Level: (* *) two bears The Sallatunturi Area, south of the Salla village, on both sides of Via Karelia (950), has many types of nature reserves, encompassing open string bogs, old forests, and fells. There are also many magnificent nature destinations outside of the protected areas: wilderness hills, large mires and lush river banks. The…
Level: (**) Two bears Kolvananuuro is a magnificent gorge, millions of years old, between main road 6 from Joensuu to Kajaani and road 73 from Joensuu to Lieksa. The site is dramatically different from the surrounding terrain. A demanding hiking trail runs through craggy terrain – but the views are worth seeing. The trees are…
Level: (*) one bear Näränkä Nature Forest in Kuusamo has pristine nature that is unique in Finland and the entire western Europe. In addition to forests, the small bodies of water and swamps in the area are in their natural state, providing viable living conditions for many demanding species. The reserve area has four forest…
Level (*) One bear The Iivaara Natura area in south Kuusamo has age-old hunting and fishing grounds. More recently, hikers have started to become interested in the area. Iivaara’s nature type is wilderness. The base of the area consists of precious old forests, presenting the northern forest nature at its best. A hiking trail runs…
Level: (* * ) Two bears The Valtavaara Nature Reserve is located north-east of the Rukatunturi fell. One of the highest in Kuusamo, the hill is a bounty for nature lovers. The area has great views, hardy fell side plants, rare birds, and magical snow-covered spruces in winter. Valtavaara is perfect for hiking both in…
Level: (* * *) Three bears Tuntsa Wilderness Area is wonderful for hiking because of its easy to travel terrain and because the area is easy to navigate. Some say it is one of Europe’s most beautiful outdoor recreation destinations. Tuntsa Wilderness Area is only a portion of the broader Tuntsa Area, which was described…
Level: (* * *) Three bears The Oulanka National Park has two major attractions: the great rapids of Oulankajoki and Kitkajoki, and the Karhunkierros Trail. The Oulanka region is well-known for its beautiful nature. The first plans to protect the area were made already in the 19th century. Nevertheless, Oulanka was not among the first…
Level: (* *) two bears Founded in 1979, the relatively large Kylmäluoma Hiking Area is in Taivalkoski, by main road 5, about 45km south of Kuusamo. The terrain is mainly dry pine forest, characterised by steep ridges following the bodies of water. The trails on top of the ridges have great views down to vast…
Level (* * ) two bears Hossa is one of the state’s hiking areas. It’s a great destination for hiking, skiing, canoeing and fishing. The forests are mainly easy and pretty pine forests, even heaths and magnificent ridges, left by the Ice Age. There are trees of many ages, old too, and there’s evidence of…
Level: (* *) two bears Martinselkonen is a 6200 hectare nature reserve in Suomussalmi, close to the Russian border. Martinselkonen is a Natura area, and one of the most important nesting area for birds in Finland. Nature there is typical of Kainuu with vast, old forests and coniferous swamps. The area is a great destination…
Level: (*) one bear Kalmosärkkä in Suomussalmi, south-east of Juntusranta village, is a prehistorical settlement. Kalmosärkkä is protected by the Finnish Heritage Agency and maintained by Metsähallitus. The area is regarded as nationally valuable site. Dominated by pine trees, Kalmosärkkä is a narrow sandbank, a little over one kilometre long. In the north, the sandbank…
Level: (* *) two bears The area is one of the largest swamp areas in Kainuu, with very diversified bird species. Lake Säynäjärvi and smaller ponds add variety. The area is very much in its natural state. There are a vast variety in mire types. Many of them are poor, but there are small lush…
Level: (* * ) Two bears Murhisalo has forever been the hunting and gathering grounds for Finland’s only White Karelian villages, Kuivajärvi and Hietajärvi. There are still signs of hunting culture and ancient travelling routes, and old fishing saunas make the area a cultural historically valuable destination. Lake Murhijärvi provided all the fish for these…
