Travel west to east between Iisalmi and Nurmes on road 87 after Rautavaara, head north on road 5850. This gets you to the Tiilikkajärvi National Park. The park is characterized as having the landscape combination of both northern and southern Finnish nature. If you are looking for a real swampy Finnish lake, two thirds of the entire park area consists of swamp.
A historical attraction at lake Tiilikkajärvi, is a stone memorial monument called the Täyssinän rauhan rajapyykki. Here is a short video/slide show about the Täyssinän Rauhan rajapyykki monument This huge old stone was set at the peace Treaty of Täyssinä 400 years ago, when lake Tiilikka served as the border between Russia and Sweden.
Plan to spend 3 to 5 hours hiking the nature-lover's Uiton kierto, a 7 km trail which circles around two lakes. This trail gives you access to a scenic beach called "Russian Sand" or Venejänhiekka
Caution! Bring snake bite antidote with you, just in case. There are only two kinds of snakes in Finland. The one spotted at this beach is poisonous.
By car, get to the Uiton kierto hiking trail from the Sammakkotammi parking place and information center. Also accessible in the winter. Address: Valtimontie 1038(road), Rautavaara(city). This address is approximate. You should see signs for the park near this address.
Here are the driving directions from Kajaani to the Sammakkotammi entrance.