Toriseva nature trail
The Toriseva ravine lakes are the most famous natural attraction in Virrat. They have been popular since the 19th century, when the author Zachris Topelius and the painter Werner Holmberg used the ravine lakes in their art. Runeberg is also thought to have referred to the Toriseva lakes in his Tales of Ensign Stål. Akseli Gallen-Kallela is also known to have painted a work on the theme of the Toriseva lakes.
I. K. Inha, born in 1865 in the village of Jähdyspohja, Virrat, is probably still the best known author of works on the theme of Toriseva in Finland. He has photographed a lot of landscapes in Virrat. Among the more recent artistic productions, Karhu-ooppera (“The Bear Opera”) was performed on the shore of Alainen-Toriseva, opposite the Inkerinkallio cliffs, from 1995 to 1997.
The chain of lakes along national road 66 includes the Yläinen-, Keskinen and Alainen-Toriseva lakes. Yläinen-Toriseva is just over two kilometres from the centre of Virrat. The steep cliffs of the lakes are also visible from the main road in places.
The deepest point in the Keskinen-Toriseva Lake is said to be around 37 metres, but the other ravine lakes are deep as well. Alainen-Toriseva is the largest of the three, with a length of more than 1,100 metres. The eastern bank of Alainen-Toriseva and the small forest area on the northern side of Keskinen-Toriseva are a nature reserve.
The Toriseva nature trail is about 6.5 kilometres long and passes through some spectacular scenery. Along the way, there are many different views: rocky cliffs, various types of forest, riverbanks and farmland edges.
The well-marked path is mostly quite passable, although on the rocks you will have to watch your steps carefully.
Along the trail there are information boards about the nature and history of the area. There are also two campfire sites, two outhouses and a lean-to shelter. The second outhouse is located at the south-eastern end of Alainen-Toriseva. The Toriseva coffee house at the upper end of Alainen-Toriseva is open in summertime, as is the Lakari Camping kiosk on the shore of Lake Kangasjärvi. The Pirkan Taival route follows the same route as the Toriseva nature trail for part of the way.
Yläinen-Toriseva is a popular fishing spot. There are lean-to shelters near the shore of Lake Kangasjärvi and at Yläinen-Toriseva.
There are good parking areas near each lake, next to the main road. Keskinen-Toriseva does not have a similar large parking area as the other ravine lakes, but you can park along the forest road, for example. Lakari Camping also has a parking area.
More information about the route is available in the Virrat tourist information and in Torisevan café.
Information of other nature trails and maps are available in the Virrat tourist information in the main library, address: Mäkitie 2, Virrat