The Iijoki river rowboat event - for the 37th time
July 1 - 6, 2019
Iijoki, calls you to row and celebrate with us!
For the 37th time, we will be rowing down the picturesque Iijoki River in traditional wooden boats.
The Iijoki River Rowing event was created in 1983 as a protest against the plans to further dam the river and to build a reservoir that would drown large areas of local wilderness and tradition. This is also the 30th anniversairy of the law that protected our rapids. Now we have our goals in bringing back the river's native migratory salmon population.
While we row in support of the freedom of the river and the return of the salmon, the Iijoki Rowing event has grown to be not just a protest, but also a cultural travel event for people looking to take a break from routine, get some fresh air, experience the local tradition, fresh waters, campfires and festivities of Northern Finland during the most beautiful time of the summer.
No prior experience is needed, and you can choose how long to stay: sign up and reserve a seat in one of our boats. Come row with us!
Iijoki Rowing is not a competition, but a journey to enjoy nature and the landscapes. Landscapes include local countryside and wilderness.
Previous experience is not required, and people of all ages can join the event. The boats have experienced coxswains who know how to steer the boats in rapids or other difficult parts, so you'll be safe.- Pudasjärven luonnonsuojeluyhdistys ry
Attendance fees, 2019
- Reserved seat in our boat: 1 day 30 € , whole event 100 €
- In your own boat/kayak/canoe: 1 day 15 € , whole event 60 €
Child under age 15:
- Reserved seat in our boat: 1 day 15 € , whole event 40 €
- In your own boat/kayak/canoe: 1 day 10 € , whole event 30 €
Bus travel for retrieving your car: 10 €
Only for the driver, valid all week. For those who leave their car at the launch site in the morning, a bus is arranged to go back so they can retrieve their cars.
Payments in advance:
OR on the spot at the accounting caravan (which is usually crowded, so for everyone's convenience, it's preferable to pay in advance).
Programme (unfinished till end of April)
MONDAY, 1st or July 2019
- Gathering to Saija (Saijantie 8, Jokijärvi, Taivalkoski). Please sign up at the office before 8 PM. You will be given your attendance token and instructions for the event.
- 1:30 PM: A course for the rowers and coxswains at Saija. Approximately one hour. Probably in Finnish.
- Food buffet available at Saija in the afternoon
- Sauna at Saija during the afternoon and evening. A traditional savusauna (smoke sauna).
- 8:00 PM: Opening ceremony at Saija.
- 9:00 PM:Dancing at Rantapaviljonki
- Lodging: Rent a room from Saija (email: info(at)saija.fi), or go camping or park your caravan in the yard for free.
TUESDAY, 2nd of July
distance rown 27 km
- Breakfast at Saija (or bring your own)
- The office at the caravan is open between 7:30 and 8:30 AM
- 8:30 AM: Safety instructions at the shore of Saija
- 8:45 AM: Everyone to the shore, get into the boats!
- 9:00 AM: Boats launch at The shore of Saija (Saijantie 8, Jokijärvi, Taivalkoski).
- 10 AM: Moment of piety at Kirkkosaari island.
- ~ midday: Lunch break at Hepokangas. You may buy fried fish, sausage, coffee, sandwiches, pastries etc. 9 kilometers from Saija.
- ~4 PM: Boats ashore (Putaanmutka, Talonpojantie, Taivalkoski). Car retrievers go back to Saija by bus.
- Dinner: soup at the Jalava store. Car retrivers can eat at Saija (buffet).
- The organizers will take care of moving the boats and canoes past the dam for next morning's launch.
- Lodging: Hotel Herkko, Asuntohotelli Ruska OR free camping around Melontakeskus
- Sauna: free, Melontakeskus or Hotelli Herkko, which also has a swimming pool
There is also an event called "Päätaloviikko" (Päätalo Week, a celebration of the local author Kalle Päätalo) which happens simultaneously with the rowing event. On Tuesday evening, you can partake in the programme of this event:
WEDNESDAY, 3rd of July
distance rown 32 km
- Breakfast at Melontakeskus
- 9:00 AM: Boats launch (Tynnyritie)
- ~ midday: Lunch at Koivukoski (Jurmuntie 103 B), fish soup and coffee with pastries. 12km from Taivalkoski.
