In commercial collaboration with Visit Päijänne and the European Agricultural Fund
At the end of June, I and Joni (the guy with the yellow jacket in the picture below) planned to cycle the large ring route (132 km) from Hartola to Sysmä and back through Kammiovuori – the second highest point in southern Finland – and also to take a few photos for Visit Päjänne.
The road from Vääksy to Sysmä and to the northern part of Lake Päijänne has been chosen as one of the most beautiful scenic routes in Finland and part of it is also on this cycle route.
On our first day, we started cycling around 2.40 p.m. and arrived at Vähäniemi beach a few kilometers from Sysmä at 9.40 p.m. We parked near the Itä-Häme Museum, where we found beautiful wooden buildings from the 1580s. We also discovered a suspension bridge that was built over the Tainionvirta River in the 1930s and is just 200 meters from the museum.
In general, the entire route was easy to drive and there was something to see too.
The highlights of this bike tour were:
- Pulkkilanharju ridge – Add 16 km to the original route. The Pulkkilanharju ridge is made up of islands connected by three bridges – one of which is a 175-meter steel suspension bridge.
- Vähäniemi beach was not officially part of the route and you have to add 14 km to the route to get there and back on the actual route. However, I definitely recommend staying there overnight. There is also a covered fire pit and a fire pit on the beach. Firewood can be bought for 5 EUR. There is also a beach volleyball net there.
- Sysmä – We had lunch here and stocked up on our provisions in one of the grocery stores. Here you can also see the Olavi Virta Memorial statue, a church, and the “moving stone”, which we did not visit. Several small bridges over Lake Päijänne from Sysmä to Kammiovuori.
- Kammiovuori (Kammerberg) – which we didn’t visit this time. However, we took a nice picture of it. However, the top of the “mountain” is well worth a visit as the scenery is great from above. There is also a seven-meter-high boulder called “Linta” and the cave of Hezekiah, named after a vagabond who hid there.
- Kalkkinen village with a wooden church from 1910. Kalkkinen is also an important place in the history of wobbler making in Finland.
I found cycling along the route to be quite relaxed as the route only went up and down gently. The road from Kammiovuori changed from asphalt to sand. You just have to note that all restaurants are closed after 6 p.m. and there are no grocery stores on the way except in Sysmä, Kalkkinen, and Hartola. So pack enough food and water in your bags and enjoy a nice evening on Vähäniemi beach. It’s definitely a nice bike route, especially in June when the landscape is covered in flowers. It is probably also a great bike tour in autumn (Ruska) and it is definitely worth taking a few pictures of the landscape from the summit of Kammiovuori.