Paljaspää nature trail and lookout spot
In Muuratsalo, from the end of Vuorelantie and Rusakontie, a path roughly 2 km in length winds up the side of a steep hill and passes through a delicate woodland grove known as Kärppäkivi. Along the way there are nature trail information boards; the path is marked and signposted (in Finnish only).
At the start of the trail walkers ascend to Paljaspää, a rugged lookout spot atop a rocky hill soaring to a height of 140-150 metres above sea level. In places the nature trail that crosses Paljaspää affords breathtaking unrestricted views over Lake Päijänne some 60-70 metres below.
Satasarvinen lookout spot
Satasarvinen is a rocky hill in Muuratsalo that rises approximately 70 metres above the level of Lake Päijänne below. The path to the summit of Satasarvinen starts at the junction of Saaritie and Haikantie.
Rauanlahti bird watching tower
Ornithologists will find the path at the side of the road leading to Muurame.
Numerous paths crisscross the woods of Muuratsalo. For instance, from the direction of Kortepellontie it is a good idea to find the start of a path and ascend Kontinvuori hill, from which great scenic views open up.
By the water
Saunaranta harbour and park
Saunaranta park on the main island is a pleasant outing destination with its breakwaters and walks.
Berths for visiting craft
Säynätsalo can also be reached from Jyväskylä by boat, via the Äijälänjoki channel connecting Lake Jyväsjärvi to Päijänne. Boat traffic heading out onto Lake Päijänne also stops on request at Säynätsalo.
In Säynätsalo, at Kaijanlahti boat harbour located immediately next to the Louhunsalmi suspension bridge, there are three free berths for visiting craft intended for short-term use as well as a slipway. At Saunaranta there are two free berths, also for short-term use.
In addition Juurikkasaari, also on the main island, has berths for visiting craft. Please contact Juhlatalo Juurikkasaari for further details. Juurikkasaari is also the yacht harbour of the local sailing club, Jyväskylän Veneseura.
The City of Jyväskylä rents berths for boats. To rent a berth contact Palvelupiste Hannikainen (014) 266 5025 or (014) 266 0108. It is possible to rent a berth or rowboat spot from the following areas:
- Säynätsalo, Kaijanlahti: rowboat, motorboat/berth
- Säynätsalo, Saunaranta: rowboat, motorboat/berth
- Lehtisaari, Louhunsalmi: motorboat/berth
Culture and architecture
The islands of Säynätsalo feature a number of architectural locations of national and international importance. These can be explored easily on foot or by bicycle, for instance. From the centre of Jyväskylä the main island of Säynätsalo can be reached conveniently in half an hour using local buses 16, 16M and 21 operated by Jyväskylän seudun joukkoliikenne.
It is worthwhile starting on the main island with a visit to Säynätsalo Church (Armas Lindgren – Bertel Liljeqvist, 1927), which is one of the best preserved churches designed by Armas Lindgren. For further information please see Places of interest/Säynätsalo island.
Säynätsalo Town Hall
Less than ten minutes’ walk from the church stands Säynätsalo Town Hall (1949-52) designed by world-famous architect Alvar Aalto. It is one of Aalto’s finest total works of art. In order to expedite planning of the Town Hall, the Municipality of Säynätsalo organised an architectural competition in 1949. The building, which has won acclaim worldwide, was completed in 1951, at which time the municipality’s population was in the region of 3 000. The building was officially opened in early 1952.
Muuratsalo Experimental House
From the Town Hall at a walking distance of 4.5 kilometres along a beautiful lakeshore road (Parviaisentie-Saaritie-Vuorenlahdenkatu-Melalammentie) stands another Alvar Aalto masterpiece, the Muuratsalo Experimental House (1952-54). Visits to the area are only possible in the company of a guide. For further information on opening times, please contact the Alvar Aalto Museum tel. +358 14 266 7113. The return journey from Muuratsalo to Säynätsalo or the centre of Jyväskylä can be made easily by taking a bus from the bus stop situated not far from the Experimental House (buses 16 or 16 M).
Locations designed by architects Karl and Margareta Stigzelius
Regarding other locations of architectural interest in Säynätsalo, mention should be made of the 1940s and 50s apartment buildings situated on and close to Parviaisentie. Both buildings were designed by architect Karl Stigzelius. ‘Virkala’, Säynätsalo’s first stone apartment building, was constructed for office staff at Johan Parviainen’s mills in 1942. The Functionalist building is to be found on a side-street off Parviaisentie at Virkalantie 2. ‘Arava’, Parviaisentie 33, is the first apartment block on the islands to be built with a low-interest loan from the state and is one of the finest buildings in Central Finland dating from the 1950s.
The mills, which passed into Enso-Gutzeit’s ownership in 1946, had an important influence on house building in Säynätsalo. Many one-family houses and row house dwellings were designed by the architect couple Karl and Margareta Stigzelius. Enso’s own building production includes the so-called ‘Chinese houses’ (1944-45), one-family houses situated in the vicinity of Parviaisentie which take their name from the Asian associations inspired by the unusual roof shape.
The factory area which dominates the southern half of the main island is a reminder of Säynätsalo’s long industrial history. The original industrial architecture has almost completely disappeared from the area. Designed by Karl Stigzelius, the human figures on the gable of the fibreboard mill date from the 1940s. Please see also Places of interest/Säynätsalo island.