- ~ 2 PM: A break: swimming at the sand banks, Jurmu. Distance from the previous pause is 9 km.
- ~ 4 PM: Boats ashore at Siira (Parviaisentie 4980). The car retrievers go by bus to Taivalkoski.
- Dinner: Ham or vegetable casserole. Coffee with pancakes.
- Sauna. Price included in the camping fee.
- Lodging Camping in own tents, trailers, etc. Sauna and lodging costs about 5€
- In the evening, there's programme by the participants. Campfire and songs!
THURSDAY, 4th of July
distance rown 31 km
- Breakfast Siiranrannassa. Voit ostaa eväät myös mukaan.
- 9:00 AM: Boats launch at Siiranranta, Parviainen.
- ~11 AM: Coffee break at Räpättävä (11 km from launch), bring your own snacks. Coffee is made collectively for everyone at the campfire.
- ~1 PM: Break at the Kello cable ferry (5km from Räpättävä. Anttilantie 2, Pudasjärvi). Coffee and pastries.
- ~ 4 PM: Boats ashore by the Kurki school (Kariniementie 2). Car retrievers by bus to Siira.
- Dinner at Kurki school, elk soup etc.
- Masseur at the Kurki school! Reserve an appointment: call Matti Lantto (+358400 956813)
- Lodging in your own tent, caravan, or rooms at the school: 5 €
- Sauna is free.
- You can buy snacks at a kiosk.
- 8:00 PM: Evening programme at the Kurki school.
- After the programme, there's singing and probably a camprfire?
FRIDAY, 5th of July
distance rown 35 km
- Breakfast at the Kurki school
- 8:30 AM: Boats launch at the shore of Kurki school (Kariniementie 2, about 440 meters from the school)
- ~ 11.30 AM: Lunch break at Halmeniemi (10 km from Kurki): porridge, smoked fish, salad, and coffee.
- ~ 2.30 PM: Break at Eeten, an ITE sculpture exhibition by artist Eero Räisänen (Parkkilantie 858). Snacks available.
- ~ 5 PM: Boats ashore in Pudasjärvi. Car retrievers by bus to the Kurki school.
- Dinner at .
- Lodging: . Camping at the yard is free.
- Sauna is free.
- In the evening, there will be programme by the participants. Photographs and reminiscence; singing; pancakes.
SATURDAY, 6th of July
distance rown 33 km
- 8:00 AM: Boats launch. Pudasjärvi
- ~ 10 AM: Pause at the statue of Kelluva kivi (Floating Rock).
- ~ 11 AM: Break at Varpuvirrat, Petäjäkangas (14 km from launch). Campfire, bring your own snacks.
- ~ midday: Coffee break at Kollajanniemi (Kollajanniementie 56; 11 km from Varpuvirrat). Coffee and sandwiches available.
- 12:45 PM: Launch for the last passage of rowing.
- ~ 3 PM: Down the rapids at Toho, Kipinä: before going down the rapids, we pause to remove any extra objects or luggage from the boats! We do not recommend small children to go down the rapids; only in the company of parents/guardians!
- ~ 5 PM: Boats finish the journey at the Vähkyrä shore (Yli-Iintie 198).
- The Kipinä village festival., Traditional salmin soup, coffee. Car retrievers by bus to Hilturanta.
- Lodging: You can still spend the night at Kollaja, call Pekka Kaukko (+35840 180 7722) for details.
- Food: We've arranged food services with local businesses, from breakfast to dinner. The prices may vary depending on the location, so we cannot be sure of those in advance. You may check the food availability at different breaks and stops from the schedule. You only need to have your own food at Räpättävä (Thursday) and Varpuvirrat (Saturday). In most places, the most common special diets can be arranged. Please inform us of any serious allergies or other dietary requirements in advance, while you sign up.
- Lodging of different types is available, depending on the location. You may bring your own tent or trailer, or rent rooms from hotels, hostels, or such. Please ask for more information if you're uncertain, we can most likely arrange something for you. Every place where we stay overnight has a sauna available.
