Kivach, in spite of its modest height, only 11 meters, is the third largest (by the volume of water) waterfall in Europe. All territory around the waterfall was given the status of a national park where there remained the primeval nature of Karelia.
Kivach National Park is located not far from St. Petersburg – Murmansk highway, near the town of Kondopoga. The first Russian balneotherapeutic resort Marcial Waters, founded by Peter the Great in 1719 is just a short distance away. There they come for treatment with the waters of chalybeate springs.
Kivach waterfall is on the river Suna. The waterfall is very picturesque, and so it has attracted tourists for several centuries. As is known, the former «tsar`s path» passed by the waterfall, which was the shortest way connecting the White Sea and the Onega Lake. It was laid by Peter I for the possible movement of the Russian armies during the Great Northern War. As is known, the Northern Fleet was based in Arkhangelsk, but the protection of the new territories in the Baltic lands required a short cut to the Onega Lake and then to Lake Ladoga from where it was easy to come to St. Petersburg by the Neva river.
Near the waterfall there survived a relict forest in Karelia. There is an arboretum where you can see the karelian birch, which you can hardly find in the wild, as well as the other trees of the Russian North. Also, you can visit the nature museum at the Kivach reserve.