The largest giant’s kettle in Finland is located in Kalliovaara in southern Salla, in the village of Aholanvaara. There are several smaller giant’s kettles in the area and one very large one, which the locals have named Juomapata (Drinking Kettle).
The largest giant’s kettle in Finland is located in Kalliovaara
In 1996, the Geological Survey of Finland and the Lapland Regional Environment Centre emptied Juomapata and measured its diameter as 15.5 metres. The depth was estimated to be 13 metres. Juomapata is the largest giant’s kettle in Finland by volume. It is also likely to be among the largest giant’s kettles in the world. There are three other giant’s kettles in Kalliovaara with diameters ranging from five to twelve metres. The giant’s kettles of Kalliovaara were formed when the ice thawed towards the end of the most recent Ice Age approximately 10,000 years ago. Streams of meltwater carried debris that eroded the rock in many ways and shaped the terrain.
Giant’s kettles are the most curious of the results of this millennium-long shaping process. Little wonder that the people who sought living space and livelihood in the area left behind by the ice sheet and the massive glacial lake of Salla have always felt a strong pull to these curious works of art created by nature. They have traditionally said the large potholes are the work of hiisi, an evil entity in Finnish folklore.
The thawing of the last Ice Age also gave rise to many other geological features of the area, including canyons and gullies such as Aatsinginhauta, Oulanka canyon, Nuoluskuru, Syväkuru in Värriötunturi fell and the Sauoiva gully in Tuntsa.
Trail difficulty rating
Services on the trail:
The trail is marked by blue signs painted on trees. There are two campfire sites on the trail. The first one is at the Valkeasilta starting point and the second is approximately one kilometre before the giant’s kettles.
Outdoor activities for which the trail is suitable
Trail conditions, related risks and recommended equipment
The trail is mostly narrow and uneven. There is a moderate amount of steep inclines and declines. The bare rock gets slippery when it rains. Recommended footwear: in the summer season, waterproof high-cut hiking boots or rubber boots.
Description of the natural environment
The natural environment is diverse: fresh mixed forests, riverside groves, dry heath forests, rocky hillsides and gorges.
Description of the cultural environment
The special attractions of this hiking trail are the large and impressive giant’s kettles and rocky hillsides. There is also an old venue for dances and festivities along the route, close to the giant’s kettles. More information on these attractions is provided by the signage along the trail.
Municipality: Salla. Located in southern Salla near the village of Aholanvaara. Driving instructions: Drive about 42 kilometres from Salla towards Kuusamo. At Hautajärvi village, get on Karhujärventie and drive on for about 24 kilometres. There are signs pointing to the giant’s kettles along the road. From Karhujärventie, the distance to the trail’s starting point at Valkeasilta is about 3 kilometres. The trail’s other starting point is about three kilometres beyond Valkeasilta, with signposts pointing the way to the trail.
Other important information
The rocky sections are very slippery when the conditions are wet or icy.