Askola Potholes

Askolan Hiidenkirnut

Useful Information

Location: At the Askola–Pukkila road (#1635), signposted.
Open: No restrictions, no wintertime maintenance.
Fee: Adults EUR 2, Children EUR 1, Families EUR 4.
Groups: Schools classes and other groups EUR 10.
Money is collected in a box.
Classification: GeologyGlacial Mill
Light: n/a
Guided tours: n/a
Photography: allowed
Accessibility: no
Address: Askola Potholes, Hiidenkirnujentie 720, Askola 07530, Tel: +358-, Fax: +358-,
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
Please check rates and details directly with the companies in question if you need more recent info.


Summer 1950 discovered by Soini Järvelä of Askola and his son Jaakko when climbing up the steep Kirnukallio slope.
1964 Visited by the brothers Yrjö A. Jäntti and Lauri Jäntti who decided to finance the excavation.
spring 1965 opened to the public.


The Askolan Hiidenkirnut (Askola Potholes) are a series of 20 holes in the massive crystalline rock, of various shapes and sizes. Some of them belong to the largest in the world. The Jättiläisen kuhnepytty (The Giant’s Tub) is 4.2 m wide and 10.3 m deep and is the largest pothole in Askola. Some of them are waterfilled, others not.

Not long ago all of the tubs were waterfilled and the locals knew nothing about them. Then one day Soini Järvelä of Askola and his son Jaakko was climbing up the steep Kirnukallio slope. Soini tried to hold on a spruce sapling, which immediately was pulled out. The explanation was, it was grown inside one of the tubs and had no roots in the soil, only in the swamp inside the tub. He dug a little and discovered that there were several such tubs in the area, but at this time nothing more was done. The discovery was in the summer of 1950, the locals sometimes guided interested visitors to the tubs, but there was not much to see. Until one day in 1964 Jaakko Järvelä guided the brothers Yrjö A. Jäntti and Lauri Jäntti. They understood the importance and the potential of the site and financed the excavation of the holes. The locals volunteered for the work and pulled not only water, swamp and plants out of the holes, but also large boulders. And after one year the site was opened to the public.

The potholes or dolly tubs were formed by flowing water. Quite commonly flowing water forms such holes in its bed by eddies in the water which turn rocks around and around. Smaller, lighter rocks may float in the water, but heavier rocks are pulled on the grounds, scratching he rock at the river bed. If the eddy stays for an extended period of time the gravel churns the pot into the rock. Like most geologic sites in Finland this one is a direct result of the last Ice Age. During the glaciation the land was covered by 3.5 km of ice shield. When this ice melted there was a lot of melting water flowing for a long time, creating enormous erosional forms like this tubs.

The tubs are located in a forest at the road. There is a parking lot and a 500 m long trail to the place, then there is a 300 m long scenic path which connects all the tubs. At steep places there are staircases. There are even iron ladders into some of the tubs. The area is maintained by the non-profit Askola Society (Askola-Seura ry) who also manage the Askola local museum nearby.