Repovesi National Park Certified Guide

The official certified guide to Repovesi National Park?

There are official guides in Repovesi National Park, 2-5 of which work on Repovesikeskus excursions. What do formalization and certification mean for customers? As a customer, what can you expect the guide to know? I’ll tell you about it here.

Guide training for Repovesi National Park

In February 2014, Metsähallitus started training guides at the Kouvola Regional Vocational College (KSAO). The training aimed to deepen the participants’ knowledge of Repovesi National Park and provide in-depth guidance for future guides on guidance situations.
The training took place in the spring with lectures and in the summer on field days. Then, in early September, an exam had to be passed. In addition to this, everyone had to take an instruction, which a KSAO teacher received, and in some cases, a representative of Metsähallitus was also present.
The closing ceremony and certification of the course took place on 15.10.2014 in Repovesi National Park in the newly completed camp building of Valkjärvi Camp Center.

Educational lectures


Teija Alenius, a researcher at the University of Helsinki, taught us the history of Repovesi and the surrounding area in the light of archaeological finds. We got acquainted with the results of the Katajajärvi sediment survey and discovered some of the oldest cultures in Europe nearby.

The history and future of forest use

Timo Lehesvirta, President of UPM Kymmene, taught us the history and present of the Repovesi area from the perspective of forest use. We got information about tar burning in the area, water and steam sawmills, the extraction of timber, and, of course, the development of the forest industry from the 19th century to the present day.
As the author of the text, I have my own history on this subject. After all, I have worked closely with the wood processing industry at Tehdaspuu Oy’s head office in Kouvola in the 1970s and 1980s.

Repovesi and species diversity

Metsähallitus’ conservation biologist for nature services in Southern Finland, Pekka Heikkilä, taught us the typical animal and plant species of Repovesi. The main emphasis in the teaching was on the species and habitats that can be easily presented to the visitors of the national park, which can be treated or helped by various measures. Furthermore, as one of the teaching topics, we received information about restoration and the network of protected areas in South-East Finland and the role of Repovesi in it.

The bedrock of the Repovesi area

Chief Inspector Jukka Timperi from the Center for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment of South-East Finland taught us the geology of the Repovesi area. At the same time, we received general information about the formation of our entire globe and the Finnish bedrock. Of course, the thing close to us was the rapakivi granite seen in the national park. We learn the main factors influencing the formation of the Repovesi terrain. Why is Repovesi so hilly and rocky?

Signs of holy stone

Archaeologist Timo Miettinen told students about the well-known history of rock paintings in Africa. We learn information about rock paintings in Repovesi and the surrounding area, the importance of rock paintings, and their timing. We learned from the best possible person. Timo Miettinen has found most of the paintings in Southeast Finland and studied them long.

The Repovesi of thousands of stories – the skills of a storyteller in creating the spirit of the place

Non-fiction writer Tapani Niemi, a journalist and storytelling trainer, taught storytelling skills to future guides. Repovesi has many interesting stories that we learn to make interesting. We practiced this in the summer in the field.

A sustainable Repovesi adventure

In her teaching, Metsähallitus’ special planner of nature services, Liisa Kajala, delved into the principles of sustainable nature tourism. This topic has been familiar to all Metsähallitus’ contract companies before. Every company is committed to following these principles already in the contract. During the teaching, we clarified some details.

New Repovesi visitor, company, and health surveys

Metsähallitus’ forest manager Mirja Nylander presented the first results of the Repovesi visitor survey. We heard, among other things, where and when visitors come to the park. This is how we learn to avoid the busiest times with our customers. The importance of this information has now been highlighted due to the large increase in traffic.

Nearby tourist area

As a final lecture, we received information about the tourist area around Repovesi National Park, Kouvola, and Mäntyharju. Of course, this topic was already familiar to the actors of Repovesikeskus. So we are part of that environment.

Certification training in the field

The teachers supplemented lecture days during the summer in the field. We learned by visiting different parts of the park delving into some topics. That’s how we spent five days.

The topics of the field days were:

  • Diverse nature, led by conservation biologist Pekka Heikkilä
  • Repovesi paths and structures, park manager Aarno Tervonen
  • Quality of guidance and well-being from the forest, forester Mirja Nylander
  • Guidance in Fox Hiking Tour from Tiina Linse’s Metsähallitus. Two sample contents of the guide.
  • Repovesi deeper than the surface, fish and fishing, Niko Lehtola KSAO and Mikko Mali Metsähallitus


9/3/2014 It was time to gather all the information in the exam. Metsähallitus had collected 45 questions from teachers for the exam. The time to respond was 45 minutes. Passing the exam, i.e., a maximum of 4 mistakes, required preparation in advance, study and review.
The difficulty of the exam is well illustrated by the fact that only five people passed the exam the first time. I was among these five, along with our main guide Paula. After that, others were allowed to study more and retake the exam.

Guidance test

Those who passed the exam demonstrated their skills in the terrain. Of course, we had to prepare for the performance, make the trip and destination plans, ensure safety-related things, etc. We gave our performance with commendable grades at Ketunlenkki.

Formalization of guides

20 people started the guide course. On 15 October 2014, Metsähallitus officially approved 16 guides that passed the course and were given the relevant certification and official guide marks.

What after that?

The official guides in Repovesikeskus have been actively involved in guiding work every year. In this way, our lessons have been kept up to date. After all, we prepare for each guided tour by reviewing the facts and checking the course of the guided tour.
Apparently, new guides have also been trained in Kouvola, but we do not have information about the content or timing of the training.
With a certified guide, you’ll get a lot more content and something to remember on your national park trip.
A nice half-day hiking trip is probably a good example. Look!
See you in nature!
Best Regards