This protected area is situated to the north of Haltiala’s fields. With its wetlands and groves, Ruutinkoski is a diverse natural attraction. A sawmill dating back to the late 1700s was once situated by the rapids. Altogether 3.13 hectares of the nature reserve are water areas. The nature reserve area is owned by the City of Helsinki. Protection status was granted on 5 June 1990 on the basis of its rich birdlife in particular.
The rapids stretch for a distance of 300 metres and are the lowest natural rapids along the Vantaanjoki river. Many plants thrive along the pretty banks after the rapids, including cattails, horsetails and bur-reeds. The only natural European white elm (Ulmus laevis) in Helsinki can be found to the south of the rapids beside the fields. The European white elm is one of the rarest tree species in Finland and a remnant of the post-Ice Age period when the climate in Finland was warmer than it is currently.
Another rare species along the rapids is the Ancylus fiuviatilis mollusc, which in turn is a remnant of the Ancylus Lake that covered the area of what is now the Baltic Sea after the last Ice Age. The common Michaelmas daisy (Aster x salignus) dominates the lush meadows. Cattle from Haltiala Farm are used to control the spread of this plant.
The thick groves up on the banks of the rapids are part of a national grove protection programme. In springtime, anemones (Anemone nemorosa), yellow Star-of-Bethlehems (Gagea lutea), fumewort (Corydalis solida) and lesser celandine (Ranunculus ficaria) blossom along the riverbanks. Visitors can admire the scenery along the river, including the pretty plants, watch anglers fly fishing and spot many bird varieties. Nightingales, warblers, red-backed shrikes and corncrakes can be heard on summer nights.
A fishing license is required for fly fishing or fishing with a rod and reel along the river between the Pitkäkoski bridge and Ruutinkoski rapids. Fishing with worms is not permitted along this stretch. More information about fishing licenses is available on the City of Helsinki website.
Ruutinkoski rapids protected area
Area 8,6 hectares
Water areas cirka 3.13 ha