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A canal


Ruokolahti waterways include three canals: Kukonharju, Kutvele and Käyhkää. The 4th, Telataipale Canal is in the same water body, but in Sulkava municipality.  All four were built at the end of the 18th century by the Russians, who ruled Eastern Finland at the time. The newly established "Turku peace act" -border between Sweden in the west and Russia cut off the important Lappeenranta-Savonlinna waterway connection from the Russians. In order for them to pass through there without making a detour onto the Swedish side, they needed a new route. This new waterway had to be dug across four isthmuses, and this is how the four canals were born.

Route map from Ruokolahti library to Kukonharju canal


Kukonharju canal landscape

The history, the lacustrine birch forest, the steep rock walls and the views to lake Saimaa on both ends of the canal are worth a visit. Parking is at the bottom of a steep hill and from there there is a foot path along the canal.

Kukonharjun kanava

Kukonharjun kanava