|Tallest Drop||6 m|
|Volume (avg.)||0.2 m3/s|
|Volume (max.)||3 m3/s|
|Primary form||Steep cascade|
Vähänojanköngäs (known also as Vähäojanköngäs) is a steep waterfall, located in the woods south of the Vanttauskoski area of Kemijoki River, in the eastern part of Rovaniemi. As the name says, the fall flows in a creek called Vähäoja, which, along with the other small creeks in the area, pours its water into the Kemijoki River, below the Vanttauskoski hydroelectric plant.
The waterfall is formed as the creek flows over the rocky cliff where the drop is about 8 metres. The form of the rock forces the water to flow into a “funnel” in the slope, which looks like a triangle standing on one end. After the funnel the water rushes down like a fan. Looking at it directly, the fall looks like a large white hourglass. It is possible, however, that during the floods the hourglass pattern is lost as the water covers the entire surface of the rock.
There aren't any trails leading to the waterfall in the forest, not to mention signposting. Therefore, visiting the fall requires a hike of approx. 150 metres from the nearby unnamed dirt road. You can park your car at the start of the road, south of the Rovaniemi–Kuusamo road (81). In this case, walking from the car to the waterfall is a total distance of about 400 metres. The terrain near the dirt road on the way to the target is quite rough and difficult to walk, with (for example) young birch trees. Near the fall, however, the terrain is more open and easier to walk. The waterfall flows in the green embrace of the surrounding trees, and there are plenty of good places for photographing.
As I am writing this, Vähänojanköngäs has been the biggest surprise for me, when looking for Finnish waterfalls. The waterfall is not only a steep and beautifully foaming sight, but its hourglass-like form makes it particularly interesting. It is quite strange, that the waterfall has been largely hidden from the public; in fact, when I was gathering information of the fall (in 2013), the only information I found on the internet or anywhere else, was its name on a terrain map. This is astonishing, because Vähänojanköngäs is a spectacular waterfall, maybe even more gorgeous, as the quite similar and much better known Juveninkoski in Central Finland.
Its only weakness is the rather small amount of water in the driest of summer time. Still, this does not change the fact that "the Hourglass-waterfall" – as Vähänojanköngäs could well be called – is a fine sight well worth visiting. Due to its unique geology and non-existing public awareness, it is a must-see attraction for anyone who is interested in rare Finnish waterfalls. I strongly recommend it!
Kuusamontie 5150, Rovaniemi
GPS: 66.36338 (N), 26.69324 (E)
Turn south onto a small dirt road from the main road (81), and leave your car at the start of the dirt road. Walking trip to the fall is about 400 m.
Waterfall on mapOpen the fall on the official terrain map of NLS
Video of the waterfall
Waterfall added to the site 09.03.2016, last updated 01.06.2019