Kivach Nature Reserve, Russia

According to RC Toy’s Advice, 15 km northwest of Kondopoga is the Kivach nature reserve, named after a waterfall on the Suna River. Kivach is the most popular waterfall in Karelia, the height of the water fall is 10.7 m. On the territory of the reserve there is a large species diversity of flora and fauna, which you can get acquainted with during the trip along the hiking trails of the reserve. It is worth noting that there are more than 50 rapids and waterfalls on the Suna River, so it is very popular among rafting enthusiasts. Another well-known Girvas waterfall is located 32 km from the Kivach waterfall. Despite the fact that it has a technogenic origin, and most of the time its bed remains dry, the nature surrounding it makes Girvas one of the most beautiful waterfalls in Karelia. About 2 billion years ago, there was a volcano on the site of the waterfall. Its crater, which is now hidden under a layer of sediments, is the oldest volcanic crater in Karelia.

To the north of the “Kivach” nature reserve, the surroundings of the village of Belaya Gora are interesting, where the Tivdiya marble fragments have been preserved. Marble deposits in these places were discovered in the middle of the 18th century. Tivdia marble was exported for the construction of buildings in St. Petersburg. By the beginning of the 20th century, the industrial development of this deposit was stopped. Tivdia marble is very beautiful, it has more than thirty shades. In the village of Belaya Gora itself there is a stone church of the Kazan Icon of the Mother of God of the second half of the 19th century. Its architect was K.A. Tone (author of the Cathedral of Christ the Savior in Moscow).

To the south of the Kivach nature reserve is the village of Konchezero where the remains of a copper smelter have been preserved. The plant was built by decree of Peter I in 1706-1707. The buildings of the plant made of natural stone (built in the late 18th century), the dam, water tunnels (lari), as well as the foundations and part of the mechanisms of the power plant with water wheels have survived to this day. During the construction of the plant in 1707, an artificial lake was created – Pertozero. 14 species of fish live here – whitefish, smelt, perch, roach, pike and such rare species as brook trout, char, rudd, three-spined stickleback, sculpin and loach. This is a great place for fishing.

To the north of Pertozero, near the village of Spasskaya Guba, the ski complex “Lumi” was opened. There are 5 tracks of various difficulty levels (two of them are “black”) with a length of up to 350 m each and with a height difference of 75 m. A tow rope lift delivers tourists to the top of the descent. It is not certified and is far from world standards.

44 km southwest of Petrozavodsk is the urban-type settlement Pryazha. It is the administrative center of the Pryazhinsky district of the Republic of Karelia. The area is popular with nature lovers. Many lakes are concentrated here – Syamozero, Vedlozero, Kroshnozero Shotozero and others. The most suitable lakes for recreation are Shotozero and Syamozero. where there are sandy or sandy-pebble beaches. All lakes are rich in fish, perch, roach, pike, pike perch, grayling, peled and smelt are found here, that is, they are suitable for fishing. Also, along the shores of the lakes, sites of primitive people and burial grounds of 4-1 millennia BC were found, which is of great interest to history buffs.

On the shore of Lake Syamozero, near the village of Syapsya, in a pine forest, there is a zoo complex. Here, reindeer, brown bears, elks and other inhabitants of the Karelian forests are represented in their natural habitat in wide enclosures. Excursions are organized around the zoo complex, during which they tell about the peculiarities of the flora and fauna of Karelia. Visitors are given the opportunity to pet the moose and feed them by hand. The Shuya River flows through the territory of the Pryazhinsky District. It has low thresholds, which allows even unprepared tourists to raft along it.

In the northwest, the Pryazhinsky district borders on the Suoyarvsky district. Ecotourism is mainly developed in the region. Here is the landscape reserve “Tolvoyarvi”, which covers the vast lake-river system of the region, named after one of the lakes – Tolvayarvi. In 1919, the Finns created a national park in these places. After the territory was annexed to the USSR, the park ceased to exist. The Tolvoyarvi reserve was created in the 90s of the 20th century. Its area is 44 thousand hectares. Most of the reserve is occupied by lakes and rivers surrounded by pine forests, and in some places along the river valleys you can see esker ridges up to 20 m high and up to 16 km long. Squirrel, white hare, brown bear, marten, fox, lynx, wolf, elk, wolverine and reindeer live in the local forests. Swans and bean geese are found along the shores of swamps and lakes, and roach, perch, pike, vendace, burbot, ide and bream are found in the lakes.

30 km from Suojärvi, near the village of Loimola, the remains of fortifications from the times of the Winter and Great Patriotic Wars have been preserved, which are combined into the Kollasjärvi military memorial complex. There are about 60 military graves on the territory of the complex. In memory of the wartime, a memorial sign was erected here – the 18-meter Kolla cross.

In the southern part of the Suoryavsky district, the village of Veshkelitsa is interesting, where historical buildings have been preserved, reflecting the features of traditional Karelian architecture. Here on a hill in the central part of the village stands the chapel of St. George the Victorious of the late 17th century. Veshkelitsa is the center of the historical and cultural territory of one of the Karelian sub-ethnic groups – the “North-Western Livviks”.

In the southwestern part of Karelia, on the northern coast of Lake Ladoga, 270 km from Petrozavodsk, there is the city of Sortavala . It is located on the shores of the narrow Lappäjärvi Bay, 50 km from the Finnish border. For the first time, a Karelian fortified settlement on the site of a modern city was mentioned in chronicles under 1137, and a similar name Sortevala was first found in 1468 in Swedish documents. In 1500, the settlement is mentioned in Russian chronicles as the Servolovsko-Nikolsky churchyard, which was under the control of Novgorod. Today, Sortavala is a quiet town, the only one in Karelia where the historical planning and buildings of the late 19th century have been preserved. That is why in 1990 he was awarded the title of “historical”.

Kivach Nature Reserve, Russia