Lake Päijänne

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Päijänne and päijätsalo.jpg
Päijänne and Päijätsalo
Coordinates 61°35′N 025°30′E / 61.583°N 25.500°E / 61.583; 25.500Coordinates: 61°35′N 025°30′E / 61.583°N 25.500°E / 61.583; 25.500
Primary outflows Kymi River
Basin countries Finland
Max. length 120 km (75 mi)
Surface area 1,070–1,082.89 km2 (413.13–418.11 sq mi)[1][2]
Average depth 16.2–18 m (53–59 ft)[1]
Max. depth 95.3 m (313 ft)[1]
Water volume 18.1 km3 (4.3 cu mi)[1]
Residence time 2.5 years
Surface elevation 78.3 m (257 ft)[2]
Islands 1886 (Virmailansaari, Salonsaari, Judinsalo, Onkisalo, Paatsalo, Muuratsalo, Haukkasalo, Vuoritsalo, Mustassalo, Edessalo, Taivassalo)
Settlements Asikkala, Jyväskylä, Korpilahti, Kuhmoinen, Luhanka, Muurame, Padasjoki, Sysmä
References [2][1]
Map of Päijänne and its neighbour lakes Kuusvesi, Leppävesi, Lievestuoreenjärvi, Ruotsalainen and Vesijärvi.

Lake Päijänne (Finnish pronunciation: [ˈpæi(j)ænːe]) is the second largest lake in Finland (1,080 km2 (266,874 acres)). The lake drains into the Gulf of Finland via the Kymi River. The major islands are from north to south Vuoritsalo, Muuratsalo, Onkisalo, Judinsalo, Edessalo, Taivassalo, Haukkasalo, Vehkasalo, Mustassalo, Virmailansaari and Salonsaari. The largest island is Virmailansaari. The word saari means an island. Salo once meant a great island, nowadays it means a great forest area.

The largest city on the shores of Päijänne is Jyväskylä in the North. The city of Lahti is connected to Päijänne through Lake Vesijärvi and Vääksy canal.

An underground aqueduct, Päijänne Water Tunnel, connects the lake to Helsinki, providing the capital area with water. The deepest point in any lake in Finland is located in Päijänne (95.3 m or 313 ft).


Sailing boats near Kärkinen bridge in Korpilahti, Jyväskylä.
MS Suometar in the Kalkkinen canal between Päijänne and Kalkkinen.
Steamboat SS Suomi in Jyväskylä harbour.

Päijänne is a famous boating, canoeing and sailing attraction. The 119 kilometres (74 mi) long lake is connected by canals to Lake Keitele, Lake Vesijärvi and to Lake Ruotsalainen. Length of the open waterway for ships is 380 kilometres (240 mi). Construction of canals connecting Päijänne to the Baltic Sea has been discussed for decades. Nevertheless, the plan is still to be materialized.

Until the 1940s Lake Päijänne was a major transportation channel in the Central Finland. Numerous ships transported passengers and freight between the villages and cities on the shores of Päijänne. Nowadays, passenger transportation is rather a tourist attraction on the lakelands than the fastest way connecting the cities and villages. One of the most popular passenger transportation routes in summertime is between the cities of Lahti and Jyväskylä.

Present day passenger ships on Päijänne
Name Built Passengers Length Width Speed Home harbour
M/S Aino 1922 90 17,20 m 4,10 m 11 knots Lahti[3]
M/S Elbatar 1984 90 16,08 m 4,78 m 11 knots Padasjoki[4]
M/S Charlotte Padasjoki
M/S Happy Days Lahti
M/S Hilja 1902 60 Jyväskylä, charter ferry[5]
M/S Jenni-Maria II 1970 30 15,30 m 3,80 m 15 knots Sysmä
M/S Katrilli 80 Jyväskylä, charter ferry[6]
M/S Kymppi 77 Jyväskylä, charter ferry[6]
S/S Laitiala 1903 130 26,7 m 6,64 m Lahti, charter ferry[3]
M/S Meininki 1970 30 Jyväskylä, charter ferry[7]
M/S Minni Jyväskylä
M/S Päijänne 50 20 m 5 m Jyväskylä, charter ferry[8]
M/S Rhea 43 m 18,2 m Jyväskylä[9]
M/S Rosetta Lahti, charter ferry[10]
M/S Ruotsalainen 22,10 m 5,32 m Asikkala
M/S Salome 18,90 m 4,35 m Lahti, charter ferry
M/S Suometar 199 Jyväskylä[6]
M/S Suomen Neito 199 Jyväskylä[6]
M/S Suomen Suvi 1993 199 Jyväskylä[6]
S/S Suomi 1906 199 31,60 m 2,13 m Jyväskylä[6][11]
M/S Terhi 199 Heinola
M/S Tuulikki II 170 Jämsä[12]
M/S Tuulikki III 80 Jämsä[12]
M/S Wellamo 1990 190 Lahti[3]


There are 16,000 cottages on the shores of Päijänne. Most of the cottages are private owned and have a separate sauna cottage.[13]

In addition to cottage tourism Päijänne attracts fishing, sailing, canoeing, rowing, paddling, trekking, ice-skating, snow mobile and nature tourists. The National Parks of Päijänne and Leivonmäki alone has tens of thousands of visitors every year.

The Clear and Drinkable Lake Päijänne South Association won a Tourism and Environment award presented by the European Union Commission in 1995.[14]

National Parks[edit]

Päijänne National Park (Finnish: Päijänteen kansallispuisto) is a national park in the southern parts of Lake Päijänne. It consists of 50 unbuilt islands and parts of inhabited islands. The national park has been established in 1993 and has an area of 14 square kilometres (5.4 sq mi).

Leivonmäki National Park is situated few kilometres North East from the Northern part of Lake Päijänne. It is one of the youngest national parks in Finland.

Cities and towns upon Lake Päijänne[edit]

From North to South


A panorama from Hauhonselkä of Päijänne from Paljaspää, Jyväskylä.

See also[edit]


External links[edit]

  • Media related to Päijänne at Wikimedia Commons