Sights & Experiences
In Parkano, you can experience the stillness and beauty of nature at the Kaidatvedet lakes, or gaze at the astonishing views or the ancient shores in Alkkianvuori. In the summer, you can enjoy ITE art in the center of Parkano, or play a round of minigolf in the Leijonapuisto park!
Parkano offers various museums to visit. The Forestry Museum depicts the history of forest work in the stunning wilderness of Kaidatvedet. In Militariamuseo Karhumäki, you can visit a wartime shelter or see a MiG fighter close up. The local history museum offers visitors the opportunity to learn about the colorful history of Gustaf Wrede af Elimä, the Baron of Parkano.
Parkano Local History Museum
Parkano Local History Museum portrays the local traditions of Parkano. Built in 1890, the granary located next to Parkano Church houses the Gustaf Wrede af Elimä section, examples of traditional housing in the area, and a selection of tools. Upstairs, visitors can find a sizable collection of old items from Parkano Church, which tell stories of past events in Parkano, such as the lightning bolt that hit the steeple of the church on Midsummer 1928.
Kirkkopolku 1 | 044 786 5516
The Forestry Museum depicts the history of forest work from the rise of the sawmill industry in the 1860s right up to the mechanization of the 1960s. The area of the Forestry Museum includes an exhibition hall, logging site bunkhouse, sauna, stable, and forest harvesters. There is also a nature trail, the Messukallio rock, a beach, shelters, and campfire sites in the vicinity of the museum. The Forestry Museum and the Kaidatvedet lakes around it are also one of the Lauhanvuori-Hämeenkangas Geopark sites in Parkano. Outside of the opening hours of the museum, the area offers opportunities for hiking and enjoying the nature.
Rännärinmuseotie 112 | 044 786 5516
Militariamuseo Karhumäki exhibits small-caliber weapons, crafts produced by soldiers at the front during wartime, field telephones and related items, and heavy military equipment ranging from a MiG-21 to armored vehicles. The museum consists of buildings including a log house, a wartime shelter, and a village shop.
Tuomenhaara 10 | 040 544 3039
Parkanon Radiomuseo allows visitors to explore tube radios from the 1920s to the 1960s, as well as telephones, and televisions. The museum also offers old portable radios, telephones, and televisions (from the 1950s onward), as well as other antique electronics. The museum collection also includes mechanical calculators from as early as the beginning of the 1900s.
Haverintie 276/44 | 040 5867 354
Parkano Church was completed in 1800. The church was built and most likely designed by Salomon Köhlström (Köykkä), a famous church builder from Jalasjärvi. The church and the cemetery next to it were dedicated in 1805. The cemetery has since been expanded. The altarpiece of the church dates back to 1839, and it was painted by Henrik Grönlund from Urjala.
Galleria Raamikko exhibits paintings and installations by artist Salme Törmä. The artist’s studio is located at the same address, along with a shop that sells art supplies and offers framing services.
Parkano Becomes an ITE Town in the Summer
The streets of Parkano have exhibited ITE art since 2011. ITE art has received enthusiastic feedback in Parkano from locals, summer residents, and tourists alike. In the summer of 2018, the town of Parkano decided to refine the concept further, declaring itself an ITE Summer Town in cooperation with the Association for Rural Culture and Education. Each year from June to August, the town offers a new ITE exhibition that can be explored through the ITE art mobile route. The route guides visitors from the Kolmoskeskus shopping center to the parks and streets in the center of town, continuing to the Viinikanjoki rapids. Along the route, you can learn about the various works and explore gamified features.
EXPLORE THE GEOPARK
Lauhanvuori – Hämeenkangas UNESCO Global Geopark is a fantastic nature tourism destination in western Finland. It combines the valuable geology of the region with nature, culture, and sustainable hiking and tourism services. The Geopark joins Kauhajoki, Isojoki, and Karijoki in South Ostrobothnia, Parkano and Kihniö in Pirkanmaa, and Kankaanpää, Karvia, Jämijärvi, and Siikainen in Satakunta into one continuous nature tourism destination.
The story of the Geopark explains how the fold mountains created in the region almost two billion years ago have been worn down and transformed over time into the plateau punctuated by mires, forests, river valleys, and ridges it now is. Memories of the rise and fall of an ancient mountain range have been hewn into the stones, rocks, and soil in the region. Some of the largest wild and pristine mires in southern Finland can be found in the area. The quaint rural villages, churches, stone bridges, and old buildings are expressions of local history and culture.
What is a Geopark?
UNESCO Global Geoparks share the story of Earth through the geology of local sites and landscapes of international geological significance, vibrant nature, and cultural heritage. Geopark is UNESCO’s third site designation alongside World Heritage Sites and Biosphere Reserves. Geoparks promote the protection of local geological heritage, environmental education, and sustainable development through sustainable tourism, for example.
