|Tallest Drop||20 m|
|Volume (avg.)||0.15 m3/s|
|Volume (max.)||2 m3/s|
|Primary form||Steep cascade|
This unnamed waterfall in the Saaripuro River is about 20 metres high. It is located in the Oulanka National Park, in Kuusamo municipality. The waterfall flows north of the Kitkajoki River, close to the Pähkänänkallio Cliff and the well-known hiking trail Karhunkierros ("Bear’s Ring"). The fall is not marked on maps, so if you want to find it, you have to know what you are looking for.
Saaripuro is a small river that gets its water from both the wetlands north of Pähkänänvaara hill, and the nearby pond, Saarilampi. The fall is a cascade, which means that the water descends in small steps down a rocky hill, and the total drop height of the fall is divided onto a distance of a couple of dozen metres. After the fall, the river still foams as a rapid, before calming down and flowing into the Kitkajoki River. Actually the waterfall looks like a white ribbon, and could be called a Finnish cousin of the famous Swedish Västenåfallet Waterfall – at least in my opinion.
By following the Karhunkierros Trail to the waterfall, it takes at least 6–7 kilometres to walk there from the nearby Juuma village. It is, however, possible to take a shorter walk to the fall, but it requires hiking in a difficult terrain for about 2 kilometres. On this way to the waterfall, you have to walk on steep paths and old, rotten wooden stairs down from Pähkänänkallio, to the shore of the Kitkajoki River. In that case, you should leave your car at the end of a nearby dirt road, north of Pähkänänkallio.
The fall itself can then be found by following the Karhunkierros Trail north from the Pähkänä shelter (in the shore of Kitkajoki River) for about 200 metres. Then you need to cross the Saaripuro River and continue north-east along the river for another 200 metres. As you are approaching the fall, you can hear it rather far, which makes it easier to find. To return to your car, you should keep following Karhunkierros Trail on the east side of the river, then cross the river (with no bridge) and walk through the pathless forest for the rest of the way (about 1 km).
A lot of water in the Saaripuro Falls in a special photograph by Antti Kettunen (23.8.2014).
Despite the difficult terrain, the fall is definitely worth the trouble. The steep cascade with its water rushing down from heights, is more impressive in my opinion than, for example, the Tarhapuro Falls in Koli, which is much more famous as a sight than the Saaripuro Falls. As a nature resort, the Saaripuro Falls represent one of the most beautiful unnamed waterfalls in Eastern Finland. At the very least it would deserve a sign-post along the Karhunkierros Trail.
The waterfall is at its best during the spring floods (I visited it in May, when the floods had partly passed), but it is probably worth seeing most times of the year, excluding the driest of days. Hearing the water rumble in the pathless wilderness and seeing the water rushing down the top of the unnamed waterfall makes you almost feel like an explorer!
Päähkänäkalliontie 87, Kuusamo
GPS: 66.27626 (N), 29.51579 (E)
Open the location in Google Maps
Hiking trip to the falls through the forest is about 2 km.
Waterfall on mapOpen the fall on the official terrain map of NLS
Video of the waterfall
Travel companies nearby:
Other nearby waterfalls (up to 30 km):
Waterfall added to the site 17.02.2016, last updated 26.05.2019