Juho Vaarala is a local youngster who loves the great outdoors. He knows the local
cross-country ski tracks and nature trails like
the back of his hand. “At school my class specialised in nature and wilderness studies, and
we learned things like lighting a campfire and
For Juho, nature is part of his everyday life.
An outdoor adventure is always within easy
reach when you live in Iisalmi! Juho lives in a
part of Iisalmi named after an owl. Pöllösenlahti – the Owl Cove – is located just a mile
from Iisalmi city centre, yet close to nature. In
fact, this description fits all residential areas
in Iisalmi: you are never far from the woods
Just beyond Pöllösenlahti is the Paloisvuori
outdoor recreational area with excellent ski
tracks and other leisure activities. “There are
plenty of woods in every neighbourhood in
Iisalmi, I’d say. Certainly more than there are in Helsinki or
Tampere,” Juho estimates.
Nature is always close by in this town. “When
you walk in the nearby woods, you can spot
animals and observe the changes and transformation in nature,” Juho says.
For a youngster like Juho, climbing trees is
most likely a skill he picked up during his outdoor excursions. Bitten by the nature bug,
Juho chose hiking and camping as elective
subjects at school.
“I believe I will learn many skills that will be
useful later in life,” he reckons.
And he has a point – camping and wilderness
skills will always be useful. Living in Iisalmi comes with a luxury not available to everyone:
the nearest nature trail starts at your doorstep.