Want to go swimming or have a picnic in a peaceful place? Discover Kuhmo’s Harakkasaari island!

What is Harakkasaari?

  • Harakkasaari is a cross-shaped ridge island on Lake Lammasjärvi in Kuhmo
  • Located in the Kalevala area, 4 km from the town center
  • The island was incorporated into the Lentua Nature Reserve in 2020

How to get there:

When heading to Harakkasaari, it’s best to park your car at the parking area at the gate of the Kalevala camping area. Then head through the campsite gates. When the asphalt road splits, take the left path. After a short walk, you’ll see the sandy beach at the lower slope, where the causeway leading to the island begins.

Note! Note! Be careful if you use Google Maps for navigation. It often directs people to the wrong place. Here is the correct location on maps.

Harakkasaari from a drone


People have visited the island for a long time. Quartz flakes and hunting pits have been found there. It is not yet known whether the island was inhabited during prehistoric times or if it was only used for hunting and/or as a resting place.

Nowadays, the island is purely for recreational use. Residents of Kuhmo visit the island all year round.

Recently, the island also became part of the Friendship Park when it was added to the Lentua Nature Reserve. Friendship Park is a group of several protected areas established in 1990 to ensure safe habitats for the forest reindeer.

The pocket nature trail “Life on Ridges and Sands – Tales of Harakkasaari” teaches you interesting facts about the history of Harakkasaari and Kuhmo. Download it to your phone or print it out to add depth to your island visit! (Unfortunately it’s available only in Finnish)


On Harakkasaari, you can enjoy a new campfire spot built in the summer of 2021. There is a woodshed filled with firewood, they are free to use. Remember to check the wildfire warning before making a fire and do not spend more firewood than you actually need for your cooking.

Harakkasaari campfire spot

There are no marked trails on the island, but you can explore every corner via paths. The island is small, so getting lost is impossible.

A visit to the island can easily be combined with a visit to the Petola Nature Center, (open only during July) which is nearby, about a kilometer away. The staff at Petola are happy to share information about the island and other nature in Kuhmo.

Nature of Harakkasaari
Nature of Harakkasaari

Harakkasaari in summer: paddleboarding, swimming trips, and lounging on the sand

In summer, the waters are often low, making it easy to wade to the island! The island connects to the mainland via a causeway, where you might not even get your knees wet while walking. Map location. Walking to the island can feel like a special adventure, especially for children.

Walker on the ridge of Harakkasaari

You can also reach the island by water. It is an excellent destination for paddleboarding, for example. You can also land on the sandy beach by canoe or even motorboat, with caution.

You can rent a paddleboard from the nearby Hotel Kalevala! Alternatively, you can buy your own board or outdoor equipment from HauSport.

In summer, the best part of the island is definitely its sandy beaches. It’s a perfect spot for sunbathing, as the sun shines on the island all day long.

Harakkasaari beach
Playing petanque on Harakkasaari
Island is great place to be on hot summer days.

Locals head to the island on hot days for picnics, yard games, and, of course, swimming. However, note that the beach has a sudden drop-off, so be cautious with children.

Harakkasaari in winter

Snowmobile trail to Harakkasaari

In winter, Kuhmo’s extensive network of ski trails also circles Harakkasaari. You can extend your ski trip to other parts of Lake Lammasjärvi, or head to the nearby Kalevala Ski Center if you prefer hillier terrain.

Ski track making machine

Walkers are also considered. A separate trail for walkers is groomed next to the ski trail. Everyone can enjoy the outdoors, regardless of their equipment!

Harakkasaari ski trail and winter walking route

Other in Kuhmo:

Stay right next to Harakkasaari: Hotel Kalevala.

Another easy but beautiful hiking spot near the town center is Pajakkakoski. Read more here.