Hiking Routes and Trails

Via Karelia is a great starting point for a multitude of hiking routes and trails. Many Reserve areas have their own short trails. Each trail is introduced with their respective Reserve Area, comprising an important part of the hiking network. To avoid overlapping, the Nature Reserve trails are not included in the list below.

Many hiking trails near Via Karelia form a longer hiking route, travelling from one reserve area to another, through commercial forests. Some of the trails run mainly or entirely in commercial forests. This pertains to many of the southern trails, but some of the northern ones, too.

We have also listed some shorter trails that are not in Reserve areas.

When you travel by car, you hardly plan for a longer hike, but nothing stops you from considering that. Via Karelia's sites can evoke a desire to experience the same by foot or by skis.

Whether you plan a short trip or a longer hike, Via Karelia has endless possibilities, especially when you include the trails and facilities offered by 40 Reserve areas. Including them, there are almost a hundred short and longer routes nearby. You can roam the trails for weeks, take a day trip or just stop and have a snack while enjoying lovely sights.

Everyman's rights entitle you to go off road outside the marked trails, too.

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List of Hiking Routes and Trails

Imatra–Ruokolahti–Rautjärvi Hiking Trail 89km

The trail starts from Imatra Spa in the south, makes a detour to Ruokolahti sports centre and ends at Simpele, the centre of Rautjärvi municipality. There are often many route…

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Nature and Culture Trail in Kontiolahti Church Village 4km

The round-trip trail runs in the surroundings of Kontiolahti church village and on the waterfront of lake Höytiäinen. You’ll see forest trail, duckboards, narrow roads and a stretch of the main village street.

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Herajärvi Trail 40km

The Herajärvi Trail is a round-trip trail, starting from the peak of Ukko-Koli. The trail runs partly in the Koli National Park. The trail goes around lake Herajärvi, on the south side of Koli. Marked in blue, the trail is a demanding one because of great differences in height.

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Mikkolanniemi – Uukuniemi about 30km

The south end of the route is at Mikkolanniemi Activity Centre, east shore of lake Rautjärvi, and it ends at Papinniemi Camping Area, by Pyhäjärvi, in Uukuniemi church village.
From Mikkolanniemi, the hiking route continues as “Mikkiksen tarinapolku” trail. First, there’s a Lapp hut, and at the other end of the trail at Virtsalampi pond, there’s a lean-to close to the road, where the actual route runs.

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Koverojärvi Primaeval Forest Trail 2.5km

The Nature Trail winds its way in a primaeval forest, partly on lichen-covered cliffs, partly in lush mixed forest. Differences in altitude are significant. The route visits a pond and then goes up a cliff. There’s a lean-to on the Kalliolampi cliff. If you need water, you need to fetch it from the pond below.

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Sallatunturi Fell Area

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,…

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Pöröpeikon polku – Parikkala 30km

In mid 2000s Parikkala had a development project ”Liiku Lintuinmaan luonnossa”. It was about repairing and constructing hiking routes. There are about a hundred kilometres of trails altogether. They are divided in three distinctive parts, each separately introduced. The first part is the 30km stage, Pöröpeikon polku – Parikkala.

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Hossa National Park

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…

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Kaltimon kierto Round-Trip Trail and Patvinpolku Trail 80km

Kaltimon kierto is a 25km round-trip trail in Eno, north of road 73 (Road:Uimaharjuntie). Via Kolvananuuro, the route is connected to Koli trail, and via Suppuralampi, the Patvinpolku Trail goes all the way to the Patvinsuo National Park via Uimaharju and Kivilahti.

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Taitajan Taival Hiking Trail, Ilomantsi 31km

Taitajan taival is a Hiking Trail starting from the Petkeljärvi National Park and running to Mekrijärvi village north of Ilomantsi, and more specifically to Sissola, the home of folklore singer Simana Sissonen. The trail does not enter the Ilomantsi village, but there’s a connecting path (8km) to Ilomantsi at Hirsijärvi lean-to.

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Kitee Wilderness Trail 4.7km

Kitee Wilderness Trail runs near lake Orivesi, forming two round-trip trails. The trail introduces you to forest nature, forestry, game management, and hunting traditions.

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Kolinpolku Trail 63km

A service station in Uuro, Kontiolahti, in the crossing of roads 6 and 73, is the starting point to the Kolinpolku Trail. The route passes via the Kolvananuuro Nature Reserve to Kiviniemi and joins the Herajärven kierros Trail to Koli. En route, there are about 15 resting spots, maintained by municipality of Kontiolahti.

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Hiking Trails in Joutseno, approx. 70km

There’s a vast network of hiking trails around the Joutseno population centre. Many trails run in the vicinity of Myllymäki ski centre. One trail runs via Hinkanranta, following the shoreline of Saimaa to the Imatra Spa. Another branch takes you via Kähärilä village to Soskua floodgate, the Saimaa Canal.

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Parikkala – Mikkolanniemi 35km

The route starts from the Parikkala railway station and ends at Mikkolanniemi Activity Centre, on the east side of Akonpohja in Saari and Lake Pieni Rautjärvi, by the road 4014. The marked route is actually a cycling route, because it runs on roads.

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Salpapolku Trail 50km

Salpapolku is a hiking trail, starting in the south from Majaniemi in Virolahti, and ending in wilderness forests of Takamaa in Miehikkälä, south side of lake Syvä-Valkjärvi. The route is marked in blue, with “Salpapolku” signs, and an otter emblem.

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Jaama Round-trip Trail 47.7km

The Jaama trail in Joensuu and Kontiolahti areas is best suitable for cycling, because it runs on roads. It starts from central Joensuu, and visits six beaches and the Höytiäinen channel and Jaamankangas before circling back to the town centre.

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Aconitum Round-Trip Trail 6.5km

In Tohmajärvi, there’s a protected grove, where the Nordic Wolfsbane (Aconitum lycoctonum) grows. A round-trip trail runs through the grove and in a cultural landscape by the lake.

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Kalliojärvi Round-Trip Trail 4km

The Kalliojärvi round-trip trail in Pyhäselkä goes around Suuri Kalliojärvi, on the bottom of a ravine. The route has forest trails, duckboards, uphill ad downhill and steep cliffs without safety rails. You need to be careful with children also in the campfire site, where the shoreline quickly drops to the lake.

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Kuhasalo Nature Trails 1 and 2km

Close to Joensuu centre, two short round-trip trails run in the terrain of an old Orthodox monastery and a forested island, on the waterfront of open Pyhäselkä. The trails are quite easy, apart from the Pyhäselkä shoreline, where there’s rocky.

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