My top 4 Finnish National Parks

While visiting Finland, I fell in love with its nature and wonderland as well as how great its National Parks and Nature Reserves are. All the parks had marked hiking routes, nature trails and campfire sites as well as nature centres full of information and qualified staff to help direct your hike or activity.

Here is my top 4 of the Finnish National Parks!

Jeetees

First

Urho Kekkonen

Located North of Lapland, this 2550 square km wonderland was one of my life’s favourite experience. I had always dreamt to walk through the fell and the endless snow desert and to see those mysterious snow covered trees.

We started our 7km hike called Lisakkipäa under a blue sky (with a temperature around -13 degrees) which was so enjoyable. Of course, the wind was harsh at the top of the fell but the view made it all better.

If you decide to go on this adventure (in winter) make sure you are wearing the right type of clothes and are equipped conveniently. You can read about what I recommend in this article: here.

Besides that, make sure to be careful with the paths and remain on the one dedicated for hikers. Indeed, some are meant for cross country ski and it would upset a lot of people if you were to walk on those!!

Second:

Oulanka

Still located in Lapland, this 270 square km national park used to be inhabited by the Sami People mainly occupying themselves with hunting, fishing and farming. The landscape is primarily made of pine forests and the river valley holding the rapids and is rich of flora and fauna. We were particularly excited of the bear watching possibility.

We arrived at the information centre around 3PM which was quite late to hike for a long time but still went on the 8km path equipped with our soles chains and waterproof outwear. This park is also offering huts and cabins where you’re able to spend the night and build a fire to grill food.

Third

Koli

Covering 30 square km, this national park is made of forested hills on the shore of the beautiful lake Pielinen, caves and great Heritage Centres and has for mission to preserve and cherish the traditional agricultural heritage.

We parked the car next to the a lift operating daily, even during the winter, which brought us next to the Heritage Center in order to get a map of the trails and an idea of where to go. We went on the yellow path named Akka Koli, from there, following the markings. Even if the park staff isn’t taking care of the trails in the winter, they were petty well visible due to the number of visitors flattening the snow, we even got lucky to be able to use a path specially made for snow shoes.

Fourth:

Ripovesi

Very close to Helsinki, this park is dominated by pine and birch trees, an aboundant wildlife and the Kouhunjoki river as well as lakes.

We started our hike at 10AM under a beautiful sunshine and the surprise of, for the first time in this trip, hiking without snow! We stopped for lunch at one of the fire camps and enjoyed the peace on one of the frozen lakes, listening to sprig waking up and the sun rays on our faces.