Tourism activities since the 1950s
The roots of Retkietappi tourist activities reach back to the early 1950s, when travellers started asking for rapid shooting on River Kitkajoki from the owner of a local farm. After shooting down the rapids, travellers came back hungry, and coffee and pastries were often enjoyed in the farmhouse livingroom. Tourists staying overnight were shown to the family bedrooms, and the farmhouse residents spent their nights on the floor in the living room or in the granary.
The business expanded in the 1960s, when the number of tourists increased. A small kiosk was built on the farm beach and the first cabins were built. The popularity of rafting on River Kitkajoki grew, and at times the hay making was interrupted almost to a halt while the workers spent their time on the rapids. One of the most popular activities was shooting the Niskakoski rapid in a wooden boat.
The popularity of The Karhunkierros Trail grew in the 1970s, and the number of tourists in Juuma was still increasing. The Alajuuma family decided to focus on improvements in their tourism activities: the kiosk became a lakeshore café and more cabins were built. The first of the three high-quality log cabins was built in the early 1980s.
The new decade has brought fresh ideas to Retkietappi. In spring 2021, the Alajuuma family sold the company to Ruka Guiding Service Oy. Today, the company operations are run by the principal owner Jari Tiermas together with his family.
With the change of ownership, the Retkietappi service selection will be expanding. After a break of several years, rafting on River Kitkajoki will again be a part of our services. For 20 years, our experienced safari guide Jari has rafted down the white waters of Kitkajoki. In future, we will also offer guide services as well as hunting and special safaris.
At the starting point of Pieni Karhunkierros Trail, our well-known Retkietappi Café continues to serve home-made buns and savoury pies every day during the summer season – always accompanied with friendly service. And after a happy day outdoors, you can find accommodation in the same yard: our cosy log cottages invite you to stay longer in the area. Our log cabins Honkapirtti, Kelopirtti and Piilopirtti can be booked through Lomarengas.