Lake Saimaa, Linnansaari National Park and Saimaa Ringed Seals

Saimaa Ringed Seal

Lake Saimaa is like an inland archipelago with waters clear and fresh! The water is so clean you can drink it directly from the lake! It covers a surface area of 4400km and the shoreline amounts to 13,700 km and there are about 13,710 islands in the lake.

At the end of June I was lucky enough to spend 5 days in this lakeland region of Finland, where we have one of our self-guided canoe tours: Canoe or Kayak in Linnansaari National Park.

Lake Saimaa, Finland
The landscape is a beautiful inland archipelago of forested islands. Photo: Nature Travels.

Linnansaari National Park lies in a part of the vast Saimaa Lake System. The park was established in 1956 and covers 96 square kilometres. The park includes a watery labyrinth of channels, bays and islands as well as open waters.

Elky enjoys the Finnish landscape.
Elky enjoys the Finnish landscape. Photo: Nature Travels.

Linnansaari National Park is home to about 50 of the Saimaa Ringed Seals.

Saimaa Ringed Seal
Saimaa Ringed Seal. Photo: SEO.

The Saimaa Ringed Seal is one of the most endangered species in the world, with just 310 individuals. Although their numbers have increased since a low in the 1980s, sadly they remain under imminent threat of extinction. It is therefore very important to increase the population of ringed seals. For more information, see https://www.sll.fi/ringed-seal

In and around Linnansaari the Osprey population densities are very high, with 10-20 pairs breeding in the area annually. You can easily spot their large nests up in the pine trees.

Wind shelter on Lake Saimaa
One of the many wind shelters and fireplaces forming the network of camping spots. Photo: Nature Travels.

Camping is allowed at fixed spots in several locations around the park. There is a campsite on the island is Sammakkoniemi that has simple cabins for rent, a sauna, a small cafe and an area where tents can be set up.

This is a paddlers paradise! Glide through the beautiful island landscape! Go swimming! Pick wild berries and mushrooms! Catch delicious fresh fish from the clear waters! Camp out! Watch the sunsets!

Canoeing on Lake Saimaa
Canoeing on Lake Saimaa. Photo: SEO.

Linnansaari needs the support of visitors to area to generate income and maintain its protected status, so by travelling to this beautiful area you are helping to support its conservation and hopefully safeguard the future of the Saimaa Ringed Seal!

Saimaa Ringed Seal.
Saimaa Ringed Seal. Photo: SEO.

Sofia from the Nature Travels Team