In 2023, the global network of UNESCO Global Geoparks included 177 Geoparks in 46 countries. The network includes four Geoparks in Finland: Rokua, Lauhanvuori – Hämeenkangas, Saimaa, and Salpausselkä. Kraatterijärvi Geopark has applied for network membership.
Geopark Destinations in Parkano
Kaidatvedet is a chain of small lakes that were joined in the 1950s to create a single body of water with the construction of the Käenkoski dam. The lakes are located in a valley carved in a north-south direction trough the bedrock by ice that also contains the center of Parkano and Lake Parkanonjärvi. The valley belongs to a series of similarly formed valleys in the eastern section of the Geopark placed 6–7 kilometers apart. These bedrock weakness zones have determined the location of rivers and lakes as well as population centers in the area.
The shores of the Kaidatvedet lakes consists of rock, glacial till, and bogs. The area is part of the Kyrönkangas winter road, a centuries old road from Southern Finland to Ostrobothnia. The road was primarily used in wintertime after the lakes had frozen over. Italian explorer Giuseppe Acerbi traveled along the road in the winter of 1799 on his way to Lapland and the North Cape.
The Messukallio rock rises above the water on the shore of Kaidatvedet lakes in Parkano. The granite rock is a natural scenic viewpoint that has also served as a church during its history. Messukallio was formed from granite that was created 1 880–1 870 million years ago deep below the ancient Svecofennian mountain range. It is one of the youngest granites in the Geopark area. The coarse-grained rock has a reddish color, and it can be seen widely on top of Messukallio. The surface of the rock is largely eroded and rough, but there are still some glacial striations visible on top of Messukallio.
It is said that Messukallio (Church Service rock in English) was named by people crossing the lake on their way to church. The rock is located along the old Kyrönkangas winter road, which was used by boats in the summer. On one occasion, a group of people from the local area were going to Parkano Church, when a sudden storm on the lake forced them to take shelter next to the rock, thus missing church. At the rock, the oldest member of the group read aloud from the Bible, which soothed the people.
The Sormikivi rock (Finger rock in English) is one of the largest erratic boulders in the Geopark. As the rock resembles a purse in shape, it has also been called Kukkarokivi (Purse rock in English). Sormikivi is the largest erratic boulder in Parkano. Situated on the shore of Kaidatvedet, the rock consists of local pink granite.
Sormikivi was formed during the last ice age when inland ice tore it off the bedrock and transported it to its current location. The angular shape of the rock would suggest that it did not travel very far. According to local tradition, the rock ended up where it is when it was thrown by a giant. Sormikivi is located along the Käpykintukka nature trail, on the shore of Kaidatvedet.
The nature trail of Gustaf the Moose invites families with children to enjoy the nature through exercise and activities. The trail starts from the Forestry Museum, which offers an excellent place to enjoy a packed lunch on the shore of the lake with a firepit and tables. The area includes a shelter and a place to build a campfire.
Alkkianvuori is the second main attraction of the Lauhanvuori – Hämeenkangas UNESCO Global Geopark. Alkkianvuori is one of the most significant and diverse nature sites that the Lauhanvuori – Hämeenkangas UNESCO Global Geopark has to offer. Located in the rugged Suomenselkä drainage divide, Alkkianvuori reaches a height of 201 meters above sea level. Its special features include rocky shores that remind visitors of the post-glacial sea and lake phases of the area, the Raatosulkonneva slope bog, rare seasonal wetlands, and the protected burled pine tree. When the skies are clear, visitors can enjoy a magnificent view of the surrounding areas from the northern side of the rock.
The top of Alkkianvuori consists of outcrops of bedrock covered in a thin layer of moraine. The remains of an old trigonometrical beacon can be seen at the top. The highest shoreline level can mostly be seen in the terrain as differences in vegetation. Vegetation is lusher near the top, which is covered in glacial till, while the areas below the highest shoreline are more barren. The lower slopes of the Alkkianvuori consist mainly of sand, gravel, and outcrops of bedrock. The northern slope includes cliffs, rocky ancient shores, and a few impressive erratic boulders.
Alkkianvuori is a perfect destination for a day trip. The terrain is partly rugged and rocky. The area offers two nature trails: Ellinpolku 2.8 km and Lakilenkki 4.3 km.
NATURE SITES TO SEE AND EXPERIENCE IN PARKANO
The Viinikanjoki river is an oasis right next to the center of Parkano. The area is known as both a great fishing spot and a recreational area with a minigolf course, pétanque court, outdoor chess, and terrace café Kosken Helmi in the Leijonapuisto park. The park also includes works of ITE art.
Fishing permit for the Viinikanjoki
Parkanon Urheilukalastajat ry
Urheiluliike T. Kinnunen (Parkanontie 64)
Shell Parkano (Pahkalantie 2)
Boat launches on lakes
• Aurejärventie ja Koisevanlahti (Aurejärvi) Note for reservations 050 554 3117
• Aholanlahti (Kuivasjärvi)
• Rännäri, next to the bridge on the Järvisuomentie (Linnanjärvi, Kaidatvedet)