Bicycle Ride recommended route

Birdland Cycling Route in Parikkala

Bicycle Ride · South Karelia – Lappeenranta & Imatra region
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  • Pohjanranta bird watching tower
    / Pohjanranta bird watching tower
    Photo: Markus Lehteinen, Etelä-Karjalan virkistysaluesäätiö
  • / Oronmylly holiday and education center
    Photo: Markus Lehteinen, Etelä-Karjalan virkistysaluesäätiö
  • / Parikkala Church
    Photo: Markus Lehteinen, Etelä-Karjalan virkistysaluesäätiö
  • / Saari Church
    Photo: Markus Lehteinen, Etelä-Karjalan virkistysaluesäätiö
  • / JaananPiha garden farm
    Photo: Markus Lehteinen, Etelä-Karjalan virkistysaluesäätiö
  • / Village grocery at Kirjavala canal
    Photo: Markus Lehteinen, Etelä-Karjalan virkistysaluesäätiö
  • / Giant erratics boulders "Mykkiinkivet"
    Photo: Markus Lehteinen, Etelä-Karjalan virkistysaluesäätiö
  • / Museum shop in Mikkolanniemi
    Photo: Markus Lehteinen, Etelä-Karjalan virkistysaluesäätiö
  • / Planted spruces in Mikkolanniemi
    Photo: Markus Lehteinen, Etelä-Karjalan virkistysaluesäätiö
  • / Theme routes for cycling in South Karelia
    Video: Etelä-Karjalan virkistysaluesäätiö
  • / South Karelian biking routes logo
    Photo: Dominus, Etelä-Karjalanliitto
  • / Siikalahti Lookout Stage
    Photo: Etelä-Karjalan virkistysaluesäätiö
  • / Tarassiinlahti Look out tower
    Photo: Etelä-Karjalan virkistysaluesäätiö
  • / Saharanta barbecue shelter
    Photo: Etelä-Karjalan virkistysaluesäätiö
  • / Vaaranmäki lookout tower
    Photo: Etelä-Karjalan virkistysaluesäätiö
m 150 100 50 80 70 60 50 40 30 20 10 km Siikalahden lintutorni Tarassiinlahden lintutorni Pärnäkivi Tervakummun kota Pohjanrannan lintutorni Suurvuori Pärnäkivi Soininmäen kota Vaaranmäen näkötorni
The Lintuinmaa cyclin route offers cyclists charming countryside landscape and diverse bird sites in Parikkala municipality / South Karelia near Russian border.
Distance 86.8 km
7:00 h
437 m
437 m

This route is suitable as a two-day trip for families and other cyclists, who are interested in birds and nature. Cosy countryside accommodation is available, i.e. cabins and trational Finnish 'aitta' accommodation (sort of granary). Siikalahti bird lake, which is located in the vicinity of the  Parikkala municipality centre, is the eastern bay of Lake Simpelejärvi. Its exceptionally diverse nesting and migratory bird population makes Siikalahti a true bird paradise! There are several bird watching towers on the tour, which turns in the vicinity of  Finland-Russian border.

 Surface material on the route: asphalt, gravel road. 

Author’s recommendation

Target groups: active cyclists, families

Route surfacing: approximately half of the route is a gravel road

Profile picture of Etelä-Karjalan pyöräilyn teemareitti-hanke / Karttasuunnittelu: FCG
Etelä-Karjalan pyöräilyn teemareitti-hanke / Karttasuunnittelu: FCG
Update: July 09, 2021
Highest point
119 m
Lowest point
50 m
Best time of year

Safety information

 Surface material on the route: asphalt, gravel road.

There are about 26 kilometres of gravel roads along this route.

Before setting off, check the weather forecast. Always wear clothes to suit the weather. It is recommended that you take first aid equipment, rainwear, a spare set of clothes, as well as enough drinks with you. In an emergency, dial 112. Inform the operator of your location and what has happened and listen to their instructions.

