2023 – Iijokisoutu® turns 40 years old!

Note! The schedule and pricing may change, any changes will be updated here.

UPDATE: Our boats are fully booked for Saturday, 1st of July 2023. You may still sign up for Saturday IF you bring your own boat/canoe/kayak.

Sign up, Iijokisoutu 2023

Iijokisoutu is the oldest ongoing nature conservation event in Finland. This year, we celebrate our 40th anniversary!

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. Now we have our goals in bringing back the river's native migratory salmon population.

While we´ve rowed to support 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. It is place to be for people looking for a break from routine, to get some fresh air, to experience the local tradition, to enjoy fresh waters, campfires and festivities of Northern Finland during the most beautiful time of the summer.

Iijoki Rowing is not a competition, but a journey to enjoy nature and the landscapes. The landscapes include local countryside and wilderness.

You are albe to join us for a day or two or for the whole row. No prior experience is needed. The boats have experienced coxswains who know how to steer the boats in rapids or other difficult parts, so you'll always be safe.

Sign up and reserve a seat in one of our boats. Come row with us!

- Pudasjärven luonnonsuojeluyhdistys ry


Friday, June 30th 2023

  • Starting from the afternoon, participants will be gathering at Saija Lodge (Saijantie 8, Taivalkoski). After your arrival, please sign up at the office of the Iijokisoutu event.
  • Traditional smoke sauna available at Saija in the afternoon and evening
  • 7:45 PM The office is closed. Please sign up before this.
  • 8:00 PM Opening ceremony for Iijokisoutu, 40 years old. Dancing at the Saija pavilion, music by Suopunki

Food: Buffet at Saija, ~20€/person.

Lodging: You may sleep in a tent or caravan in the Saija area or free, or you may rent a room or a cabin from Saija Lodge: info(at)saija.fi, +3588 847 511

The Jokijärvi shore and swimming dock near the Saija Lodge sauna.

Saturday, July 1st 2023

  • 7:30 AM The office opens, sign up at Saija (Saijantie 8, Taivalkoski)
  • 8:30 AM Safety instructions and getting into the boats at the Saija shore.
  • 9:00 AM Launch from Saija
  • 9:30 AM moment of piety at Kirkkosaari Island, Jokijärvi Lake
  • ~ 12 AM Lunch break at Hepokangas (Hepokankaantie, Taivalkoski. 9 km from launch.)
  • ~ 4 PM Boats ashore at Putaanmutka, (Talonpojantie Taivalkoski. 18 km from Hepokangas). Those retrieving their cars will take a bus ride to Saija.

Food: Breakfast buffet at Saija is included in the lodging fee, otherwise 12€/person. At Hepokangas, fried vendace, sausage, or other lunch. Dinner is at Taivalkoski Vocational School for 12.90€/person, which you may reserve in advance through Ruska Bed & Breakfast: ruskabedbreakfast(at)gmail.com / +35840 5827 789. Those retrieving their cars may also eat at Saija.

Lodging: Lodging, sauna, and breakfast at the vocational school is 40€; you may reserve a vocational school room for two or four people in advance through Ruska Bed & Breakfast: ruskabedbreakfast(at)gmail.com / +35840 5827 789. Camping at the surroundings of Putaanmutka, Taivalkoski is free. There are also hotels at Taivalkoski (Hotel Herkko, Ruska Bed & Breakfast).

Sauna: There is a sauna at the vocational school for those renting a room there. The sauna and pool at Hotel Herkko are also available.

The shore of Saija Lodge, Jokijärvi Lake. The Iijokisoutu boat launch in a sunny morning.

Sunday, July 2nd 2023

  • 8:00 AM Breakfast at the vocational school
  • 9:00 AM Launch (Tynnyritie, Taivalkoski)
  • ~ 12 AM Coffee and snack break at Koivukoski (Jurmuntie 103 B, Taivalkoski. 12 km from launch). Coffee and soup 13 €.
  • ~ 2 PM Swimming and scenery at the sand cliff of Jurmu (9 km from Koivukoski).
  • ~ 4 PM Boats ashore at Parviainen (Parviaisentie 4980, Taivalkoski. 11 km from Jurmu), those retrieving their cars will take the bus to Taivalkoski.
  • Food, tent sauna, camping. Evening programme at the campfire.

Food: Breakfast at the vocational school is included in the lodging fee, otherwise 8 €/person, for children under twelve 5 €/person. Soup at lunch break at Koivukoski: Fish soup or vege-alternative 13 €/person, for children under twelve 6 €/person. In the evening, dinner at Parviainen, 10 €/person, for children under twelve 5€/person.

Lodging: Camping at Parviainen in your own tent or caravan. The camping+sauna fee at Parviainen is 6€/person.

View from the Jurmu sand cliff to the shore and the Jurmunlampi lake down below.

Monday, July 3rd 2023

  • 7:30 AM Breakfast at Parviainen
  • 9:00 AM Launch from Parviainen (Parviaisentie 4980, Taivalkoski)
  • ~ 11 AM Campfire coffee break at Räpättävä (Yli-Kurentie 2230, Pudasjärvi. 11 km from Parviainen). You may bring your own snacks. Introduction to the area!
  • ~ 1 PM Coffee break at the Kello cable ferry (Anttilantie 2, Pudasjärvi. 5 km from Räpättävä), where you may buy coffee, pastries or other snacks. Crossing the river with the cable ferry!
  • ~ 4 PM Boats arrive at the shore of the old school building at Kurki (Kariniementie 2, Pudasjärvi. 15 km from the Kello cable ferry). Those retrieving their cars will take the bus to Parviainen.
  • Food and sauna at the Kurki school building
  • Evening programme at Kurki: Celebrating Iijokisoutu 40 years old!

