Visitors to the Karhonsaari island, located in front of Ranta-Toivala, can familiarise themselves with nearly one hundred different trees and bushes. The oldest planted trees in the area data back to the first decades of the 1900s. In addition to an arboretum displaying different tree species, Karhonsaari includes relics of the first steam-fuelled sawmill in the North Savo region. The villas in the northern part of the island are a reminder of a time when the staff of a local forestry company spent summers on the island.
The arboretum and the trees planted in it are presented on a few-kilometre-long nature trail, which you can start at the information boards located on the north and south shores. Along the trail is information about both common and rarer trees and bushes. One of the real jewels of the arboretum is the rhododendron, which blooms around midsummer. The giant larches and beautiful cedars are also a sight to behold. You do not need to wear rubber boots on the nature trail.
The marked Karhonkierto trail is also located in the western part of the Karhonsaari island. The trail passes through nature conservation areas included in the EU’s Natura network of protected areas. The southern shore of the island has a lean-to and a campfire site intended for campers. The villas and their yards located in the north shore of the island are owned by the Savo-Karjalan luontopiiri nature association.
The Karhonsaari island is a boat ride from Kuopio. You can berth smaller boats near the lean-to on the south shore of the island. A dock for larger boats is located on the north shore near the villas.
Row a boat to the Karhonsaari island
Visitors to Karhonsaari can borrow a rowing boat free of charge during the summer season. The boat is stored at the end of the Ranta-Toivalantie road. Book the boat and pick up keys at the customer services in the city’s Council Office Building:
Council Office Building
+358 (0)800 918 511 (free telephone line)
Customer services are open on
Mon-Wed at 8–15.30 o’clock
Thursdays at 8–16 o’clock
Fridays at 8–14 o’clock
If you want to use the boat on a specific day, you should book it in advance. The boat can fit three people. You can also borrow lifejackets (3 in total) from the customer services.