On foot or by waterway
Access to Kirnukallio is by a footpath through the woods, starting out from the rest stop/parking lot on the Askola-Pukkila main road. The walk from here is about 500 m.
There is also scenic path, about 300 m long and marked with red ribbons that skirts the crest of Kirnukallio and leads up to the entrance portal of the pothole area.
The actual site is reached by a set of stairs with iron railings. The potholes in the rocky slope have their own nameplates and informative placards.
Useful infoThe pothole area is always open to visitors; however, there is no special wintertime maintenance.
An entrance fee is payable on location: either 2 € for adults and 1 € for children, or 4 € for families, or 10 € for school classes or other groups. This fee is collected to support the continuing upkeep and maintenance of the area by local volunteers.
The pothole area is a suitable choice for outings such as picnics. Note, however, that there is no provision for open fires - in fact, fire making is strictly prohibited. Please show your consideration for the environment while visiting.
The Askola Society and the Askola local museumhe Askola Society (Askola-Seura ry) is responsible for the upkeep of the pothole area. The Society is an organisation active in regional and cultural affairs, and also maintains the Askola local museum.
The museum is located in Askola parish village at the address Nalkkilantie 4 (about 8 km from the pothole area), and is open to the public in the summer season only. Hours are from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. every Sunday, June through August (closed over Midsummer).
BackgroundThe potholes were discovered one day in the summer of 1950, as Soini Järvelä of Askola and his son Jaakko were climbing up the steep Kirnukallio slope. Soini Järvelä happened to grab hold of a spruce sapling and pulled it out by the roots. This revealed a smooth cavity in the rock beneath, which turned out to be a pothole.
Many years later, in 1964, Jaakko Järvelä guided two interested visitors around the Kirnukallio site. They were the brothers Yrjö A. Jäntti and Lauri Jäntti, both captains of the publishing trade. Following this visit, the latter decided to make company funds available in order to finance the operation of excavating the holes.
The largest boulders had to be hoisted up with blocks and tackles. Many locals eagerly volunteered for the heavy restoration work, which was completed in the spring of 1965. An official inauguration ceremony was then held on Kirnukallio, whereby the giant cauldrons of Askola became a national attraction.