The Kariniemi tree path, with many tree species, consists of the Pikku-Vesijäri arboretum and the hilly Kariniemi forest grove, with lush vegetation formed from a wide variety of plant species. This is an important recreational area between central Lahti and the shore of Lake Vesijärvi.
Pikku-Vesijärvi Park is an English-style arboretum that was made in the 1950s on Lahti Manor land. The park has many species of trees, and over the years has become Lahti’s most important greenery area. A wide variety of events are held in the park, including the Kariranta summer theatre. The park is also home to the largest water organ in the Nordic countries.
Kariniemi is a hilly wooded area that is mostly open to outdoor activities and recreation. The area has an extensive network of paths, making it easy to get around without harming the surrounding vegetation. The northern slope of Kariniemi hill, and part of the southern slope, have been designated by the local authorities as protected areas. This measure, along with regular upkeep, is intended to preserve this valuable natural environment. Rare plant species also grow elsewhere in the area. Kariniemi is also of cultural interest, since on top of the hill are several giant sculptures by Olavi Lanu, one of Lahti’s most celebrated artists.
The Olavi Lanu sculpture park is located within Kariniemi park, in the midst of nature. As the artist had planned, his works blend into the scenery. This is especially so in summertime, when the lush greenery of the trees and shrubs covers the sculptures. In winter, the snow-covered sculptures blend into and become part of the surrounding landscape.
Lanu’s themes are his pairs of humanoid figures embracing or kissing, or natural forms such as rocks, willows, and twisted trees. The sculptures have gradually developed a coat of moss, which despite their great size makes them blend in very well with their surroundings.
After this journey you will know Lahti also as a city of trees.