Kanavuori, photo: Jussi Judin
Many of those who live in Jyväskylä, perhaps more than most others, have come to understand why it is worth having more than one gear on a bike. In Jyväskylä you are usually either going up a hill or down a hill, as many visitors quickly come to realise. Going up a hill may seem daunting at first, but once you’ve reached the top, you’ll agree that it was worth it.
Here are my five favourite views and lookout spots in Jyväskylä!
To the east of Jyväskylä, Kanavuori is one of the best places to watch the sunset. Kanavuori’s rocky hilltop rises way above the rest of the terrain, and is well beyond the reach of traffic noise and other daily worries.
There are a number of alternative routes to the top of Kanavuori if the steepest and rockiest option sounds too challenging. During wet and icy weather, avoid unnecessary risk and go for the more moderate routes. Don’t stay on the hill until it’s dark, because the hill profile is quite dramatic and walking in the dark may prove to be too difficult. Map.
Paljaspää is one of the many hills on Muuratsalo island. It is also a perfect place to start you exploration of the islands around Jyväskylä.
At the end of an easy walk, a smooth granite hilltop rewards you with stunning views over northern Päijänne, unbeatable in the summer and very pretty in other seasons, too. For more eager hikers, a large network of paths leads from Paljaspää all over Muuratsalo. Map.
Laajavuori is one of the best known lookout spots in Jyväskylä and is also a cross country and alpine skii resort in the winter.
Laajavuori also has a nature trail leading through a beautiful nature reserve to the top of the hill. Early birds take note: a sunrise seldom gets better than here. Map.
Vaarunvuori shows a different side to Jyväskylä than the one you see nearer to town centre. The journey passes across the picturesque Kärkistensalmi bridge and over Taipaleenharju ridge, until you arrive to the lay-by for Vaarunvuoret. The unique wildlife on Vaarunvuori is accessible via a 5 kilometre loop.
The path meanders through ancient forests and between two ponds, and you can stop for a break at the Särkijärvi camp fire site. Half-way through the route, the landscape takes on a more dramatic look as the path passes the vertical rocky walls of Vaarunjyrkkä. The sweeping views over Lake Päijänne are best admired on a summer’s evening when the sun is low, although let’s face it, they are spectacular at any time and in any weather. Map.
Anyone who has been to Jyväskylä will have seen Harju, because this is a hill right in the middle of the city. The easiest way to Harju is simply to follow a street upwards. Eventually you will end up on Harju.
Harju is a recreational area loved by all in Jyväskylä, and it can be reached via its many sandy paths or by climing straight up the long flight of stairs. Harju is favoured by disc golfers as well as those looking for a secluded spot for a picnic. However, the best thing about Harju is its tower. The old water tower rising on top of the hill offers views across the entire region from a great height, free of charge. A trip to the top of Harju is not to be missed. Map.
A photographer, nature adventurer and instagrammer from Jyväskylä.
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