Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Hossa: Part 3/10 The Julma-Ölkky canyon as one of the most mystical places in Finland

Published: 04.05.2021

Hey there! Nice to see you again. I just came back from my trail run practice through the Hossa National Park and I have to say - it was again amazing. On my way at the Kainuu Trail’s 55 km trail I went over a beautiful bridge which goes over the canyon and has an amazing view over it. Canyon is called the Julma-Ölkky canyon which means the “cruel canyon” - it is the one of the most well-known sights in Hossa. Together with the Iso Helvetinjärvi (Big Hell´s Lake) in Ruovesi and the Toriseva canyon lakes in Virrat the Julma-Ölkky canyon is the biggest one of the three largest canyon lakes in Finland that is born of a large crack in the land. The canyon was born 2 billion years ago when the surface of the Earth was formed - the lake was formed much more later - during the ice age. You can clearly see the traces of the canyon’s history which are quite impressive especially on-site when you see a rock wall that is roughly 50 meters high.

In the Kainuu Trail event the only way to cross the bridge and enjoy this amazing view is by running on the 55 km trail. But do not worry, you can also see the bridge and its surroundings from the Kainuu Trail’s 78 km track. Basically in 55 km distance the runners will enjoy the panorama hiking route called “Ölökyn Ylitys” which is 5 km long but in 78 km distance the runners will go through the whole canyon area by using the 10 km long hiking route “Ölökyn Ähkäisy”. These are the hardest trails in the Kainuu Trail event and in the Hossa National Park area.

When you cross the bridge you can have a nice overview over the lake which is in total 3 km long and surrounded by rock walls that are approximately 50 meters high. Under the water surface the walls continue into almost bottomless depths. If you are not enjoying the mystical view while running the trails you can also admire the untouched wild nature and one of the most mystical places in Finland by boat, canoe or kayak.

So, if you are participating in Kainuu Trail to the 55 km or 78 km distances or you are thinking about running these trails in the Kainuu Trail event then you now know which kind of surroundings will wait for you. If you are not too focused and hasty to the running you might take a moment to enjoy the mystical view from the bridge.

Facts about the bridge and the environment:
1. The canyon was born 2 billion years ago
2. The Julma-Ölkky canyon the biggest canyon lake in Finland
3. The canyon lake is 3 km long and the surrounding rock walls are up to 50 meters high
4. In Kainuu Trail event the runners of the 55 km distance will use the cable bridge of Julma-Ölkky
5. In Kainuu Trail’s 55 km runners will go through the 5 km long “Ölökyn Ylitys” hiking route
6. In 78 km runners will enjoy the whole canyon area by using 10 km long “Ölökyn Ähkäisy” route
7. Hiking routes in Julma-Ölkky are the most demanding ones in Hossa National Park
8. The best places to admire the mystical view is from the viewing platforms around the canyon
9. When you are not running or hiking you can get familiar with Julma-Ölkky by boat, canoe or kayak
10. In Hossa National Park the Julma-Ölkky canyon is the place to be visited

Photo: Suomussalmi.fi/Hossa National Park

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