Ristisaari nature marina

60°18.6′ N, 26°48.1′ E
Map series A 611, 612
Harbour code: 173

Ristisaari is the national park’s camping island in the outer archipelago in the municipality of Pyhtää, about 2 nautical miles southeast of Kaunissaari. Getting to the island can be difficult in bad weather, for example in strong wind. The northern shore of the island is rocky, with a low profile and birds living there. Access depends on the sea level, and taking even a small boat there is not recommended if you do not know the area.   

On the other hand, in the northeast corner of the island, the water depth is sufficient even for a keelboat as, in the summer before last, the state environmental agency Metsähallitus dredged a rock-free channel for boats where the promontory juts out. On the flat, wider part of the rock, there are rings for bow-to mooring. North from the place marked with a big stone, there are mooring rings for securing a few boats to the rock from the bow and holding the boat in position with the stern anchor. Depending on the direction of the wind, even a keelboat can get to the Papinniemi rock on the southwestern shore of the island, where there are mooring rings for several boats. The sheep that graze on the island in the summer are also brought to the island through Papinniemi.

At the north end of the island there is a well-equipped camping site for hikers and backpackers that has a cooking shelter with dishes, a wood shed and a dry toilet. The well is near the birdwatchers’ station in the central part of the island along a path leading south.

It’s easy to find four-legged friends on the island: the sheep grazing there curiously approach any visitors. Ristisaari is the park’s greenest island where coastal meadows, cliffs and forest areas form a diverse natural environment. For decades, the island has been popular with bird watchers, and it is the place to be for following Arktika, the migration of arctic birds. The bird tower mentioned in some information about the island no longer exists, however, the views are open to the sea from all directions when standing on the coastal cliffs. The wartime cannons and bunkers found on the island are also worth a visit. Some of the structures are in such good condition that you can spend the night in them.