Orinoro Gorge – Leppävirta, Finland - Atlas Obscura

Orinoro Gorge

Leppävirta, Finland

Hidden deep in a forest is this geological wonder carved by glaciers.  


A wonder of Savo Region, the Orinoro Gorge was carved out by glaciers during the last Ice Age. Paths constructed of wooden planks wind their way through nearly 700 feet (200 meters) of sliced rock faces, before looping around and leading upward to offer a bird’s eye view from the 65-foot (20-meter) high ridges. 

Sounds carry through the gorge like echoes in a cave. Chirping birds and skittering creatures are amplified off the ricochetting walls. Rock ledges and wooden benches provide the chance to sit and rest and are surrounded by peaceful nature. Orinoro Gorge can feel like another world, but it’s merely a small wondrous piece found hidden within the forest.

The path through Orinoro leads to a small spring where ice and snow remain well into June, and where a chill lingers in the air even on the hottest days of summer. Further down the path is a second pond equipped with wooden lean-tos and firepits, perfect for a swim, a rest along the shore, or for grilling lunch.

With lush, sprawling nature abound, the trails extend for around four miles (seven kilometers) and are an insight into the wonderful natural trappings that surround the Orinoro Gorge. 

Know Before You Go

There are two main ways of reaching Orinoro Gorge. The front entrance has some parking and a small cafe and requires a casual 3-kilometer hike to the gorge. The back entrance, arguably the better of the two for those wanting a little extra taste of exploration, begins at the end of a small dirt trail, with room for one or two cars, at coordinates 62.502306, 28.020155. From there, it's less than a kilometer's trek along a small path that, depending on the season, is full of wild cloudberries and blueberries.

For either path, waterproof shoes, long pants, and bug spray are recommended as the treks and gorge itself are often swamp-like and wet.

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