What is Lentua?

Lentua is a large lake located in Kuhmo, which is part of the Friendship Park. The lake’s islands boast many lean-tos and campfire sites, while Lehtosaari island also features a wilderness hut and sauna.

During the summer, Lentua is an excellent destination for canoeing and fishing. In the winter, the lake becomes a playground for skiing and snowmobiling.

Lentua is Kuhmo’s largest unregulated lake. Its waters flow through Lentuankoski rapid towards Lammasjärvi. For more information about Lentuankoski and the nearby Kallioniemi, continue reading this article.

Paddlers in Lentua seen from above
Photo: Metsähallitus/Harri Tarvainen

History of Lentua

entua Lake has been inhabited for centuries. Evidence of Stone Age settlements has been found, and the first settlers arrived in the 1600s.

According to legend, the lake got its name when a group of Russians sailed across it with a birch tree as a sail, propelled by a tailwind. Upon reaching shore, one of them exclaimed, “That was Lentoa (=a fast sail of flying)!” Another version of the story claims that someone made the same remark after navigating Lentuankoski rapid in a boat.

The lake also has cultural significance. North of the lake lies Lapinsalmi Manor, where Akseli Gallen-Kallela stayed during his honeymoon. It is rumored that the Aino triptych was sketched near Lapinsalmi’s shore. You can read more about this in a YLE article. (Unfortunately it’s in Finnish)

Lentua is also prominently featured in Veikko Huovinen’s book, Havukka-ahon ajattelija. The protagonist, Konsta Pylkkänen, serves as a guide to two researchers from the south.

Lentua in the summertime – paddling and wild forest reindeers

Lentua offers both rocky and sandy beaches, making it a popular destination for water activities, mostly paddling. In my opinion, Lentua is best enjoyed on hot days, when you can hop in a canoe and paddle from one sandy beach to another.

Paddlers arriving to a beach
Photo: Metsähallitus/Harri Tarvainen

Where do I park my car when I go canoeing or boating in Lentua? Where can I find a boat ramp?

The best places to start canoeing are Hyvärisensalmi in the west and Isojoki in the east. Lentuankoski also has a boat ramp. When starting from the rapids, you must cross a large open water area before reaching the Lentua islands.

The lake is home to a large population of roe deer. I have never gone on a canoe trip in Lentua without seeing at least one deer. In the summer, deer like to bask on the sandy beaches of the islands.

Swimmers at Lentua
Photo: Metsähallitus/Harri Tarvainen

Winter adventures in Lentua – ski trip to Lehtosaari wilderness hut

My cousin Saara and I went on a skiing trip to Lentua in April 2023. Saara skied with regular skis, while I used ski shoes.

Note! Note! You always move on ice at your own risk. I recommend watching the Finnish Swimming Teaching and Lifesaving Federation’s Ice Safety webinar!

At this late stage of spring, temperatures were well above freezing during the day, so timing was important. There had been -10 degrees Celsius overnight, but temperatures were forecasted to rise to +8 degrees Celsius during the day.

Our skiing trip began at ten in the morning from Hyvärisensalmi. The car could be conveniently left on the parking.

We skied towards the southern part of Rytikaarre Island. There were plenty of snowmobile tracks to follow, which made skiing feel safe. We saw a few open holes, which were fortunately easy to spot as the sunlight had melted them. The sun was shining from a cloudless sky, but the snow was still hard from the night before.

After Rytikaarre, we had to cross a larger open water area. Again, we followed the snowmobile tracks, which provided good skiing conditions, as the snow on the open area became more uneven and thus heavier to ski on. It was very quiet, we didn’t see any other people or animals. Even the wind didn’t blow, which is rare on this lake. We also saw mirages on the lake, which I have never seen before in winter!

A mirage in between two islands

Lehtosaari wilderness hut and sauna

Lehtosaari was easy to find. We put our skis aside and lit a fire, after which we explored the unfamiliar wilderness hut. The hut was larger than I had expected. It had two sides, each with bunk beds, a table, benches, and a stove. I’m sure it would be nice to spend the night here!

I also peeked into the Lehtosaari sauna. This sauna used to be a smoke sauna, but it has been converted into a regular sauna. It was a smart decision, as it was only a matter of time before an inexperienced heater would have burned down the whole building! The black walls reminded me of the smoke sauna days, nowadays there is a regular Harvia stove and the benches looked replaced too. The sauna is right by the shore, so it’s great to take a dip in the clear lake water.

We didn’t want to waste time indoors on such a beautiful day, so we headed back outside to the fire. Today we had good food – Saara had made potato flatbreads, and I had homemade herb butter. In addition, we had sausages, as well as coffee and tea.

We ate leisurely while enjoying the sunshine. Somewhere in the distance, we saw a snowmobiler who apparently wasn’t interested in coming to the island. After eating, we decided that we had to start skiing back before the sun softened the snow too much.

We crossed the large open area using the same tracks as before, but this time we decided to go around Karhusaari Island from the south. After passing Rytikaarre, we decided to ski the rest of the way following the shore. The snow began to soften gradually, but fortunately, it still didn’t sink or stick to the bottom of my ski shoes.

When we arrived back at the starting point, we were really refreshed, my face was completely red from the sun’s glare, it was really hot in that sun! The temperature had risen to seven degrees Celsius. We thought that if we had started any later, we might have been in trouble with the softening snow.

The length of the trip was 7.85 kilometers, which is a really good length for such a day hike.

Other things to do in Kuhmo

A magnificent waterfall – Lentuankoski – flows from Kuhmo’s largest unregulated lake

Pajakkakoski is a beautiful natural attraction right on the outskirts of Kuhmo

Other Friendship Park destinations:

Harakkasaari is an island that can be reached on foot even in the summer!

Elimyssalo enchants with its primeval forests and old wilderness farm

Iso-Palonen is known for its ridge landscapes and historical sites (Lähtisitkö? -blogi)

This site is registered on wpml.org as a development site. Switch to a production site key to remove this banner.