When planning a trip and itinerary and before you leave, you should always take into account the weather, your own experience and endurance, and the rental period. Also, read the safety and equipment instructions. You should be able to shorten or change the planned route during the trip if conditions change.
In high winds, especially during storms, there is no reason to go canoeing. We rarely have such winds in Nuuksio. While it is a thunderstorm you should not be canoeing either. The risk of lightning strikes and is greatest in the middle of the lake. In addition, incoming thunderstorms are often accompanied by strong gusts of wind.
In moderate winds, the lakes have sheltered spots near the shores where canoeing is easy. The open canoes we use are stable but quite sensitive to the wind, and especially the wind coming from the side can affect the direction of the canoe. But even a strong wind does not in itself capsize the canoe.
Where to paddle
Naturally, Lake Kattilajärvi, from which you launch the canoes, is the primary place for canoeing, but Lake Vääräjärvi is also easily accessible, as the neck of land between the lakes is only about 80 meters at its narrowest. Departure to Urja via Lake Vääräjärvi then requires more consideration and experience, as the range between the lakes is wider and carrying canoes more demanding.
In general, you are free to paddle on the lakes, as long as you do not get too close to the birds, swimmers, or private beaches, which are marked on the instruction map. However, for safety reasons, you should always paddle so close to the beach that you can swim well to the beach after the canoe has fallen and also help children to the beach, for example. There’s more to see near the beaches anyway.
Kattilajärvi : Don’t disturb the swimmers at the swimming area. The area of the Kattilaniemi Youth Camp Center is reserved for private events, and there are private villas in the southeast corner of the lake – respect privacy and don’t paddle too close on the beach.
Lake Vääräjärvi : There are two private cottages on the north shore of the lake. Don’t go to the cottage beach, even if you go to visit the northern bottom.
Urja : The Norther shore has a private beach and settlement.
Of course, on or after a paddling trip, it’s nice to have a snack break, possibly even by the campfire staring at the fire. However, remember that in the area, open fires are allowed only at dedicated purpose-built fireplaces, which are located next to the starting point in Kattilajärvi (on the map: 3), on the peninsula in Vääräjärvi (12) and at the southern end of Urja (22). It is forbidden to make an open fire during a forest fire warning, but you can use a camping stove (gas/fuel) with caution.
Canoeing speeds vary, of course, but a few rules of thumb for scheduling while on the water: To have time to return your canoe on time, it’s a good idea to set aside at least 15 minutes for equipment maintenance after landing. If you go to Lake Vääräjärvi, you have to leave about 40 minutes before the end of the rental period so that you have time to transport the canoe over the isthmus, paddle to the starting point, and do the maintenance of the equipment. Of course, you can go back earlier and still tour the shores of Lake Kattilajärvi before returning.
During the two-hour rental, you can either paddle around Lake Kattilajärvi and crosswise, and possibly ashore on the opposite shore- (4) and even take a peek at the lookout rock (6). If you want to go canoeing to Vääräjärvi on a two-hour excursion, go straight from the starting point over the isthmus to Vääräjärvi, where you can do a nice loop and then return.
During the three-hour hike, you will already have time to tour both Kattilajärvi and Vääräjärvi and even take a reasonable lunch/swim break. The map shows the Vääräjärvi fireplace, which also has a toilet and other possible landing sites. If you were going to go to Lake Urja in three hours, you have to have a good pace of kayaking, both kayaking and carrying canoes. We recommend a four-hour rental period to visit Urja.
Four hours rental let you have time to take a longer break in Vääräjärvi and possibly go for a walk, for example, to the nearby cliffs. It is also possible to visit Urja, even at the fireplace at the southern end, but take into account that carrying canoes betweenVääräjärvi and Urja is pretty challenging, as mentioned in the excursion instructions.
The southern part of Lake Kattilajärvi is mainly a recreation area of owned by city of Espoo and Kattilaniemi is a youth camp center used by various organizations. Otherwise, the shore of Lake Kattilajärvi is mainly part of Nuuksio National Park. Canoe tour round Kattilajärvi(on the map) is about 3 km.
1 – Our canoeing base (brown wood-clad building) is right next to the Kattilajärvi shore. The best address for a navigator is Kattilajärventie 30, Espoo, but do not go through the camp center gate (number 30) but stop by the lake for a parking space. Occasionally the P-spot may be full and another smaller P-spot is e.g. a couple of hundred meters before the lake at the intersection of “Kattilajärven polku” road.