Level (*) One bear Almost the entire catchment area of Lake Jämäsjärvi at the centre of the Jämäsvaara area is in it’s natural state; no logging or ditching. On the south-eastern shore, there’s the steep Jämäsvaara with dense spruce forests. Due to abundance of decayed wood, many species of polypores and insects thrive there. In…
Level: (*) one bear Recreational Forest of Jauhovaara is in south-western Kuhmo. Known as a vantage point, the peak of Jauhovaara is 253.2 metres above the sea level. The north side, especally, is characterised by steep cliffs and magnificent views. Dominated by spruce, the area is an exception to rugged pine forests and mires otherwise…
Level: (* *) two bears The Juortanansalo – Lapinsuo Mire Reserve represents the real wilds of the Friendship Park. It is a genuine find for hikers, who love mires and travelling off the beaten path. The Kuhmo UKK trail runs through the eastern part and makes the area accessible also to less experienced hikers. You…
Level (*) One bear The Lauttavaara Nature Study Forest is used by Metsähallitus to give school groups and other visitors an insight into biodiversity and environmentally friendly forestry methods. You can find it on Via Karelia, some 10 km north of the Kuhmo centre. Other attractions nearby include the Lentuankoski rapids, Lentua Nature Information Hut…
Level: (* *) two bears Lake Lentua is the largest unregulated lake in the basin of the Oulujoki river, and the most valuable example of lakeland nature in Kainuu. The shoreline is mostly unbuilt, and there’s a strong sense of wilderness. Many of Lentua’s waters and islands, and parts of the shoreline, are Natura areas.…
Friendship Park is a network of nature conservation areas established in the Kuhmo and Suomussalmi region. It has five Nature Reserves, each independently presented in this site. On Via Karelia, the Friendship Park/Ystävyyden puisto signs take you to the Kuhmo Visitor Centre Petola. Being a network of nature reserves, there isn’t one called the Friendship…
Level: (* * ) Two bears The Iso-Palonen – Maariansärkät Nature Reserve is one of the five nature reserves of the Friendship Park in Kuhmo. Situated in eastern Kuhmo, the area is characterized by small lakes, many ponds, pine forests and ridges, formed by the Ice Age, or “särkkä”, as they’re called in Kainuu. The…
Level: ( * * ) Two bears Close to the national border, east of Kuhmo, Elimyssalo is the home of the second coming of wild forest raindeer. The species had been hunted to extinction in Finland by the mid 19th century. In the end of 1960’s, Martti Montonen, found some wild forest reindeer in Elimyssalo,…
Level: (* *) two bears Teerisuo – Lososuo Mire Reserve, south-west from Kuhmo is located by the road 5284 from Kuhmo to Valtimo. The area is a prime example of wilderness. The forest islets and mires make up a balanced mix. Pieni Teerisuo, Isosuo, Kuitisuo and Lososuo comprise an over 8 km long stretch of…
Level: (* * *) Three bears Hiidenportti National Park is situated between two water systems. The Park was established in 1982 to preserve the regional wilderness. The main attraction of the park is the canyon-like ravine, where the Porttijoki river runs from north-west to south-east. The Park is named after the Hiidenportti ravine at the…
Level: (* *) two bears Jonkerinsalo Nature Reserve is in southern Kuhmo, on the western side of the canoeing route on the Jongunjoki river. The area is ruggedly beautiful, characterized by the regionally treasured ravine of Hiidenportti, where the Louhipuro stream runs between steep cliffs. There’s a lean-to at the north end of the Hiidenportti…
Level: (*) one bear Kieverrysjärvet is a recreational area in southern part of Kuhmo close to Via Karelia and where the Russian border reaches it’s most western spot. This is a perfect destination for a day-trip. An easily passable trail travels around six lakes and ponds: Porojärvi, Syrjälampi, Valkealampi, Syvälampi, Hukkalampi ja Juolunka, and through…
Level (* *) Two bears The Mujejärvi area in Nurmes is perfect for hikers after some peace and quiet. The area is close to Peurajärvi Recreational Area, but on the eastern side of road 75. Nature, however, is different from that surrounding lake Peurajärvi. On the western side, you can find the rugged ravine of…
