the skiing tracks passing next to Paateri. Thanks, Mikko Kero, for the wonderful time in the region.

Directions to Paateri

Paateri 21
FI-81560 Vuonislahti

Paateri is located in Vuonisjärvi, near the village of Vuonislahti, about 27 kilometers from the center of Lieksa.

Car: The route to Paateri is guided from national road 73 25 km from Lieksa in the direction of Joensuu (from the Korpijärvi intersection) and from Vuonislahdentie from the Vuonisjärventie intersection. On both routes, the last two kilometers are Paateri’s private road (more information in Finnish in this link).

Public transport: There is no public transport available to this location.

Accessibility: This location is accessible as does not have stairs or steep uphills and parking can be next to the entrance.

Three facts about Paateri

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