Bikepacking tip | The most beautiful landscape in Finland and a countryside idyll on a loop route from Sysmä to KalkkinenAddress: Siltatie 12, 17240 Kalkkinen Show map
Address: Siltatie 12, 17240 Kalkkinen
You can ride your bike from the Sysmä town centre to Kalkkinen in Asikkala along two idyllic routes. The best option is a circle route along which you can enjoy rugged lakeside scenery in addition to the countryside sights of the Nuoramoinen rural village and manor.
Sysmä–Pulkkilanharju–Kalkkinen–Nuoramoinen–Sysmä, approx. 63 km
The journey starts from Sysmä town centre on road 410, where there is a pedestrian and bike path until Otamo village. At the southern end of the village, at the intersection of Heinola and Nuoramoinen, the road towards Vääksy changes to road 314. Road 314 between Asikkala and Sysmä is part of the Päijänne Scenic Route, which is said to be the most beautiful in Finland. The road name changes from Vääksyntie to Sysmäntie and Pulkkilantie between Sysmä and Asikkala.
However, the basic characteristics of the road are the same: it runs along bodies of water and crosses over currents several times along the 20-kilometre section towards the north end of the Pulkkilanharju esker. There are lovely resting places along the route but, at times, the road and its hard shoulders are narrow.
Pulkkilanharju esker and Kalkkinen
Approximately 6 km from Sysmä centre, you will encounter a bridge that crosses the Tainionvirta river by the spectacular Virtaankoski rapids. Right on the border of Sysmä and Asikkala, you will find the Perättömänlampi pond. The road runs right next to it, between the pond’s shore and a steep rocky hill. At the north end of the Pulkkilanharju esker, you will arrive at the intersection of Kalkkistentie (3142) leading left or to the east. If you want to take a dip at this point, you should head to the Uupionkärki public beach located on the western shore of the Pulkkilanharju esker, where you can dive into Lake Päijänne. To reach the beach, ride a few hundred metres south from the Kalkkistentie intersection and turn right.
From the intersection, the distance to the Kalkkinen village is approximately 7 km. The village is a favourite among cyclists, and good for reason. The village is home to the Mani-Baari bar, the Pihamaa vineyard and garden farm and a café as well as K-Market Lampinen—all spectacular places for relaxation.
The return route to Sysmä towards the northeast starts from the corner of the Mani-Baari bar and continues along Nuoramoistentie (3132). You should look left after the bar to see the village church. For the next kilometre or so, you will see the school and the memorial for the Rinne acting brothers. A few kilometres away from the village is the cemetery on the right side of the road. Nuoramoistentie runs through varied terrain in which reasonable inclines and declines change with the scenery of individual houses and the forest. Several roads towards the northeastern villages of Asikkala and Heinola stray from the road.
Nuoramoinen and Nordenlund Manor
Approximately 7 km from the centre of the Kalkkinen village is the Sysmä border, where the name of Nuoramoistentie changes to Kalkkistentie. You should note that there are two roads with the same name leading towards Kalkkinen village: one from the direction of the Pulkkilanharju esker and one from Nuoramoinen!
After crossing the municipal border, there are two charming destinations on the eastern side of the road: the Perennapuutarha Pöntinen garden and the stables and farm Starhill & Korven Karitsa in Ravioskorpi, where the Sysmä farm animal café operates in the summer. When you turn towards both of these, be prepared to ride on a gravel road.
Hellqvistin puutarha garden in Nuoramoinen is located right by the road and it is usually open early in the summer when it sells potted flowers. You can buy vegetables, canned foods and strawberries from the self-service stand later in the summer.
Located on the shore of Lake Nuoramoisjärvi, Nordenlund Manor and its buildings can be seen on the western side of the road. The manor is old and its history reaches back all the way to the early 17th century. The current family has owned it since 1740. The main building is a few hundred years old.
In the Nuoramoinen village, you can again cross the Tainionvirta river . The most idyllic spot is on the Vanhansillantie gravel road, where you can turn and then head for road 410, which runs between Sysmä and E75 heading to Heinola. Note that this road is also called Nuoramoistentie but on the Sysmä side of the border! The previous road section of the same name runs from Kalkkinen village to the northern border of the municipalities.
If you would rather not take the Vanhansillantie gravel road, continue on Kalkkistentie 3132 all the way to the intersection of 410. On this road, you will ride in the traffic until Otamo, where a pedestrian and bike path starts.
Along the journey, before the town centre, you will find Camping Sysmä on the shore of Majutvesi, which is part of Lake Päijänne. There, you can grab a bite to eat and go for a swim. Great alternatives for refreshment are also the café Lintan kammari and Sysmä Marina close to the town centre.
Tip: when embarking on a circular route, always check the direction of the wind and decide the direction you take with that in mind. It’s usually nicer to head back with a tail wind. You can also start the circular route from different points, such as from the Pulkkilanharju esker or Kalkkinen.
Add the Kalkkinen address of the Pihamaa farm (Pihamaan tila), Siltatie 12, 17240 Kalkkinen to your navigator.