Level: (* *) two bears Peurajärvi is the go-to place for families. The area is small and quiet enough for a day-trip, but there’s enough to see and do to spend a weekend: hiking, swimming, fishing and berry picking. The Mäntyjärvi lean-to and a hut near Iso-Valkeinen are available for overnight stays, and you can…
Level (*) One bear Raesärkät in Nurmes is a lovely spot for a day-trip in a scenery of rolling ridges. The area has been named after a narrow stretch of ridges running from north-west to south-east. Other attractions include peaceful mires, river bends and old forestland with plenty of wildlife. Raesärkät has been appreciated by…
Level: (* * *) Three bears The scenery over lake Pielinen from the top of Koli is one of the most Finnish sights you can imagine. The area is also introduced on this site among the cultural landscapes, because Koli has been selected as one of the national landscapes of Finland. The view form the…
Level: ( * ) one bear Ukonsärkkä in the very eastern part of Lieksa is perfect for a day trip. There’s a lovely ridge and old forests. Ukonsärkkä is a treasure that needs to be found – a spot well worth visiting. There’s plenty of peace and quiet, even though you may meet other hikers…
Level: (* *) two bears The Änäkäinen area in Lieksa has recreational fishing grounds surrounded by forests. Trees are logged only moderately and respecting the recreational values. The area is closely linked to the battles in the Winter War, and some Salpa Line fortifications were built here during the interim peace. When taking a break…
Level: (*) one bear Reposuo is a valuable bird area and a mire conservation site by the Pankakoski village. It’s a great place for observing bird nesting habits and migrating birds. Reposuo is a prime example of the diverse swamp nature in North Karelia. The terrain in the Reposuo area is full of surprises. An…
Level: (*) one bear Pieni Ritojärvi lake is a lovely destination for a day trip. The round trip trail, Ritojärven kierto (5.2 km), is a nice way to see all the prettiest sights on the area in one go. The round trip trail meanders through swamps, forests and ridges around the lake. There’s a lean-to…
Level (*) One bear The Ruunaa Nature Reserve, right next to the Russian border, on the other side of the Ruunaa Hiking Area and the Lieksajoki river, is mainly untouched forest land. More than a half of the reserve is on the border zone, accessible only with the border guard’s permission. The core of the…
Level: (* *) two bears Ruunaa is best known for its rapids. The rapids on the Lieksanjoki river take you from Matkalahti to Ruunaa Nature Centre in Naarajoki over some 30 km. White-water rafting is commercially available on a rubber raft or a wooden boat. Tens of thousands of people visit the area every year.…
Level: ( * * *) three bears The Siikalahti wetland on lake Simpelejärvi is the most valuable bird wetland in inner Finland and an internationally appreciated site. In May and June, the mysterious blowing of the Great Bittern or the chorus of nocturnal songbirds is something unforgettable. And thats not all. Situated on the eastern…
Level: (* * *) Three bears The Petkeljärvi National Park in Ilomantsi is the smallest one in Finland, but it’s packed with the best examples of ridges, pine heaths and lakeside nature. The park area has never been a battle site, even though there are old trenches and a restored dugout. Nearby Oinassalmi and Möhkö,…
Level: (* *) two bears Koitajoki Nature reserve, east of Hattuvaara village nearby the border zone, is an excellent hiking site for wilderness lovers. The Koitajoki River runs calmly through the region with small rapids. You can read about the river on this site under canoeing routes. The Koitajoki area consists of Rosmesuo – Hanhisuo…
Level: * * * (three bears) Have you ever wandered on a large swamp? It’s an experience worth having. The size of the Patvinsuo swamp makes its horizon look like that of a vast lake with many islands. The landscape is decorated with vast expanses of swamp, their colours changing by the season, hills with…