The Hepokönkäs Protected Area has been established around one of Finland's tallest natural waterfalls, Hepokönkäs. The waterfall in the beautiful Kainuu scenic landscape is a popular destination. The river valley is lush and the gorge is rugged. Half of the protected area is an old spruce forest with a number of endangered and rare species.
The geotrail takes you to the Heinijoki ravine, cliffs and various marshes. Along the trail, the oldest archaic granite cliff on the river meets a slate of fossilized sand from the sea floor. Billions of years ago, the meeting point has been at the edge of a continental slab where an underwater slab has sunk beneath a granite continental slab. In the process, the Karelidien mountain range was created, an alpine-like mountains. At the same time volcanic activity took place, and you still can see volcanic ash bags along the path. Millions of years and ice ages has worn the Karelidien mountains down. Erosion is still evident in the area: the Heinijoki meanders through the ravine, collecting sandbanks to its bottom and its shores.
The geological trail is very kids friendly due to its shortness and versatile landscape.
Visit during winter when the fall is frozen or during late spring during thaw.
Only make a fire at the lean-to if there is no forest fire warning issued. Check from here: https://en.ilmatieteenlaitos.fi/warnings
Duck boards and wooden stairs will be slippery when wet. Move with caution.
Tips and hints
During summer there is a café a few hundred meters before reaching the car park.
During winter the road leading to Hepoköngäs Waterfall is kept clear of snow up to the parking area. Walking paths are not mantained during winter.
The geopath information boards are only in Finnish.
From Puolanka centre drive road 78 Paltamontie five kilometres towards south-east and turn to left to the road 891 (Hyrynsalmentie). Drive 7 km, turn right to the road 8912 (Hepokönkääntie) and follow the signposts. From the intersection it is about 2 km to the area.
From main road 5 (E63) turn towards Hyrynsalmi, drive through the centre of the village and continue along road 891 (Hyrynsalmentie) for 39 km. Then turn left tot the road 8912 (Hepokönkääntie) and follow the signposts. From the intersection it is about 2 km to the area.
From Suomussalmi (Ämmänsaari) turn west onto road 892 (Kyröntie) and continue for 35 km. At Kytömäki turn right onto road 891 (Hyrynsalmentie) and continue northwest for 19 km. Then turn left to the road 8912 (Hepokönkääntie) and follow the signposts. From the intersection it is about 2 km to the area.
ParkingHepoköngäs parking area. During winter the road leading to Hepoköngäs Waterfall is kept clear of snow up to the parking area.
Book recommendation by the author
Author’s map recommendations
Sturdy shoes recommended but the trail is short and well equipped with duck boards and wooden stairs.
- 3 Waypoints
- 3 Waypoints