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Lauhanvuori-Hämeenkangas UNESCO Global Geopark

For the new website of Lauhanvuori - Hämeenkangas UNESCO Global Geopark, please navigate to lhgeopark.fi
Picture of people walking on a mire

Wet puddles in the raised bogs along Kauhaneva’s Kauhalammin kierros trail

Lauhanvuori-Hämeenkangas Geopark is located in the southern part of Suomenselkä, a region separating Ostrobothnia from the southern and eastern lake regions of Finland. The Geopark’s main theme is the development from a mountain landscape to a land dominated by mires. The area has some exceptionally well preserved pristine mire landscapes which are enriched by numerous glacial and bedrock formations, telling the story of the ancient development of the region.

The mires are punctuated by dry heath forests. Since the beginning of time, people have passed through the area whenever the land has not been frozen over: the earliest signs of Kyrönkangas road date back to the 16th century. In the winter, people have used heath forests, frozen mires and lakes as passage ways.

 

Aerial photo of the mire

The Kyrönkangas summer road runs through Kauhaneva.

The landscape bears traces of a long history of utilising the mires and other geological resources. The most fertile mires have been cleared up into fields, and during the last hundred years, they have been drained for forestry use. The largest and oldest peat producing areas and Finland’s only peat museum can be found in the area. Granite and sandstone occurrences in the area have been utilised for dimension stones and millstones.

There is a long history behind the development of the landscape, 1900 billion years. This includes the rise and fall of the Svecofennian mountains and the development and destruction of a sedimentary rock cover. These processes are documented in rocks and soil of the area. Lauhanvuori, the highest point of Western-Finland, was the outermost island of the Finnish coast after the ice age. The sandstone of Lauhanvuori is a remnant of the sedimentary rocks that used to cover Finland at some point. The hillsides of Lauhanvuori are livened up by sandstone boulder fields, granite tors and red gravel created by ancient erosion, as well as beaches formed after the ice age, natural springs and clear-water streams.

 

A woman picking berries by the sandstone field

Kivijata is the largest ancient stone shore in Lauhanvuori. It consists of a Ediacaran sandstone.

The most comprehensive camping services can be found in Lauhanvuori and Kauhaneva-Pohjakangas national parks, as well as in Hämeenkangas. In addition, there are various well-equipped points of interest.