2 – The beach toilet is a red-painted wooden building right next to the road, about 50 m up from the parking lot. There is also a changing room between the P-spot and the beach.
3 – Directly upwards from the P place is a fireplace maintained by the City of Espoo.
4 – From this landing-place, it is easiest to continue across the isthmus (distance approx. 80 m) by carrying canoes to Vääräjärvi. The landing place is on the left side of the reed when viewed from the lake and shows e.g. white-tipped marker post next to a pine tree about 15 m. from the shoreline. You should come to this shallow beach perpendicular to the beach. Of course, if you have water-resistant footwear, you can wade on the shallow beach.
6 – The nearby rock offers a great view over Lake Vääräjärvi. Take a look if you want to take a little forest walk while canoeing.
Lake Vääräjärvi belongs almost entirely to Nuuksio National Park, with the exception of private cottages in the northern part. The map-marked canoe route around the lake is 4.2 km long.
11 – The best landing/departure point (in the direction of Lake Kattilajärvi) is on the west side of the bay near the cliffs. The beach bottom is soft, so you shouldn’t wade further from the shore but put canoes along the beach when you launch or land.
12, 13 – The best way to get to the Vääräjärvi campfire place is by canoe from the south of the small headland of the campfire place. It is also the best place to go swimming. Lift the canoes over the rocks carefully, please . There is a dry toilet in the immediate vicinity of the fireplace. This is the only place on the shores of Lake Vääräjärvi where making campfire is allowed – but only when there is no forest fire warning.
14, 15 and 16 – Alternative rest places on the shores of Lake Vääräjärvi. Please note that these are not permitted campfire places and do not have toilets.
17 and 18 ovat rantautumispaikkoja mikäli jatkat Urjalle. Kannaksen ylitys on vaativa suoritus. Suositeltu rantautumispaikka (17, allaolevassa kuvassa oikealla) Vääräjärven puolella on pienen kallion vieressä ja siitä menee polku Urjalle. Suon läpi on myös mahdollista mennä (18, kuvassa vasemmalla), mutta huomioi, että suo on varsin upottava. Käykää katsomassa reitti ennen kuin lähdette siirtämään kanoottia. Kantakaa kanootit kivien yli!
17 and 18 are landing places if you continue to Urja. Crossing the isthmus between the lakes is quite demanding. The recommended landing place (17, pictured below on the right) on the Vääräjärvi side is next to a small cliff and a path goes to Urja. It is also possible to go through the swamp (18, pictured left), but note that the swamp is quite wet. Take a look at the route before you start to carry the canoe. Carry canoes over the rocks!
There are two private villas in the northern / northwestern part of Lake Vääräjärvi just outside the national park. The area is marked in red on the map. Keep a fair distance from the beach to the cottages.
Mikäli menette Urjalla, kannattaa käydä kääntymässä eteläpäässä. Järven pohjoispäässä on hienoja jyrkänteitä, jotka näkyvätkin jo rantautumispaikalta (21). Vältä kuitenkin pohjoispään yksityisrantoja . Kannattaa lähtiessä laittaa rantautumispaikka mieleen, sillä sitä on hieman hankala nähdä järveltä puiden takaa.
There is a private area in the northern part of Lake Urjajärvi, but otherwise, Urja is a Nuuksio National Park or a private conservation area. The canoe route marked on the map around Lake Urjajärvi is about 4 km long.
Please take into account the difficulty of crossing the isthmus between Lake Vääräjärvi and Lake Urja, before deciding to continue to Urja. Crossing the isthmus from Vääräjärvi to Urja with its landing is a much more demanding than crossing the isthmus between Kattilajärvi and Vääräjärvi. Also, the risk of getting wet is higher, the trip is longer and you have to carry and lift a canoe all the way because of the rocky terrain and fallen trees. We do not recommend crossing if the canoes feel heavy to carry over long distances.
If you go to Urja, you should visit the south end. There is also a campfire place with a toilet (22 and 23). At the northern end of the lake, there are fine cliffs, which you can see from the landing site (21). However, avoid the private beaches at the north end. It’s a good idea to keep the landing in mind when you leave, as it’s a little tricky to see from the lake behind the trees on the way back.