The wilderness type Jänisjoki river that is rich in fish flows through Tohmajärvi. The river landscapes vary from woodlands to the lush sceneries of the grove zone of Lake Ladoga. The Jänisjoki river provides a water travel route that is perfect for all nature lovers.
The Jänisjoki river flows both in Finland and Russia. The lower section of the river on Finland’s side is called “the large Jänisjoki river.” This begins from Lake Loitimo in Kiihtelysvaara and ends at the Russian border in Värtsilä. The Jänisjoki river has three initial branches before Lake Loitimo. The Jänisjoki route can also be started from Kotajoki and Kuuttijoki branches or the Kovero branch to extend the length of the route.
Jänisjoki has approximately 200 kilometres of paddle routes along lakes and rivers. However, the four power plants of Ruskeakoski, Vihtakoski, Saario and Vääräkoski must be circumvented by land.
For fishermen, the Jänisjoki river offers tens of rapids and currents. Rest stops have been established in the river landscape and they are open to all nature travellers. You can spend the night in a lean-to or comfortably between sheets at Hotelli Joki in Värtsilä.
Fishing heals the mind
The best way to catch a fish is to cast a lure into the water. For a fisher, the Jänisjoki river fishing area offers everything from small streams to the large river. The lake areas, large stream pools and the areas between dams are excellent lure and fly fishing spots.
Lempaankoski on the northern side of Vääräkoski is a perfect fly fishing spot with trouts, ides, perches and pikes. You might catch the “big one” in Patsolankoski, if luck is on your side. Kattilakoski is also a popular fishing spot.
Wild fish species include perch, pike, burbot, whitefish and roach. Trout reproduces naturally in certain locations. Common bream, zander and ides live in the waters as well. Trout, grayling and zander are the planted species. Catch size trouts, both one summer ones and one-year-olds, are regularly planted in the rapid areas of the river route.
Remember to purchase the fishing permits!
The Jänisjoki river lure fishing area covers almost the entire Jänisjoki region. Fishing and crayfishing are prohibited across 100 meters in the area below the power plant dams. Check the minimum dimensions of the fish. For more information on fishing permits, visit the muikkusuomi and ahven.net sites.
Follow the course of life from a duckling’s perspective
The Jänisjoki routes include approximately 200 kilometres of paddling routes on rivers and lakes. The northern branch starts from Lake Uramo and runs into Lake Loitimo together with the Kotajoki and Kuuttijoki rivers. After Lake Loitimo, the Jänisjoki river continues as a wide current, as “the large Jänisjoki river”, towards the eastern border and Lake Ladoga.
There are plenty of locations for paddling. Oskolankoski, which can be accessed from Oskolantie, is a great starting point at Lake Loitimo. When leaving the lake, the shore has an open fireplace, lean-to and toilet. The well-equipped Peltokoski is a popular fishing and camping site. The Kattilakoski rest stop is idyllically located in a rock recess at the bridge. The next stop is the Lahukka rest spot after the woody river leg downstream. The landing place and lean-to in Saario are located on the left side of the river. When passing by the Saario power plant, you can admire the architectural beauty of the plant built in 1908. And if you are lucky, you may also have a chance to peek inside.
The shores between Saario and Vääräkoski can be described as “jungle-like”. Before entering Vääräkoski, the river widens into a small lake. The Lempaankoski rest stop is on the right side. The section after the Vääräkoski power plant is one of the most interesting ones along the entire route. Patsolankoski is the next free rapid. The lean-to is located close to the Patsolakoski bridge. The Myllykoski lean-to is found slightly lower down. It is the starting point of the Siirinpolku trail that circulates in the childhood landscape of the famous cross-country skier Siiri “Äitee” Rantanen.
A nice day trip without passing by the power plants is possible by travelling below the Vääräkoski power plant. You can end your trip at around 11 kilometres on the slipway of Jänisjoen Tuvat in Niirala or just before the road bridge in Värtsilä, so that the total paddling distance to Värtsilä will be around 15 kilometres.
Remember to be careful! Before the paddling trip, check the scale of river difficulty. Spring floods and power plant diversions may change a familiar and danger-free rapid into a dangerous one.
Canoes renting and guided tours are organized by Karelia-Active, phone: +358 50 339 3737. Canoes are also rented by the Saario village community. Contact Mikko Shemeikka, phone: +358 50 379 3109 (5 two-seat kayak and 1 canoe).
Jänisjoki river continues to Lake Ladoga
On Finland’s side of the border, the river journey can be enjoyed by paddling up to the border zone, but the actual crossing is only possible by land through the Niirala border station. A visa is required, so the trip should be planned well in advance.
In Vyartsilya in Russia, a canoe can be launched near the village. The Jänisjoki river on Russia’s side flows through the Pieni Jänisjärvi lake and Lake Jänisjärvi towards Lake Ladoga. At the southern end of Lake Jänisjärvi lie the Hämekoski dam and power plant. After Hämekoski, you can battle from one rapid to the next in swirls that are not by any means modest. This route is recommended for air raft trips under the command of a skilled skipper or for highly experienced paddlers.
The riverside is surrounded by uninhabited wilderness, but the road winds close to the river. The municipality of Harlu has a power plant and the paddling equipment must, once again, be carried down to the lower reaches of the river. Harlu is followed by the wildest rapid section of the entire Jänisjoki river that should be checked before shooting down. The journey on the Jänisjoki river can be ended in Läskelä or you can continue for another six kilometres to Lake Ladoga. A few rest stops are scattered along the Jänisjoki river on the Russian side of the border. The best way to admire the river landscape is to go on a package trip on an air raft.