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Camping, See and experience

Kuninkaanpuisto

The Kuninkaanpuisto trail leads to a mosaic of forests and swamps, in which forest-clad elevations tower here and there over the swamps. Forest-clad elevations, small rocks, and boulders make the landscape varied. The toponymy of the area is influenced by a strong tradition of royal legends starting from the 16th century, when Gustav I of Sweden made hunting trips to the area. Kuninkaanpuisto is a daytime trip destination of reasonable length for hikers of different kinds. Situated in a relatively easy terrain, the trail can be walked by children and older hikers alike.

To the starting point of the trail

Starting point 1

Hankajärvi, the Hankanen rest area
Karstulantie 942
63800 Soini
(WGS84) N62° 53.41306′ E24° 22.29022


The rest area is clearly signposted from Road 697.

Trail description

Kuninkaanpuisto is a 7.2-km long combination of a line segment-circle route in a dry forest terrain. The trail offers an appropriate amount of variation for many kinds of hikers. The trail, located in quite an easy terrain, can be walked without problems by children and senior hikers. The trail is visibly marked on trees with blue dabs of paint. The trail also appears in the terrain as a clearly distinguishable track. The intersections of paths are equipped with signposts guiding to the lean-to of KokkoValkeinen and the Hankanen rest area. Along the trail, there is one lean-to equipped with firewood, and an outhouse. From the lean-to of Kokko-Valkeinen, the circle route continues to the direction shown by the signpost to Soramonttu, unless you want to return the same way as you arrived.

Level of difficulty

The trail has a firm base, and is easy to walk on. The trail crosses the swamps through duckboards of good quality. The trail climbs to a few hills, and there are a few depressions in the dry heath terrain, which gives variation to the trail.

Good to know

You get on wearing light hiking equipment on the trail, which is passable when there is no snow. The starting point is located by the river uniting two lakes (Hankajärvi and Iso-Punsa), at Hankakoski. On the other side of Karstulantie Road, there is a camping area and a summer kiosk. The camping area has a small beach. The Leave No Trace policy is followed in the area, which means everyone takes their own rubbish away. As a rule, mobile phones have coverage in the area. In the nature conservation area, pets must be kept on a leash.

Environment

The Kuninkaanpuisto trail leads to a mosaic of forests sand swamps, in which forest-clad elevations tower here and there over the swamps. Forest-clad elevations, small rocks, and boulders make the dry pine forest terrain varied. The topography also influences the vegetation, which is scarce in this type of terrain. The trail mainly runs through commercial forests, for which some traces of logging can be seen along it, but its general appearance is wooded. The Kuninkaanpuisto trail crosses the Ketvenneva swamp along duckboards in the very beginning, and there are other small swamps and ponds along the trail, hid between the elevations in the forest. The fauna of the swamps is varied and rich. The lean-to of Kokko-Valkeinen, in the middle of the trail, is close to a lake, and a path leads to its shore. The lean-to is by the Kokkosuo swamp, but the swamp is hid behind groves.

Interesting information about the trail

The charred stubs along the trail talk about the past forest economy of the pine forests, the era of loggers and horses. Forest fires, too, have left their mark in the forests. The trail passes through a tar-burning pit on the Metsä-Korkea ridge, but there is no signboard by it. Outside the trail, there are splendid swamps and several small ponds (such as Iso-Ollinlampi and Hoikkalampi), which those who are interested can visit. By them, you can study the avifauna of the area in more detail, because the swamps and small lakes of Kuninkaanpuisto are rich in birds. Of waterfowl, e.g., red-throated diver, bean goose, and diver inhabit the area. The birds are noisy especially in spring and during the summer nesting season. The wildland species of the area also include Finnish forest reindeer. Yet, signs of it can nowadays be found in the terrain less frequently than before, because of change in their grazing lands.

Download and print the route description and map here!

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