Iijokisoutu® rowing event 2024

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

Navigation 2024

Friday, June 28th: Opening ceremony at Jokijärvi lake
Saturday, 29th: Jokijärvi - Taivalkoski
Sunday, June 30th: Taivalkoski - Parviainen
Monday, July 1st: Parviainen - Kurki school
Tuesday, July 2nd: Kurki school - Pudasjärvi
Route map
Contact information

please note this about area traffic and lodging:

At the same time as Iijokisoutu 2024 travels down the river, there is Suviseurat, a religious mass gathering held at Pudasjärvi from June 28th to July 1st. Approximately 70 000 people from all around Finland are expected to be there.

Due to the mass gathering, it is expected that there will be a lot of caravan and camper van traffic going around Pudasjärvi and other nearby municipalities including Taivalkoski. This may cause traffic jams and delays. Please take this into account when planning car travel in the area.

The gathering also impacts the availability of lodging in the area: if you need lodging other than what has been arranged by the Iijokisoutu event, hotels and such might be full; do not leave reservations to the last minute.

Sign up, Iijokisoutu 2024

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Ever since 1983

Welcome to Iijokisoutu, 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 range from Nordic wilderness and natural river habitats, to local countryside and culture.

You can choose to join us for a day or two or three, or the whole four days. No prior experience is needed. Our 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 (The Nature Conservation Association of Pudasjärvi)

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Schedule 2024

The details of the schedule below will be updated as the event approaches.

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Friday, June 28th 2024

Note: If you are attending the event without a car, and you need a ride to Saija, please contact us by Thursday, June 27th at info[at]iijokisoutu.net or call Pirtsi Luhta (+358400 293023), so we can arrange a ride.
  • Afternoon: participants will begin gathering at Saija Lodge (map pin iconSaijantie 8, Taivalkoski).
  • After your arrival, please sign up at the office of the Iijokisoutu event. You get your ticket(s) and instructions there.
  • Traditional smoke sauna available at Saija in the afternoon and evening.
  • Dinner at Saija.
  • In the afternoon, those who want can practice rowing a riverboat at the Saija shore.
  • 7:45 PM the office closes.
  • 8:00 PM at the Saija pavilion, Iijokisoutu Opening ceremony and info briefing.

Food: Dinner at Saija, 27€/person.

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

Lodging at Saija cabins (price includes breakfast buffet):

  • 1-person room: 117,00 €/night
  • 2-person room: 134,00 €/night
  • 3-person room: 176,00 €/night
  • 4-person room: 218,00 €/night

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

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Saturday, June 29th 2024

Jokijärvi lake – Taivalkoski town center

27 kilometers / 17 miles

On Saturday, we row through the wilderness of Taivalkoski. We pass through many small rapids, which have been preserved in a remarkably natural state.

  • 7:30 AM The office is open until 8:30 AM (sign up there if you didn't on Friday) at Saija (map pin iconSaijantie 8, Jokijärvi, Taivalkoski)
  • 8:30 AM Safety instructions and getting into the boats at the Saija shore.
  • 9:00 AM Launch from Saija.
  • 9:30 AM those who wish, may participate in a moment of piety to commemorate passed friends of Iijokisoutu at Kirkkosaari Island, Jokijärvi Lake.
  • ~ 12 AM Lunch break at Hepokangas (map pin iconHepokankaantie, Taivalkoski. 9 km from launch.)
  • ~ 4-5 PM Boats ashore at Putaanmutka, (map pin iconTalonpojantie, Taivalkoski. 18 km from Hepokangas).
  • Those retrieving their cars will take a bus ride to Saija.
  • A bus ride will be arranged to take the participants to spend the night at Kolmiloukko Camping (map pin iconOuluntie 50, Taivalkoski).
  • Dinner, sauna, swimming pond at Kolmiloukko Camping.
  • 8 PM Evening programme at Kolmiloukko: Pekka Haavisto speaks about diplomacy in environmentalism. In Finnish.

Food: Breakfast buffet at Saija, 15€/person or included in the price of renting a room/cabin.
Light lunch/snacks sold at Hepokangas.
Dinner at Kolmiloukko Camping, Taivalkoski, 14€/person. There is also a small coffee shop in the area.

Lodging: in your own tent, van, or caravan at Kolmiloukko Camping, Taivalkoski: tent site for one night 10€ + 5€/person. Caravan/camper van site 15€, with electricity 20€.

If you do not want to stay at Kolmiloukko Camping, there are also hotels in Taivalkoski (Hotel Herkko still had free rooms when last checked, there's also a sauna for 4€/person until 9 PM). Note the Suviseurat religious gathering in Pudasjärvi and the kayak competition at Taivalkoski means lots of people need lodging in the area, which affects availability.

Sauna: Sauna and swimming in a pond at Kolmiloukko Camping.

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

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Sunday, June 30th 2024

Taivalkoski town center – Parviainen

32 kilometers / 20 miles

On Sunday, our route takes us through beautiful scenery, some rapids and also peaceful river segments, both wilderness and summery countryside landscapes.