Food: Breakfast at Parviainen 6€/person. At Räpättävä, there's coffee available, you may bring your own snacks, there's a campfire for roasting sausages. At the Kello cable ferry, you may buy coffee, pastries and other snacks. Evening meal at the Kurki school building: elk soup or vege-alternative 12 €/person, for children under twelve 6,50 €/person.

Lodging: A camping spot for a tent or a caravan at the Kurki school yard 5 €, lodging at the school building's rooms is 5 €/person.

Iijokisoutu at the Kello cable ferry.

Tuesday, July 4th 2023

  • 7:30 AM Breakfast at the Kurki school building 8 €, for children under twelve 5 €
  • 9:00 AM Boats launch from the Kurki shore.
  • ~ 12 AM Snack break at the shore of Parkkila (Sotkajärventie 475, Pudasjärvi. 12 km from Kurki), introduction to the area!
  • ~ 3 PM A break at Eeteni, the ITE sculpture garden of the artist Eero Räisänen. (Parkkilantie 858, Pudasjärvi. 7 km from Parkkila.)
  • ~ 4 PM Boats arrive at Koskenhovi, near the Pudasjärvi town center. (Koskenhovinkuja, Pudasjärvi. 8 km from Eeteni.)
  • A meal and a closure at Koskenhovi. After the event, those retrieving their cars will take the bus to Kurki.

You are warmly welcome to the traditional Iijokisoutu. Let's make the 40-year anniversary event memorable together!

Sign up here.

A simplified map of the Iijoki river. The nightly stops of the Iijokisoutu event, year 2023, have been marked on the map. The stops are Saija Lodge, the town of Taivalkoski, the shore of Parviainen, the old school building of Kurki, and Pudasjärvi.


A seat in our boat: 1 day 30€ , whole event 100€
If you bring your own boat/canoe/kayak: 1 day 20€ , whole event 50€

Children under 15:
A seat in our boat: 1 day 15€ , whole event 50€
In your own boat/canoe/kayak: 1 day 10€ , whole event 25€

Bus token: 5€/day, 10€/whole event
At the end of each day of rowing, a bus will be waiting to take those retrieving their cars back to the place where we launched in the morning.

Rent a life vest: 5€/day, 10€/whole event.

Life vests are required for everyone. You may bring your own or rent from us (payments only in cash).


You may pay your attendance fee either in advance (bank account Iijokisoutu FI14 5360 0420 0911 78) OR at the office at the event, where you will also be given your event pass and instructions. It is better to pay in advance, for your convenience and avoiding the rush.

Please remember to sign up here.


For the rowers

You may reserve a seat in one of our boats, or bring your own. Each of our wooden river boats has two pairs of oars. Approximately three or four people fit in each boat (groups larger than this will be divided into two or more boats). be two people rowing and one or two passengers in each boat; the rowers and passengers usually take turns. Generally, you are expected to be able to row for at least half a day. If your group is bringing (a) small child(ren) to the boat, then the grown-ups will row the whole way.

In addition to the three or four rowers+passengers, there is a coxswain steering each boat. The coxswain is in charge of the boat, and will steer and give instructions as needed.

You do not need a lot of prior rowing experience to attend Iijokisoutu; we will teach you. You do need to be in a physical condition to be able to row a boat for a few hours, though.

In addition to the breaks in the schedule, other smaller breaks will be taken if the rowers are tired, or if the weather condition gets momentarily bad, or if we have to wait for slower boats to catch up.

For the paddlers

We do not recommend partaking in Iijokisoutu as a paddler if you are inexperienced, unless you're coming with a more experienced paddler friend who can instruct you. For the inexperienced, instead of paddling we recommend reserving a seat in one of our boats, where the coxswain will instruct you if needed.

Taigavire rents kayaks and canoes.

What to bring into a boat?

Life vest, a cushion to sit on, a hat that protects from the sun, sunglasses, a water bottle, gloves for rowing a boat if you get blisters easily, sun lotion, a raincoat, possibly a change of clothing. Appropriate footwear such as sneakers (no rubber boots in the boats please). Snacks, if you want to eat something between breaks. It's enough to take a small bag of these essentials into the boat.

Everyone must wear a life vest. You may bring your own or rent from us (5 €/day or 10 €/the whole event). We have a limited quantity of children's sizes. Note: the rent of the life vests must be paid in cash at the office car.

The office car

We have an office car, which will follow along the event. You may keep your additional luggage there and access it during breaks.

Retrieving your car

Each day at the end point of the daily rowing, a bus will be waiting to take those retrieving their cars from where they were left in the morning. A ticket for the bus costs 5 €/day or 10 €/whole event.


Our head organisation, Suomen luonnonsuojeluliitto (Finnish association for Nature Conservation) has an accident insurance, which is valid for the Iijokisoutu event. The insurance is valid for accidents that happen during the event or immediately on the way to or from there. The insurance is valid for participants under age 70.

In addition, Iijokisoutu has a liability insurance, which will be valid for liabilities caused by the Iijokisoutu event and its organizers. Please note that it will not compensate for liabilities caused by yourself, such as dropping something in the river. You may get your own travel insurance for that.


Chairwoman of the Pudasjärvi Nature Conservation Association and the Head of the Event Pirkko-Liisa Luhta (+358400 293 023)

Head of the Coxswains Eero Moilanen (+358400 204 165)

The office car is run by Teemu Ojala (+35840 5119 283) and Erja Ojala (+35840 7094 546).

You may also email us at info(at)iijokisoutu.net if you have additional questions.

The sign-up sheet can be found here.

The event is organized by The Pudasjärvi Nature Conservation Association. It is a local member association of The Finnish Association for Nature Conservation (SLL).