Bike travel guide for Päijät-Häme introduces the best routes and services for cycling

Administered by the LAB-University of Applied Sciences, the Päijät-Häme for Cycling Tourists project has published a guidebook introducing the most enjoyable routes for cycling tourists. The routes were chosen in coordination with local municipalities and business owners developing cycling tourism. In addition to the routes, the guide also showcases services well-suited to the needs of cycling tourists. Thanks partly to the project, the Päijät-Häme region has recently been one of the most active developers of the so-called Welcome Cyclist services compatible with the criteria created by the Finnish Center for Cycling Tourists. Local actors hope that the active development work increases the attractiveness of the area as a destination for cycling tourism, first on the domestic, and later also on the international market.

Rich with forests, lakes and cultural heritage

Outside the main cities of Lahti, Heinola and Orimattila, the Päijät-Häme landscape consists of forested and rural areas with historically interesting villages. The region is known for its many lakes, the largest of which is Lake Päijänne, the second largest lake in Finland. Also of interest for international tourists, Päijät-Häme is the home of the Salpausselkä Geopark, which received official UNESCO Global Geopark status in April 2022. The city of Lahti, which enjoyed the European Green Capital Award in 2021, is also known as a sporting city with a famous winter sports arena.

[Alt-text: A group of persons in a forest, with equipment of nordic walking and bicycling.]
Image 1. Salpausselkä Trails is a marked network of multipurpose trails near the city of Lahti. (Image: Juha-Pekka Huotari, City of Lahti)

Mountain biking is a growing sport in Finland, and the local trail network is quite impressive. As for tourism, the challenge has so far been the lack of marked routes. During the last few years, the situation has improved greatly, and today the Salpausselkä Trails and Tiirismaa Trails network in Lahti and Hollola attract visitors from all parts of Southern Finland. The Vierumäki Sports Institute in Heinola has also invested in MTB routes recently and aims to improve its services to cycling tourists in the future. In one big step closer to becoming a cycling destination, they have opened their own rental bike service.

Road tours for all levels of experience

The road network in Päijät-Häme is quite dense and consists mainly of public asphalt roads. The terrain is hilly, with a moderate height difference broken up by the area’s many lakes. Thanks to all this, the possibilities for road cycling in the area are great. The most popular roads are found in the surroundings of Lake Päijänne, where the main natural attraction of the area, Päijänne National Park also lies. In addition to the Päijänne area, the Sysmä and Hartola region with its manor culture and rural landscape is home to popular cycling routes in Päijät-Häme. For instance, you could try the newly opened Vellamo route network or explore the many churches of the Päijänne region in the middle of the stunning lake and esker landscape.

Image 2. Vellamo route in Sysmä and Hartola introduces rural landscapes and interesting cultural sights. (Image: Patrick Dormischian)

If MTB and road routes are not enough, you might want to try something else special. For this purpose, a multisport tour to Päijänne National Park might be an option for you. The newly opened Päijätsalo BikePolku offers the possibility to combine single-track riding with a trekking trip to one of the most popular lookout points of the National Park in Päijätsalo, Sysmä. Even more special, what could be more fun than a biking and pack-rafting tour exploring the sandy beaches and kettle ponds of the second largest lake in Finland?

If you are ready for adventure, why not pick your route with the Guide to Cycling Tourism in Päijät-Häme, and start planning. Link to the Bike Travel Guide for Päijät-Häme (in Finnish):


Päivi Tommola works an an RDI specialist at the LAB University of Applied science and as a project manager for Päijät-Häme for Cycling Tourists project.


LAB. 2022. Päijät-Hämeen pyörämatkailuopas. Cited 20 May 2022. Available at