Coins Cachés. Keski-Suomi

Buried in the heart of the country and a 270 km drive away from Helsinki. If you travel from the capital to Jyväskylä, the regional centre and largest city, you will notice how the landscape changes to what the country is best known for. It is the land of unique landscapes, a thousand lakes and even more forests.

Known as the home of ski jumper Matti Nykänen and the heart of World Rally car racing. The country doesn’t have mountains but Central Finland has really nice rolling hills and some amazing and fast gravel roads. Good for bikes as well as rally cars.

The almost endless crisscross of tracks means you can easily do a 100-mile gravel ride or an even longer off the grid bikepacking adventure. The gravel itself is mainly smooth and tyre friendly. If you need more technical sections, then there is a huge network of MTB trails. All of it against a backdrop of thick forests, many of them within the four different national parks.

For road cycling, there are a good number of bicycle pathspaths near Jyväskylä. Once you're out of town and into the countryside there’s really no traffic to speak of. A beautiful and calm landscape, whether solo or with friends, for a short or long trip. Keski-Suomi is there to be explored.

Ruuhimäki-Laukaa

ALL-ROAD

This 80 km gravel ride links two special stages of Rally Finland. Ruuhimäki and Laukaa are names and locations of these special stages. For many years Ruuhimäki has been the final, decisive and one of the most exciting special stages of Rally Finland. Rally cars are really flying and they can jump several meters. That means very nice up- and downhills for gravel cycling!

These are some of the best gravel roads you can find in Finland, the landscape is so beautiful and the whole route is really versatile! You will see forests, lakes, farms, cows, horses, old barns, timber factory, Hyyppäänvuori look-out point for awesome scenery and a military area (watch out!).

Rally stages are hilly, wide and smooth gravel roads. Sections that link these rally stages are different. Stop off at the Hyyppäänvuori look-out point for awesome scenery dotted with forests, lakes, farms, timber-yards and even a military area (watch out!).

Even in winter this route is rideable if there’s not too much snow.

Ouninpohja

OFF-ROAD

Ouninpohja is one the best known Rally special stages in a world. The ride starts from small city called Jämsä (50 km from Jyväskylä). It’s best known for the ski resort, Himos. It’s one the most popular in Finland. In summer time they organize music festivals.

Pretty much right away the landscape will change to iconic countryside. In the beginning there’s some tarmac but the gravel appears quickly. Right away you will notice that there are quite a lot climbs and downhill sections. None too long but lots of them.

The next 30 km are one of the most delicious gravel sections in the whole of Finland. There’s no traffic and only the local farmers for company. Just listen to the sound of gravel and admire the scenery.

The loop heads back to Jämsä from west. Mostly gravel but occasional a touch of tarmac to help with weary legs.

Kuusaankoski rapids

ROAD

This is one of the road rides that local cycling club likes to do. It starts from Jyväskylä city with a very nice section right next to the beautiful Jyväsjärvi. No worries about cars, because the first 10 km are bicycle path.

The first pit-stop is in Vaajakoski which is only 10 km away from Jyväskylä centrum. It might come too early, but it is the chance to buy some well known Finnish liquorice from the Panda factory outlet.

The next stretch is 20 km to Laukaa. This time you get to ride paved roads but beware that tarmac is not perfect in everywhere. In the summer boats fill the harbour and in winter it is the chance for some ice swimming. If you dare.

Heading on north from Laukaa and the next dot on the map is Kuusaankoski. There you will find beautiful rapids and one of the five canals that links Päijänne-Keitele. It's 20km home from here, back on the bicycle path.

FOR LES COINS CACHÉS