Splendid nature destination
Hiitolanjoki is a river that is 53 km long, of which 9 km flows in Rautjärvi municipality and other 44 km in Russia. The river flows from lakes Simpeleenjärvi and Silamusjärvi on to Lake Ladoga. Hiitolanjoki is a splendid nature destination because of its nature path and fishing opportunities.
Nature and history
The historical nature path is a great place to get to know the area's industrial history, as well as enjoy the beautiful scenery. The nature path is about 3.5 km long and its starting point is in Ritakoski. The steepest parts of the route have been installed with steps and railings.
River Hiitolanjoki has been an important waterway, from which people have historically been able to access lake Ladoga, lakes Simpeleenjärvi and Torsanjärvi and forward to Lake Saimaa. It is known that tracing as far back as the 1700s, the river had a lot of milling as well as timber rafting. Today, all three power plants - Kangaskoski, Lahnasenkoski and Ritakoski - have finished generating electricity. The rapids are now free-flowing, allowing salmonids to rise to spawn in the rapids.
The Hiitolanjoki area's nature is diverse. The rivers lush plants by the rivers shore and deciduous trees on one side and rugged fir trees and palisades on the other. The area has interesting animals and birds such as white-throated dippers, common sandpipers, swans and grey herons. A new bird tower was built on the Hiitolanjoki River where the old one used to be.
Hiitolanjoki is the Ladoga salmons (Salmo salar m. Sebago) most important generative river. The river has six species of EU-directive specified fish that need special protection in Finland: fresh water salmon, lamprey, asp, European bullhead and spined loach.
River Silamusjoki, which flows into river Hiitolanjoki, has a natural brown trout population and its rapids are refurbished, making Silamusjoki a good fly fishing spot. Fishing on Hiitolanjoki and on Silamusjoki is subject to license.
Coming from the south turn, turn right from highway 6 toward Kangaskoski, before the Simpele intersection. The nature path's starting point is the Ritakoski power plants yard, 200 m from highway 6.
You can also start the path from Lahnasenkoski - drive to Änkilänsalo intersection, turn left immediately after the railway bridge and drive down the road until reaching the parking area.