Pikku-Vesijärvenpuisto is a park on the shores of the lake Vesijärvi, near the Lahti city centre. Of all the scenic parks in the city, Pikku-Vesijärvenpuisto provides one of the broadest ranges of activities. Garden specialist Erkki Kivivuori, who holds the Finnish honorary title ‘puutarhaneuvos’ (‘garden counsellor’), designed this park in 1959, putting the focus on active use. The park covers a total area of 10.5 hectares, about half of which (5 ha) is water. Pikku-Vesijärvenpuisto has a rich population of typical waterfront trees. Most are common alder, silver willow, and Swedish columnar aspen, but conifers such as Douglas fir, other firs, and larch can be seen here also.
Citizens of Lahti have grown fond of this green haven and its many offerings. Throughout the year, the kilometre-long pathway circling the lake is a popular jogging route, and the outdoor exercise equipment on the lakeside is in heavy use. The ridge terrain of Salpausselkä and the shores of the Vesijärvi with its ‘Lime Tree Route’ offer longer scenic paths for both joggers and those taking a more leisurely pace.
The nearby hilly area of Kariniemi (19 hectares) forms an integral part of the park environment. With biodiversity-rich deciduous and mixed forests, it has been kept largely in its natural state. A manmade trail network allows hikers to admire a gorgeous bed of hepatica in the springtime and to visit the outdoors exhibition of local sculptor Olavi Lanu.