Finland, often referred to as the land of a thousand lakes, offers a plethora of stunning landscapes and serene nature experiences. With vast forests, pristine lakes, and untouched wilderness areas, it’s no surprise that Finland is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts.
“Embrace the serene melody of a thousand lakes, as you wander through the enchanting forests and untouched wilderness of Finland’s long distance trails – a Nordic paradise awaits.”
One of the best ways to explore this Nordic paradise is by embarking on one of its many long distance hiking paths. In this article, we highlight the top long distance hiking trails in Finland that will leave you in awe of the country’s natural beauty.
Table of Contents
- 1. Karhunkierros (Bear’s Trail)
- Embarking on a Finnish Hiking Adventure: Practical Tips to Get You Started
- 2. Hetta-Pallas Trail
- 3. Ukko-Koli Trail
- 4. Kevo Trail
- 5. Archipelago Trail
- Discover Finland’s Tranquil Landscapes: Top Long Distance Hiking Trails for Nature Enthusiasts
1. Karhunkierros (Bear’s Trail)
Considered one of Finland’s most popular and scenic hiking trails, the Karhunkierros or Bear’s Trail stretches over 80 kilometers through Oulanka National Park in northeastern Finland. This well-marked trail takes hikers through lush forests, along breathtaking rivers and rapids, and past striking cliffs and gorges. Typically taking around 4-7 days to complete, the Bear’s Trail offers several camping sites as well as reservable cabins for overnight stays.
“In the heart of Oulanka’s wilderness, where rivers roar and forests whisper, find solace on the Bear’s Trail as you journey through nature’s finest masterpiece.”
Embarking on a Finnish Hiking Adventure: Practical Tips to Get You Started
To ensure a memorable and enjoyable experience, it’s essential to plan ahead and be well-prepared. Here are some practical tips to help you get started on your Finnish hiking journey, from choosing the perfect season to packing wisely for your adventure.
- Choose the right season: Plan your hike between June and September, as this is when the weather is most favorable with longer daylight hours.
- Pack wisely: Prepare a lightweight backpack with essential items such as waterproof clothing, comfortable hiking shoes or boots, insect repellent, a water filter or purification tablets, a first aid kit, navigation tools (map and compass), and basic camping gear (tent, sleeping bag, cooking equipment).
- Plan accommodations: Depending on the trail you choose, you might find designated campsites or wilderness huts (autiotupa) along the way. Familiarize yourself with their locations and plan your stops accordingly.
- Stay safe: Inform someone of your plans and estimated return date. Make sure to carry a fully charged phone with emergency numbers saved.
- Respect nature: Follow the Leave No Trace principles to minimize your impact on nature – pack out all trash, avoid disturbing wildlife, respect plants and animals.
- Check weather forecasts: Be prepared for changing weather conditions by regularly checking local forecasts during your hike.
- Learn about Finnish “Everyman’s Rights”: Familiarize yourself with the rules regarding public access to private lands in Finland – this includes rights like picking berries and mushrooms but also responsibilities such as not damaging property or disturbing locals.
- Dress in layers: Finnish weather can be unpredictable; consider wearing moisture-wicking base layers, insulating mid-layers, and waterproof outer layers to stay comfortable throughout your hike.
- Plan for insects: Mosquitoes and other biting insects can be common in Finnish forests; bring insect repellent and consider wearing long sleeves and pants for protection.
- Observe local customs: When you encounter other hikers, be polite and respect their space. Remember that the Finnish sauna is a significant part of the culture, so embrace the opportunity to experience it if available at your accommodation.
2. Hetta-Pallas Trail
Located in Finnish Lapland within Pallas-Yllästunturi National Park, the Hetta-Pallas Trail is approximately 55 kilometers long and usually takes between 3-5 days to complete. This trail offers spectacular views of fells (rounded mountain peaks), gorgeous valleys filled with dense forests, and vibrant autumn colors during September-October. Along the way, open wilderness huts are available for accommodation.
“Embrace the journey, for in the heart of Finnish Lapland lies a path where fells and forests intertwine, guiding you through nature’s vibrant symphony.”
3. Ukko-Koli Trail
The Ukko-Koli Trail is situated in Koli National Park in eastern Finland and spans about 35 kilometers. Usually completed within 2-4 days, this trail boasts picturesque lake views from atop Koli’s hills while meandering through enchanting old-growth forests. Accessible all year round, different seasons offer unique experiences, from the vibrant colors of autumn to snowshoeing during winter months. Camping sites and rental cabins are available for overnight stays.
“Discover the magic of Koli National Park, where nature’s artistry paints the canvas of the Ukko-Koli Trail in every season.”
4. Kevo Trail
The Kevo Trail, located in Urho Kekkonen National Park in Finnish Lapland, is a demanding yet rewarding 63-kilometer trek through diverse landscapes. With steep elevations and challenging terrain, this trail is best suited for experienced hikers. The route takes adventurers through vast wilderness areas, past beautiful lakes and rivers, and offers stunning views of the surrounding fells. Plan for around 3-7 days to complete this exhilarating journey with designated camping sites provided along the way.
“Through the vast wilderness of Finnish Lapland, the Kevo Trail challenges the spirit and rewards the soul – a journey of endurance where nature’s beauty unfolds with every step.”
5. Archipelago Trail
For those looking to explore Finland’s beautiful coastal regions, the Archipelago Trail is an ideal choice. This network of trails covers over 250 kilometers of interconnected routes throughout the Turku Archipelago in southwestern Finland. It combines hiking with ferry rides for island hopping among picturesque seaside villages and unspoiled nature reserves. The trail can be customized to your preferred length and difficulty level while enjoying local culinary delights at quaint restaurants or cafes along the way.
“Embrace the serenity of Finland’s coastal wonders, as you traverse the Archipelago Trail and savor the local flavors in a journey through nature’s finest tapestry.”
Discover Finland’s Tranquil Landscapes: Top Long Distance Hiking Trails for Nature Enthusiasts
Embarking on any of these long distance hiking paths in Finland promises unforgettable nature experiences amid tranquil landscapes that showcase the country’s pristine beauty. As you venture through the vast forests, along crystal-clear lakes, and across picturesque hills, you will be captivated by the breathtaking surroundings that Finland has to offer.
“Embrace the tranquil landscapes and pristine beauty of Finland, as you venture through its vast forests, crystal-clear lakes, and picturesque hills; creating memories that will last a lifetime.”
Whether you’re a seasoned trekker with years of experience or a casual walker looking for some adventure and excitement, these trails provide ample opportunities to immerse yourself in Finland’s stunning wilderness areas while creating memories that will last a lifetime. Each unique path offers varying levels of difficulty and diverse terrain, ensuring that there is something for every skill level and interest.
Last Updated on May 14, 2023