Nature tourism as a tool for
Muezersky District
This publication has been produced with the assistance of the European Union.
The contents of the publication is the sole responsibility of City of Lieksa and
can in no way be taken to reflect the views of the European Union.

Russian version GIS team field trip
About project
Project aims
Major project activities
Relevant projects
Project results

Water tourism

Geomorphology and landscapes
Rivers and lakes

Natural Resources

Protected Areas
Analysis and evaluation
Lake Tulos

Social potential
Subsurface resources
Nature tourism

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European Union

The project is founded by the European Union

City of Leksa

This project is implemented by the City of Lieksa

Summary report

Project "Nature tourism as a tool for developing the Muezersky District and enhancing nature protection"

Activity: Field survey by the GIS group
Location: Muezersky District
Dates: August 12-21

Aim: Survey of natural objects holding greatest potential for tourism development, identification of the factors restricting recreational use of the territory, delineating most promising tourist routes.

Results and brief description of the most valuable natural objects identified.

  1. Primary forest area in the utter northwest of the district.

    Primary forest area (by I.Georgievsky) Primary forest area (by I.Georgievsky) Is of much interest for tourism development. As regards their natural characteristics, forests of the planned "Kalevalsky" NP, "Kostomukshsky" strict nature reserve and utter northwest of the Muezersky district represent a once integral (prior to cuttings) area of the most typical Fennoscandian taiga.

  2. "Yudalsky" landscape reserve.

    A small-sized (1 524 ha), but practically the only operating nature conservation object in the Muezersky District. Investigations have shown this small fragment of pristine landscape to be quite well preserved. Since the landscape reserve (LR) has a constant protection status, it can be widely used for various kinds of tourist activities. It may act as the starting point for an extensive water route: one can start from Lake Yudalo and go by water across the whole lake-river system L. Rovkulskoye - L. Torosozero - L. Leksozero- L. Kargiozero - L. Sulo - R. Lenderka - L. Lenderskoye. In total, the route is about 100 km long.

  3. Cape Kervin.

    Cape Kervin (by I.Georgievsky) Cape Kervin (by I.Georgievsky) Cape Kervin (by I.Georgievsky)

    An outstandingly valuable object within the above-mentioned water route. It features lake-beach-forest landscapes on a narrow sandy spit cutting far into Lake Leksozero, which are exceptionally attractive for recreation. At the regional level, it is an ideal place for all kinds of tourist activities. There is access from land, as roads lead to a place nearby the easternmost and most scenic edge of the cape.

  4. Leksozero-Kargiozero channel.

    Leksozero-Kargiozero channel (by I.Georgievsky) Leksozero-Kargiozero channel (by I.Georgievsky) This is the place where all water routes of the Yudalo - Lenderskoye lake-river system intersect. The channel is situated in the middle of the system and is a convenient stopping place for tourists.

  5. Mount Vottovaara.

    An exceptionally valuable natural and recreational object. The height is 417 m. According to preliminary data, its top harbours the southernmost forest-tundra community of European Russia. Motor roads end about a kilometre away from the mount top. Gentle slopes and the top of mount Vottovaara offer a scenic view of the surrounding lands. The object ideally meets all criteria of a "natural monument".

    View from Mount Vottovaara (by I.Georgievsky) Lake in the foot of Mount Vottovaara in the evening (by I.Georgievsky) Pool on Mount Vottovaara (by I.Georgievsky)

Factors restricting tourism development.

