The Jätkänkämppä Lodge and World’s biggest smoke sauna

The Jätkänkämppä Lodge and World’s biggest smoke sauna

History of Jätkänkämppä

Until the late 19th century, timber was only harvested for domestic use in Finland, but the second half of the century saw the establishment of steam sawmills and the emergence of paper manufacture from groundwood pulp and chemical wood pulp. Intensive logging activities began in Finnish forests, first with axes and later with cross-cut saws. Hundreds of forest workers’ saunas and lodges were erected along the headwater rivers of northern and eastern Finland. Jätkänkämppä at Rauhalahti was one of these lodges. It was erected in the forest administration district of Nurmes and used to be called the Lintumäki Lodge. It provided accommodation facilities for up to 70 lumberjacks. The logs of the lodge were hewn by hand.

The Spa Hotel Rauhalahti got the opportunity to purchase the lodge in 1987, and it was dismantled and transferred to Rauhalahti. When it was reassembled, the separating walls were left out in order to create a large unbroken space. However, the original room arrangement is still visible. The lodge used to have quarters for the lumberjacks, a kitchen, a bedroom for the housekeeper, a room for the horsemen, a room for drying the equipment, and two rooms for the forest foreman, which today function as an auxiliary kitchen and a storeroom.

The first smoke sauna on the grounds of Jätkänkämppä was built from logs of an old storehouse. It was not feasible to transfer the original smoke sauna of the Lintumäki Lodge to Rauhalahti because it was too small for the purpose and the logs had become excessively wet over the years. The first smoke sauna burned down at Easter 1997, and the present sauna was erected in its place within a couple of months. The logs of the present sauna were obtained from various former buildings, and the sauna conforms to modern fire safety regulations.

Jätkänkämppä today

Jätkänkämppä is an atmospheric log-built lodge, located only 600 metres from the Spa Hotel by Lake Kallavesi. It functions as a popular special-occasion restaurant, available for private booking for up to 150 persons. The restaurant is licensed. The world’s biggest smoke sauna is situated in the grounds of the Jätkänkämppä Lumberjack Lodge. Up to 70 persons at a time can enjoy its gentle heat.

Jätkänkämppä offers you the opportunity to experience the traditional lumberjack atmosphere of the 1950s in an authentic setting and provides a unique venue for memorable private functions. Bathing in the gentle heat of the smoke sauna combined with refreshing dips in the lake offers total relaxation. In winter you can try a truly invigorating dip in an opening cut in the lake ice. Jätkänkämppä has its own menus for evening meals that also feature provincial specialities. Fantastic lumberjack shows, light-hearted humour and live accordion music, all reflecting lumberjack heritage, give a blast from the past. A wide range of other entertainment and activities can also be organised at Jätkänkämppä. In summer it can also be reached by a passenger boat. The Jätkänkämppä Lumberjack Lodge is situated by Lake Kallavesi, only 600 metres from the Spa Hotel.

Traditional Lumberjack Evenings open to all take place at Jätkänkämppä on Tuesdays all year round and in summer also on Thursdays. The programme of the evening includes live accordion music, a singsong, dancing and a delicious evening meal from a buffet. In summer the menu includes ‘Robber’s Roast’ on Tuesdays and smoked salmon on Thursdays. The programme also features lumberjack shows in summer. The Jätkänkämppä Lumberjack Lodge can also be reached by a passenger boat.

Jätkänkämppä is mentioned also in Lonely Planet.