Outdoor Safety in Finland

Road Safety for Cyclists

Tips and hints

It is worth staying longer in Parikkala and in the nearby area, and have time to visit the famous statue park,  which is located in the southern part of the municipality on mainroad 6.


Railway station in Parikkala (70 m)
61.558173, 29.502208
61°33'29.4"N 29°30'07.9"E
35V 632929 6827514


Railway station in Parikkala

Turn-by-turn directions

The Railway station of Parikkala is the starting place of the route, where you can start off with a cup of coffee. There is a good selection of services in Parikkala, even a bicycle workshop can be found. From the centre, it is approximately four kilometres to Siikalahti, which is worth visiting by starting at the nature den. Siikalahti’s one-kilometre-long nature path that starts from the parking area takes you to the bird tower in the middle of wetland via the nature den. The mysterious blowing calls of the Great Bittern and the ear-blowing concert of the night ravens are memorable experiences. You can experience them, if you time your trip to early summer or night-time. The birds’ migration route crossing Eastern Finland brings Siikalahti to life during the spring an autumn. During the year, you are able to see almost 200 bird species at Siikalahti, and during one day, up to more than one hundred species. It may be quiet at the bird lake during mid-summer, but as a natural site it still worth seeing.

The journey from Siikalahti continues between the Finnish-Russian border, where you can see Lake Tyrjänraja on the Russian side of the border. The island’s church is reached by cycling around Lake Suuri Rautjärvi, close to the Russian border. Near the church, you will find the observation tower built on Vaaranmäki, where it is worth climbing to admire the wide views of the environment.

The route then takes you around Lake Pien-Rautjärvi, which is larger than Lake Suuri Rautjärvi. The reason for the size difference, is the lowering of the lake which was carried out in the 1800s and 1900s, to obtain more agricultural land from the shore of the lake. There are two bird towers at the shore of Lake Pien-Rautjärvi, Tarasiinlahti's tower, and at the northern part of the lake there is Pohjoisranta's tower. At Tarassiinlahti, you will be able to see, e.g. geese, Finnish national birds; swans, and other bird species, depending on the time of the year. The nearby fields are popular among curlews. Accommodation is available at Mikkolanniemi’s operational centre is located in the vicinity of the bird tower.

Tarnalankylä is a valuable scenic area, where beautiful views to Lake Pien-Rautjärvi open out. At the village, you can turn towards Uukuniemi, where there is a camping area at Karjala Pyhäjärvi’s Papinniemi (including cabins) and an interesting memorial of the previous Orthodox village. Papinniemi is 24 kilometres away, and the last 2 km is a dirt road.

After the bird towers, we must cycle a short distance on Highway 6, remember to stay right at the edge of the road! In the built-up area of Saari, there is a shop and an exciting hotel that has a fire station themed interior design, Fireman Center. In the neighbouring village, in Kirjavala, you will find Finland’s oldest operating village shop, i.e. Röksan kauppa. It is located right along Kirjavala Canal which was excavated in connection with the implementation of the previously mentioned lake lowerings. It is worth visiting the village of Kesusmaa from Röksän kauppa, to see the enormous erratics Mykkii Stone, in which vicinity there is granary accommodation available.

The journey continues in forest sceneries, via Oronmylly holiday and course centre, towards Särkisalmi, which divides Lake Simpelejärvi in to two. You can reach the centre of Parikkala from Särkisalmi along the bicycle path. There are dining and accommodation opportunities in Oronmylly, Särkisalmi and Parikkala. Parikkala's speciality is Hotel-Restaurant Kägöne, which is located along Highway 6, which is a stunning log building that represents Karelian architecture.


all notes on protected areas

Public transport

The starting points of the route is Parikkala Railway Station, which can be reached by train and bus.

You can check train (VR) schedules here.

You can check the bus (Matkahuolto) schedules here.

Getting there

Parikkala Railway Station, adress: Parikkalantie 12, 59100 Parikkala.


There is free parking space close to the Parikkala Railway Station.


61.558173, 29.502208
61°33'29.4"N 29°30'07.9"E
35V 632929 6827514
Arrival by train, car, foot or bike

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86.8 km
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