Located just 80 km from Petrozavodsk, Kivach Reserve is one of the most visited nature reserves in Russia. The main highlight of the reserve is Kivach waterfall. You can also visit the Museum of Nature and the arboretum with various species of plants, including the Karelian birch tree.

Founded in 1931, Kivach Nature Reserve is one of the oldest nature reserves in Russia. The area of the reserve is 108.8 sq. km.

48 species of mammals, 197 species of birds, 18 species of fishes and a great number of species of vascular plants are registered in the reserve.

The main sights and tourist routes are the following.

Kivach waterfall

The waterfall is situated on the Suna River, one of the biggest rivers in Karelia. It is 10.7 meters high and has four steps. Kivach was considerably more powerful before a hydro-electric power station was built in a place called Girvas at 30 km up the river. But even now the waterfall may impress especially during high water period. The rocks of the right shore of the Suna River are equipped with sightseeing platforms and guard-railings.

The waterfall was visited by the emperors Peter I and Alexander II, as well as by some other members of the Russian royal family.


The arboretum collection of the reserve was established in 1948. It presents both typical plants of Karelian taiga and invasive plants. Rare Karelian birch is of a special interest for many visitors.

Museum of Nature

The museum was founded in 1959 and the renovations have been completed recently. The collection includes a diorama consisting of 12 species of stuffed animals and 22 species of stuffed birds, collections of insects, pictures of the reserve.

The reserve has several ecological paths. They pass through the preserved taiga to swamps and streams. During tours the visitors get acquainted with the nature of Karelian taiga forests.

Opening hours

From October to April, the excursion zone (part of the reserve open to visitors) of the Kivach Nature reserve is open daily from 08.00 to 17.00, the Museum of Nature is open daily from 10.00 to 17.00.

From May to September, the excursion zone of the Kivach Nature Reserve is open daily from 07.00 to 23.00, the Museum of Nature is open daily from 9.00 to 21.00.