  1. Industrial logging carried out 30-40 years ago has destroyed a majority of pristine forests along the lake-river system discussed above. Extensive tracts of young pine-deciduous forests have formed along the water. The forests are bad for recreational purposes (difficult to pass, poor harvestable berry and mushroom resources). At present, waterside protection zones (to 500 m wide) have been set aside along the lakes and rivers of the system, where felling is very limited. In view of the nearest plans for forestry operations in the territory, preservation of the surviving fragments of pristine forest calls for investigations with view to designation of a landscape reserve comprising the largest areas of well-preserved forest.
  2. The transport infrastructure of the district is poor, hindering recreational use of the territory. A major problem is the ruined bridges meant to connect the still useable motor roads (e.g., the bridge in the Leksozero-Kargiozero channel). As the result, much of the shore near roads is inaccessible if one travels along the lake-river system by a motor vehicle. Apparently, bridges are to be reconstructed to enable a fuller utilisation of the district's recreational potential.
  3. Given the current condition of the shores and banks, the construction of landing facilities is necessary, as well as the inventory of the shores and banks with identification of the most attractive sites of sandy and shingle beaches, rock outcrops, etc.

Specialised survey of the territory helped reveal more objects of interest for tourism development.

Faunal objects (S. Sazonov). Very specific is the bird fauna of lake-river systems, including swan, goose, white-tailed sea eagle and osprey. Специфичностью выделяется орнитофауна озерно-речных систем, включая лебедя, гуся, орлана-белохвоста и скопы. These species can be easily watched from water. Almost 20 bird species have been listed in the Red Data Books of Russia and Karelia. Capercaillie, black grouse and willow grouse (as game) demonstrate a density higher than the average in the region.

Floral objects (A. Kravchenko). Several key sites with potential for scientific and nature tourism development have been identified: Lake Karniz and mount Shipshingivaara near the village of Muezersky, cape Kevrin on the western shore of Lake Leksozero, channel joining lakes Leksozero and Kargiozero, mount Vottovaara, village of Kimovaara. Many of the species found here are classified as endangered and regionally red-listed in adjacent parts of Finland. A path should be constructed to prevent trampling down of plant communities on the top of mount Vottovaara by unorganised visitors. From the botanical point of view, there appear to be no other significant limitations to scientific and nature tourism development in the area.

Mire objects (V. Kolomytsev). On average, about 40% of the territory is paludified, if forest swamps are included. Most mires belong to the poor transitional and raised bog types with the dominance of Sphagnum mosses and sedges. Two cranberry species (Oxycoccus palustris and O. microcarpus) are nearly ubiquitous and quite abundant. They differ in the size of berries and taste differently. There are a few mire sites that are quite attractive both aesthetically and cognitively. Some of them are in the immediate vicinity of roads. The diversity of mire ecosystems in the mount Vottovaara area is exceptionally high. They lie at the foot of escarpments and in deep tectonic faults. Mires and paludified habitats of the Muezersky District have been very little studied. Most of them have retained their natural condition, thus acting as a rich resource for recreational, nature and learning tourism.

Water objects (A. Litvinenko). Chirko-Kem, Lenderka and Sunna lake-river systems are already quite actively used in water tourism and hold good promise for the future.

Chirko-Kem is now a popular water tourism route. In the future it can be used also for long, high-difficulty water tours leading to River Kem. The river stretch within the Muezersky District (from the starting point in the village of Tiksha) is about 35 km long.

Lakes Torosozero, Leksozero, Kargiozero. A group of picturesque lakes with numerous islands connected by short channels. It is meant for extending the route under development (Lake Sula - Lake Lenderskoye) to prolong the stay to 2-3 and more days with a short rest (given that the relevant infrastructure is created).

Mount Vottovaara. Lakelets on this large crystalline upland are noted for a very small catchment area, thus getting nearly 100% of water from precipitation. Their water is crystal clear and transparent. They are of great interest both to scientific and general tourists.

Soil objects (O. Bahmet). Thin podzols on glaciofluvial and till deposits, primitive soils on bedrock outcrops and transitional bog soils in depressions prevail in the soil cover of the district.

The objects most promising for the development of nature and learning tourism are: cape Kevrin on the western shore of Lake Leksozero (profiles of soils typical for the region as well as unique non-typical soils were found to occur within a small area); mount Vottovaara (both "common" and regionally rare primitive soils were identified).

Experts: A. Gromtsev, S. Sazonov, A. Kravchenko, V. Kolomytsev, A. Litvinenko, O. Bahmet

Main activities 

Last modified on December 24, 2003