The naturally beautiful Island of Kämäri has survived as a green area in the centre of the city. A 3 km nature trail passes between Ämmäkoski rapids and the Taipale Canal. The natural environment of Kämäri is diverse and there is wide variety of animals. The Ämmäkoski and Kämärinkoski rapids liven up the lush scenery and contain their own world of insects and fish. A rare aquatic mammal can be seen in the area of Kämäri and Ämmäkoski, the symbolic animal of Varkaus, the otter.
Outdooractive / Kämäri, video from the nature trail
The 98 hectare area of Kämäri is divided into three different kinds of areas based on activities; natural area, sport area and canal area. Bordered on every side by water, it has been an interesting destination throughout time. Alexander II ordered the founding of a city in the Kämäri area. The county surveyor Carl Rehnström drew up a plan for the city of Koskenniemi, which was never realized, however. Varkaus received an Olympic gold medal in the 1948 London Games, won by the sport park plan drawn by the other designer of Finland’s Olympic Stadium, Yrjö Lindegren, called “The Centre of Athletics”.
In the sport area of Kämäri there is an artificial sand turf field, artificial ice rink and two indoor ice rinks. People play bandy, ice hockey and baseball games there.
The canal area is on one side of the sport area. The Taipale Canal connects Unnukka and Haukivesi, which have a difference in height of 4.6 – 6 m. About 500 m long, the canal was built in 1962-1967. The old stone canal that was built in 1835-40 survives as a tourist attraction. The Canal Museum and Canal trail present the history of the area. The guest harbour of Taipale is located above the canal.