Welcome to Kuopio! Today we'll explore the capital of Northern Savonia, specifically the area on a local hill Puijo, where are since autumn 2018 officially marked MTB trails.
Put your helmet on, start the rocket and take off to the centre of the universe! Got it? If yes, you'll find yourself on the main square (called The Centre of the Universe), where you can grab a breakfast in a Burtsow café inside the yellow market hall from 1902.
Kuopio essentially lays in the middle of the lake Kallavesi, which gives it many peaceful places with very unique views. Ride around to get familiar with this gorgeous city and to warm your legs up, because you'll need them to climb up the Puijo hill which sits about 260m above the sea level.
You'll have it easier if you come by car, of course. In that case you can park your vehicle either on the top of the hill or at the stadium under the hill. Both are free of charge.
And now for real, put your helmet on and enjoy! Puijo accommodates 3 mountain biking trails which are very well marked with mostly technical character as majority of Finnish trails. Trails leading to the stadium have a descending character while the longest one leading to Puijonsarvi is rather XC trail.
BIKE TIP: Despite the character of local trails, they're absolutely rideable on a hardtail bike without major difficulties.
Close to the end of the longest trail is also an opportunity to grill a sausage and take a little rest on a place, which we consider as the true centre of the universe. Puijonnokka fireplace is undoubtedly one of the most spectacular places on this planet.
Take your time to fill your stomach and soak up the atmosphere, but keep in mind that you're on the area of nature reservation, so please behave accordingly, take your trash with you if there's no trash bin around and walk and ride only on marked trails and don't damage the nature around you.
Unless you fell in love with the Puijonnokka fireplace and don't want to leave, you still have the afternoon to spin the wheels. Puijo trails are definitely worth repetition but if you get enough of these, we would recommend you to explore the woods in the West in Neulamäki, too. And if you came by car, there are some more trails in Siilinjärvi (about 20km away) and a bike park in Tahko (60km).
May you decide to finish the day in a sauna in Kuopio, then there's one you should try at least once in a lifetime. It's the world's biggest smoke sauna Jätkänkämppä in Rauhalahti. Next to the sauna is a lodge, where you can have a dinner and once or twice in a week you can even experience the whole traditional Finnish evening in lumberjacks's style of the 50's.
TOP TIP: If you decide to finish the day in Neulamäki like Jerry did in the Trip Tip video, visit the Neulamäki tower or/and the rocks above Vuorilampi for exceptional views.