Kuhmo, a town of some 8,700 inhabitants, lies by a beautiful waterway. The River Pajakkajoki offers a natural treat with its rapids and pathways in the very centre of the town. Kuhmo is a pioneer both in using renewable energy and timber construction development. The strengths of Kuhmo lie in timber, the boreal wilderness, and culture.
Harmony of Nature and Culture
The appeal of the wilderness and the ample variety of culture are steady values of our town. The rich nature with a vast forest tract, lakes, and rapids offer unique possibilities for refreshment through various kinds of active exercise, fishing, and hunting. The main attractions of tourism in Kuhmo are based on these activities.
The natural surroundings of Kuhmo comprise uninhabited taiga, the landscapes and magnificent fauna of which are an essential part of the image of this wilderness town. Here, nature lovers, such as recreational fishers and canoe hikers, can enjoy a network of waterways, still flowing unharnessed in the wilderness. The most attractive season for white water rafting is the time of spring floods, when waters flow most rapidly.
In winter, a skier roaming through the wilderness may allow him or herself to be suffused with the peace of nature. White winter landscapes change with speed when gliding on a sled pulled by a dog team or when holding the handlebars of a snowmobile. Indeed, the natural landscapes of Kuhmo offer refreshing, if not unforgettable, experiences throughout the year.
The occasional conflicts between the neighbouring nations in the past centuries have not moved the Finnish-Russian national frontier line in Kuhmo, the oldest unaltered state border line in Europe. The Kuhmo Winter War Museum and the partly restored field fortifications in the battle-fields of that time vividly tell the story of the tragedy of the Winter War.
Despite the past periods of conflicts and tumult, the connection between the people of Finland and Viena Karelia has not been broken. Elias Lönnrot’s folklore collecting expeditions to the Karelian grounds are the most well-known example of this connection. Lönnrot elaborated the yield of his expeditions, the epic folklore materials, into the national epic Kalevala in Kuhmo, and even today trips are organised to those “runo song” villages of Viena Karelia.
Juminkeko Juminkeko is an information centre for the Kalevala epic. This centre is dedicated to nurturing Viena Karelian culture, and it follows on the path that was paved by the artists of the Finnish romantic nationalism, the Karelianists. Here, the spirit and mysticism of Kalevala are present and even tangible.
The nature and cultural heritage of Kuhmo have definitely played a role in the development and entrenchment of the Kuhmo Chamber Music Festival and the Sommelo Ethno Music Festival here, far from cultural metropolises. The Kuhmo Arts Centre offers excellent facilities for these events.
Welcome to Kuhmo – the town of wilderness and culture!