  • ~ 7 AM Breakfast at Kolmiloukko Camping.
  • ~ 8 AM Car drive from Kolmiloukko Camping to the launch site, Tynnyrimutka (map pin iconTynnyritie, Taivalkoski). If you're at Kolmiloukko without a car ride, please inform the event staff early enough, so we can arrange a ride and make sure no one gets left behind at the camping site.
  • 8:15 AM Office car open at Tynnyrimutka, sign up there if this is your first day attending.
  • 8:30 AM Instructions and sorting into boats at the launch site.
  • 9:00 AM Launch from Tynnyrimutka.
  • ~ 12 AM Coffee and lunch break at Koivukoski (map pin iconJurmuntie 103, Taivalkoski. 12 km from launch).
  • ~ 2 PM Swimming and scenery at the sand cliff of Jurmunlampi lake (9 km from Koivukoski).
  • ~ 4-5 PM Boats ashore at Parviainen (map pin iconParviaisentie 4980, Taivalkoski. 11 km from Jurmu), those retrieving their cars will take the bus to Taivalkoski.
  • Dinner at Parviainen.
  • Soft heat and bathing in an atmospheric tent sauna.
  • Summer campfire and evening games.

Food: Breakfast at Kolmiloukko Camping, 5-7€/person.
Lunch at Koivukoski: fish soup or vegan option, bread, drink, dessert and coffee/tea 12€/person, for children under twelve 6€/person.
In the evening, dinner at Parviainen, 15€/person.

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

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

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Monday, July 1st 2024

Parviainen – Kurki school

31 kilometers / 19 miles

  • 7:30 AM Breakfast at Parviainen.
  • 8:00 AM Office car open at Parviainen. Sign up there if this is your first day attending.
  • 8:30 AM Instructions and sorting into boats at the launch site.
  • 9:00 AM Launch from Parviainen (map pin iconParviaisentie 4980, Taivalkoski).
  • ~ 11 AM Campfire coffee break at Räpättävä (map pin iconYli-Kurentie 2230, Pudasjärvi. 11 km from Parviainen). You may bring your own snacks. We offer the coffee for the attendees.
  • ~ 1 PM Coffee/snack break at the Kello cable ferry (map pin iconAnttilantie 2, Pudasjärvi. 5 km from Räpättävä), where you may buy coffee, pastries or other snacks. Crossing the river with the cable ferry!
  • ~ 4-5 PM Boats arrive at the shore of the old Kurki school building (map pin iconKariniementie 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.
  • 8:00 PM Evening programme at Kurki School: Artist Eero Räisänen opens the event by telling us about his river and his life through poetry. Afterwards, we discuss the river, the migratory fish situation, and the freshwater pearl mussel. The event is in Finnish.

Food: Breakfast at Parviainen.
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, drinks, and snacks.
Dinner at Kurki school is elk soup or vege-option, 13€/person, for children under twelve 8€/person.

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

Iijokisoutu at the Kello cable ferry.

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Tuesday, July 2nd 2024

Kurki school – Pudasjärvi town center

27 kilometers / 17 miles

Tuesday's river segment is calm and goes through serene waters, small lakes, and through agricultural landscapes.

  • 7:30 AM Breakfast at the Kurki school building.
  • 8:00 AM Office car open at the Kurki school yard (map pin iconKariniementie 2, Pudasjärvi). Sign up there if this is your first day attending.
  • 8:30 AM Instructions and sorting into boats at the Kurki school shore.
  • 9:00 AM Boats launch from the Kurki school shore .
  • ~ 12 AM Lunch, porridge at Sotkajärvi lake (map pin iconSotkajärventie, Pudasjärvi. 12 km from Kurki), introduction to the area!
  • ~ 3 PM A break at Eeteni, the ITE sculpture garden of the artist Eero Räisänen. (map pin iconParkkilantie 858, Pudasjärvi. 7 km from Sotkajärvi.)
  • ~ 4 PM Boats arrive at Koskenhovi, near the Pudasjärvi town center. (map pin iconKoskenhovinkuja, Pudasjärvi. 8 km from Eeteni.)
  • A meal and a closure at Koskenhovi. After the event, those retrieving their cars will take the bus back to Kurki school.
Food: Breakfast at Kurki school 9€/person, for children under twelve 6€/person.
Lunch at Sotkajärvi: traditional porridge and bread with smoked mutton, 10€/person, coffee 1€, pastry 1€.
Dinner at Koskenhovi. Potato-minced meat casserole or vege-option with bread, drink, dessert and coffee/tea, 14€/person, for children under twelve 7€/person.

A photograph from the fourth rowing day of Iijokisoutu. A view from a bridge by the Sotkajärvi lake. The boats and kayaks slide across the surface of the like in soft light, as the sky is reflected in the water.

You are warmly welcome to join us and experience the traditional Iijokisoutu.

Sign up here.

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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.
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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.

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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 has been updated, and is now valid for all participants aged 18 or older.

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.

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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)

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).