Sights & Experiences

In Kihniö, you can enjoy peace and quiet in nature by hiking along the Aitoneva Nature Trail or gazing at the astonishing views from Käskyvuori, for example. In Pyhäniemi, you can rent an electric fat bike and cycle around Lake Kankarinjärvi on the Aure Trail, which is part of the Lake Trails network.

EXPLORE THE GEOPARK

Lauhanvuori – Hämeenkangas UNESCO Global Geopark is a fantastic nature tourism destination in western Finland. It combines the valuable geology of the region with nature, culture, and sustainable hiking and tourism services. The Geopark joins Kauhajoki, Isojoki, and Karijoki in South Ostrobothnia, Parkano and Kihniö in Pirkanmaa, and Kankaanpää, Karvia, Jämijärvi, and Siikainen in Satakunta into one continuous nature tourism destination.

The story of the Geopark explains how the fold mountains created in the region almost two billion years ago have been worn down and transformed over time into the plateau punctuated by mires, forests, river valleys, and ridges it now is. Memories of the rise and fall of an ancient mountain range have been hewn into the stones, rocks, and soil in the region. Some of the largest wild and pristine mires in southern Finland can be found in the area. The quaint rural villages, churches, stone bridges, and old buildings are expressions of local history and culture.

WHAT IS A GEOPARK?

Lauhanvuori – Hämeenkangas UNESCO Global Geopark is a fantastic nature tourism destination in western Finland. It combines the valuable geology of the region with nature, culture, and sustainable hiking and tourism services. The Geopark joins Kauhajoki, Isojoki, and Karijoki in South Ostrobothnia, Parkano and Kihniö in Pirkanmaa, and Kankaanpää, Karvia, Jämijärvi, and Siikainen in Satakunta into one continuous nature tourism destination.

The story of the Geopark explains how the fold mountains created in the region almost two billion years ago have been worn down and transformed over time into the plateau punctuated by mires, forests, river valleys, and ridges it now is. Memories of the rise and fall of an ancient mountain range have been hewn into the stones, rocks, and soil in the region. Some of the largest wild and pristine mires in southern Finland can be found in the area. The quaint rural villages, churches, stone bridges, and old buildings are expressions of local history and culture.

KIHNIÖN GEOPARK-KOHTEET

Käskyvuori

The rugged Käskyvuori is the highest point in Kihniö at 187.9 meters from sea level. The magnificent views from the top can be enjoyed easily, as the route to Käskyvuori is accessible, where applicable. A flat road that climbs at a moderate incline goes from the parking area to the peak. Those looking for a challenge, can choose the 21-kilometer nature trail from Pyhäniemi, which can be traveled in the summer with a mountain bike or by hiking and in the winter on skis.

From the top of Käskyvuori, visitors can enjoy impressive views all the way to Ostrobothnia. It has been said that when the weather is good, you can see the steeples of three churches from Käskyvuori. Services at Käskyvuori include lean-to, a rest area including a shelter with a fireplace, and an observation tower that reaches 11 meters above the ground. Waste management, firewood, and a toilet are also available at the rest area free of charge. Käskyvuori is part of the Lauhanvuori – Hämeenkangas UNESCO Global Geopark, and it is one of the named Geopark destinations in Kihniö.

AITONEVA PEAT MUSEUM AND MACHINERY EXHIBITION

Aitoneva is a versatile and rare attraction in Kihniö. The area includes a museum, machinery exhibition, bird watching tower, nature trail, and two lean-tos. Aitoneva is owned by Neova-Group Oy. Aitoneva is part of the Lauhanvuori – Hämeenkangas UNESCO Global Geopark, and it is one of the named Geopark destinations in Kihniö. Aitoneva is also part of the European Route of Industrial Heritage (ERIH). A café is open to visitors regularly during the summer season and based on requests at other times.

The exhibition at the Aitoneva Peat Museum explains the history of peat production and provides information on the actual production and uses of peat, as well as the development and history of the sector and environmental management.  The Museum grounds include a lean-to and a comprehensive machinery exhibition consisting of old production equipment, the oldest of which date back to the 1940s. Some of the equipment used for the work over the years has been quite unusual and thus well worth seeing.

On the nature trail, visitors can see how the peat production area is being environmentally restored, as well as a rare drag bucket that was used in the production of sod peat. Information boards are dotted along the nature trail describing animal and plant species that are typical to the area. Signs of peat production can still be seen in the terrain along the trail. Aitoneva’s bird watching tower Aitotorni is located at the edge of wetlands. The wetlands function as an after-use application for the peat production site and as a water management structure.

You can find out more about Aitoneva via this virtual demonstration!

Pyhäniemi

With its expansive beaches and pine forest on the shore of Lake Kankarinjärvi, Pyhäniemi is a magnificent tourist destination in Kihniö. The area also includes holiday cabins, a restaurant, and a dayspa with a lakeshore sauna. Pyhäniemi is part of the Lauhanvuori – Hämeenkangas UNESCO Global Geopark, and it is one of the named Geopark destinations in Kihniö.

The Pyhäniemi area offers various activities to visitors. You can enjoy disc or miniature golf, play Padel, tennis, or badminton, work out at a GymPark, play outdoor chess, or have a game of beach volley. You can also rent an electric mountain bike and take the trail to Käskyvuori, for example. A play area next to the lake offers activities for children. And the kids can also enjoy the waterslide on the beach.