- Things you'll need for the boat journey: a life jacket (bring your own or rent from us), a sitting cushion, a hat or such, probably sunglasses, something long-sleeved but light to protect from sunburn without getting hot, something warm, a water bottle, gloves to protect your hands while rowing, sunscreen lotion, a raincoat or such, and practical shoes such as sneakers or sport sandals (which you don't mind getting wet). Rubber boots are impractical, as they can get filled with water.
- You might want to bring some snacks or pack a lunch, if you dont think you'll last between the stops where food can be bought. Take as few possessions as you can into the boat, a small bag should be enough.
- Bus for those who left their own cars at the launch site. At the end of every day's rowing, a bus is waiting. It will bring the car drivers back to the day's starting point, so they can get their cars from there. The cost of the bus travel is 5 € (valid all week).
- An office car travels with the event. If you don't have a car, it can haul your extra luggage (such as a tent, extra clothes, also wheelchairs etc. if needed).
- Insurance: We have a liability insurance, which will compensate if we make a mistake. However, it does not compensate you dropping your phone, glasses or wallet into the river, so you'll want to have your own insurance for such things.
- Safety: The event has a safety and rescue plan. Oulunseudun Melojat ry and experienced paddlers are responsible for safety and guiding on the river. We have a first aid team. Life jackets are compulsory. You may also rent them from us (2€/day), although we have a limited supply of children's sizes.
- The Iijoki Rowing is not a competition, but a journey to enjoy nature and the landscapes, which include local countryside and wilderness.
- The rowing comprises 160 kilometers (100 miles) along of river (about 30 kilometers each day).
- There are over 100 rapids; however, they're mostly small and beginner-friendly, no prior experience is required.
- We will go down bigger rapids (Kipinä, Toho) at the end of the last day of the event (Saturday, 9th of July), but you'll be forewarned, and can opt out if you wish. There is a stop before the Kipinä rapids, where boats will be emptied of any luggage that might get wet or fall into the river. The Kipinä rapids are also not recommended for small children, especially not without a caretaker in the same boat.
- The boats go down the Kipinä rapids one at a time. While you wait for your turn, you can watch this from the shores or the bridge.
- Previous experience is not required, and people of all ages can join the event. Our boats have experienced coxswains who know how to steer the boats in rapids or other difficult parts, so you'll be safe.
- Do not bring all your possessions into the boat, only take what you need on the river. If you want, you can leave your extra luggage with the event's office car, which moves along with the event.
- You may bring a sleeping bag, camping mattress, and possibly a tent if you wish to stay overnight. Many places also offer possibilities to rent rooms from hotels, hostels or such, although you may still need a sleeping bag or your own blanket. Call or email us (info(at)iijokisoutu.net) if you're uncertain.
- You need to have an accident insurance taken in the country you left to this trip (home country) for these kind of events, and one for lost property (insurance for the baggage).
- Even if the sign-up deadline has passed, we will not turn away last-minute participants if we happen to still have free seats in the boats.
Sign-up and translation help
As you may have noticed, the sign-up sheet (found here!) is in Finnish. Here's how to fill it (write your answers on the empty rows after each question. You can write them in English, we'll understand it).
- The name(s) of the participant(s). If someone is under 15 years old, please mention this. You can also mention if you don't speak Finnish.
- Your address.
- Do you not have your own boat? If so, tell us that you're reserving a seat or seats in our boats. Tell us how many seats you need.
- Do you actually have your own boat/canoe/kayak? If so, tell us here.
- Which day(s) will you be present? List all the days when you'll be there.
- If you require a special diet, explain it here. Which day(s) do you need it?
- Are there any small children who need to be looked after? Inform us.
In the fields below, "Nimi" = your name, "Puhelin" = your phone number (please use the international form), and "Sähköposti" = your email address.
When you're finished filling the form, click "Lähetä ilmoittautuminen".
Congratulations, you've signed up for the event!
If possible, please sign up BEFORE THE 27th OF JUNE if you need seating in our boats (AKA if you didn't bring your own boat).
Every participant/group must also sign up in person, on location, when you enter the event. There you will be given your ticket token(s), and you can get the car retrieval bus ticket. You will also be informed of the rules of the event.See you at the river!