Activities coordinator Riikka Ylikauppila stands on the road running on top of a levee and gazes at the delta, where the water is almost completely still. Trees and bushes have been cleared to open up the view to the river in preparation of Pyhäjoki building a new network of trails. A map will be prepared of the hiking and biking trails that will be renovated in the coming years, and lean-tos and campfire sites will also be built along the trails, which range from a couple of kilometers to over 20.
Ylikauppila expects even many native Pyhäjoki residents to be pleasantly surprised by what the nature around their hometown has to offer.
“We are surrounded by forests and nature, but exploring the back country spontaneously is just not something most people do. Once the trails are put on a map, it will be easy to discover magnificent places and routes.”
Ylikauppila lists some of the destinations along the trails, including the Oravisjärvi area, Kupuliskoski rapids, Tervo harbor, and the old embankment road on the island.
“There are already a number of trails in the vicinity of the harbor and Oravisjärvi lake, but many people might not be familiar with them. Marked trails for outdoor activities are not that common in the nearby municipalities either, so these trails will attract users from other locations as well.”
Increased demand for services
Nature tourism is currently being developed on a number of fronts. Once the Hanhikivi 1 nuclear power plant is completed, the number of permanent residents in Pyhäjoki will increase considerably. In addition, during the busiest construction period, approximately 4,000 people will be simultaneously working at the site. It will create unprecedented demand for sports and nature services as well. Perhaps the embankment road will take people to a kayak and SUP board rental place soon?
People are enthusiastic when the municipality is involved in getting the activities started.
The current population is not large enough to support a rental business, but as the number of residents grows and other travel services develop, demand for such services will also get a considerable boost.
The municipality will continue networking with associations, and sports organizations to develop a variety of activities.
“People are enthusiastic about doing and developing things when the municipality is involved in getting the activities started. A renovated tennis court was recently opened, and in the summer, lessons from an experienced instructor will be available”, Ylikauppila says.
“Once the trails are put on a map, it will be easy to discover magnificent places and routes,” says activity coordinator Riikka Ylikauppila.