The Kymijoki river flows through our area into the sea with the strength of five forks. Each of them has its own unique delta that offers a great setting for nature experiences; whether you’re looking for peace and quiet, adventures amidst nature, fishing or water sports, you’re guaranteed to find it in the nooks and crannies of Kymijoki.
The colorful history of the Kymijoki river goes back hundreds of years. The river served as a route to the sea for Vikings and fishermen, and a national border in the late 18th century. History can still be seen in the ruins and buildings of the river estuary.
Kymijoki is the biggest river in southern Finland. It flows into the sea through five forks. Large parts of the river have remained in a natural state, and there is much to see and experience along its banks. The scenery varies from completely wild lands to grain fields and idyllic village landscapes. Along the banks lie impressive parks, nature reserves and many different layers of history. Everything is crowned by the mighty, foaming rapids.
As the main river in southern Finland, Kymijoki played an essential part in the industrial development. Some of the rapids in the river were harnessed for energy production, which enabled industrial development along the riverbanks. Since the 1980s, the river has recovered for recreational use and fishing of salmon and trout.
Kymijoki has served as a border river several times in the history of the region. At times the areas between Sweden and Russia have been under Swedish rule and at times under Russian rule with a varying degree. This has also brought many kinds of dignitaries to the banks of Kymijoki from the King of Sweden to the Tsars of Russia. There is a fishing hut in Langinkoski that was built for Tsar Alexander III where the Imperial court spent its summers at the end of the 19th century.
Also the western fork of the Kymijoki River that flows next to Strömfors Ironworks once marked the border between Russia and Sweden. This line on the map was drawn in 1743 in the Treaty of Åbo. It divided the village of Pyhtää into two separate villages: Pyhtää on the east and Ruotsinpyhtää on the west (which translates into Swedish Pyhtää in English and is known as Strömfors in Swedish).
The Langinkoski Imperial Fishing Hut is the most famous sightseeing destination along Kymijoki. It was built in the late 19th century at the request of the Tsar of Russia. Today, the fishing hut acts as a museum. The museum is surrounded by a nature reserve.
There are two fine parks along the river, of which the Karhula River Park has won several awards at various park contests. The River Park is also a Green Flag certified park. The Siikakoski Rapids Park, created in 2020, has a network of hiking routes snaking around the nature reserve in addition to the park areas.
Wander along the shores of the river and enjoy the peace and quiet of nature. Everyman’s right is in effect in Finland, allowing free roaming in nature as long as no damages are caused and private property isn’t trespassed on.
Kymijoki is one of the best places to paddle in Southern Finland. Go whitewater rafting, supboarding or kayaking and for example the easy 10-kilometer-long Hirvikoskenhaara Route that goes from Kuovinkallio through to Hirvivuolle. Local business owners will provide you with kayaks, canoes, or boats.
Also Strömfors Ironworks provides gorgeous nature trails and waterways for the outdoor enthusiast. Bikes, boats, canoes, sup-boards, and kayaks can be rented at the village.
The rapids of the Kymijoki downriver as a whole are a must-see sight. You can also explore the rapids along a cycling route that starts from Kotkansaari and circles through all the rapids. The length of the route is 24 km.
Kymijoki is the most important salmon river in southern Finland. Thousands of fishers visit the river every year. The catch is good, and on a global scale, Kymijoki salmon are fairly large. Several different fishing zones have been created for fishers, equipped with different service structures. The best time for salmon fishing is August-September. At other times, one can catch fish like zander or pike.