NATURE EXERCISE TRAIL

The Pyhäniemi–Käskyvuori nature exercise trail is located in the southern section of the Suomenselkä drainage divide, which means that the area typically experiences long winters offering excellent conditions for skiing. The trail starts from the shore of Lake Kankarinjärvi on the grounds of Holiday Club Pyhäniemi and continues to the center of Kihniö, where you can take a refreshment break in Puumilan Taitotalo, for example. Continuing north, the trail goes through an area dotted with villages and forest landscapes to the Erämaja lodge, and further past the Teerineva mire reserve to an area of natural beauty in Käskyvuori.

The nature exercise trail is also located in the Lauhanvuori – Hämeenkangas UNESCO Global Geopark. The Pyhäniemi–Käskyvuori trail can be considered an easy route with some moderately difficult sections, and it is suitable for effective physical activity throughout the year, as it can be traveled on skis in the winter and, for example, by hiking or on a mountain bike in the summer. The 4-kilometer section between Pyhäniemi and the center of Kihniö is illuminated. The trail can be accessed from multiple points, and its total length is 21 kilometers. Along the trail, lean-tos in Annalanvuori and Toivonen can be used free of charge.

Destinations along the nature exercise trail:

PYHÄNIEMI

Holiday Club Pyhäniemi offers high-quality accommodation and restaurant services. The area also features extensive wellbeing services and a wide range of activities. In Pyhäniemi, you can fish, play Padel, tennis, or miniature golf, or rent an electric fat bike.

ERÄMAJA

The Erämaja lodge can be used to organize even larger events. The lodge has a maximum capacity of 150 people. Guests can also enjoy a smoke sauna with a capacity of 30 people. Those arriving through the exercise trail that goes through the grounds can also access an outhouse and take a snack break in a lean-to.

KÄSKYVUORI

At the other end of the trail on top of Käskyvuori, visitors can enjoy impressive views reaching all the way to Ostrobothnia. Käskyvuori features a lean-to, a rest area with a shelter equipped with a fireplace, and an observation tower. Waste management, firewood, and a toilet are also available at the rest area free of charge. Käskyvuori can also be reached through an accessible route, where appropriate.

Esinemuseo

Owned by the municipality of Kihniö, Esinemuseo was established in 1945 into the parish granary next to the church. The building was completed in 1921, and the site is protected by the Finnish Heritage Agency. The museum collection is primarily comprised of items acquired by merchant Tarmo Markkula. Markkula collected the items on his travels as a machine representative, starting in the 1930s. 

The collection includes more than 2 000 items. While most of the items come from the surrounding regions of Pirkanmaa and Satakunta, the collection also includes items from elsewhere in Finland and from outside the country. The collection reflects the historical development of the region from the stone age to present day. While the collection is primarily comprised of items pertaining to the culture of hunting, fishing, and other wilderness pursuits, there are some surprising items as well, such as the hide of an armadillo and a blowfish.  

The yard of the museum features the Sampo monument, which was revealed during the celebration of the 150th anniversary of Kalevala in 1985. The monument is comprised of a rock to which a message in the spirit of Kalevala has been carved by the municipality, and a smaller rock brought to the site from Myllynkivisalo. The rocks were provided by Pohjois-Kihniön Maamiesseura. The monument project was headed by Tarmo Markkula, who found numerous similarities between the history of Kihniö and Kalevala.

The grounds of the museum also feature a statue of Jaakko Juhana Roth, which was erected in 1958 as recognition of his deeds during the Finnish War. Roth was born in Hietanen in Kihniö. The statue was designed by Tarmo Markkula.

 

The local education and culture department is responsible for the museum. Kihniön Esinemuseo is open in the summertime as notified separately and based on requests at other times.

GERMUND PAAER'S LIFE'S WORK

An exhibition on Germund Paaer’s life’s work assembled by Kihniö-seura can be seen in Puumilan Taitotalo. Germund Paaer was the first head designer of Kalevala jewelry. He was born in Parkano but spent his childhood in Kihniö, where he also returned to summer as an adult.

HOME MUSEUM OF PUUMILA AND HIETANEN

The atmospheric old cottage and storehouse in Puumila features a permanent exhibition consisting of old items from the Puumila and Hietanen home museum.

Korpela Arboretum

Gardeners Unski and Mari, Uuno and Maria Korpela founded the Kihniö Arboretum in the early 1970s, in whose greenhouses they grew summer and Christmas flowers, and occasionally vegetables and cut flowers, until their retirement.

Uuno’s (1938-2012) fascination with trees may have been inherited from his student days, if not innate. The yard was where Uuno started planting: brave larch trees on the north wall of the later demolished greenhouses, silver and teriyas on the south border, and columnar ash and wild alder on the side of the house.

The arboretum, in Unski’s own words a nature trail or deciduous forest, began to take shape in the 1990s and 2000s in a low, moist birch forest. Unski thinned trees, dug ponds and streams, carved small bridges, longitudinal trees and paths – and planted trees.

Unski collected wild, woody plants, especially from Finland, as well as their special forms and varieties, such as alders, willows, yews, maples, birches, rowan and sparrows. Every year something new was added to the collection and experimented with: noble deciduous trees, conifers, alpine roses.

In the thickets of trees, along paths, at the edge of ponds and around bridges, you can find planted or sown wildflowers and perennials, both familiar and rare. For example, deer bells, hornworts, marigolds or hollyhocks. Unski was particularly proud of and delighted by the wide pet carpet of blue flowers that bloomed in spring, slowly spreading and spreading from one small shopping trough.

Seedlings and cuttings were purchased, donated or hunted from nearby and around Finland, from friends, from nurseries. The gardener also sowed a lot of flowers, some wood, at least walnuts and elms. The last entry in Unski’s notebook is from September 2010. That’s when he planted 22 pennywort seedlings in his arboretum, grown from seed.

Unski was happy to show off his nature trail, guiding the root with a jaunty, slow and focused approach.

Now the paths have been cleared for walking again.