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Find your forest

3 minute read

Credits:: Harri Tarvainen

Here, everyone can connect with nature

Finland is covered with beautiful forests, lakes and fells, ensuring there’s plenty of space for everyone to explore and connect with nature. With more than 40 national parks and hundreds of other nature preserves to choose from, you’re sure to find an outdoor destination that suits your interests. Here are some ideas to help you get started – whether you’re looking for an easy half-day trip or a multi-day hike through the wilderness.

Credits: : Marjaana Tasala
Views of Lake Kilpisjärvi and the Saana fell are some of the most majestic in Finland. There are many marked hiking routes in the Kilpisjärvi area.
Credits:: Julia Kivelä

Short-distance, beginner-level excursions

Check out this selection of easy and accessible half-day nature destinations across Finland’s four regions.

Tampere’s Kintulammi, Lakeland

Ranked the best outdoor destination in 2020, Kintulammi is a fantastic hiking area and nature preserve 20 kilometres outside Tampere. This public destination offers trails, duckboards, lean-tos and plenty of signposts. There are approximately 15 kilometres of marked hiking routes, five fire pits and four dry toilets, too.

Tiilijärvi lakes close to Lahti, Lakeland

Offering beautiful lake views only a short drive from the city of Lahti, the 7,5 kilometre-long Tiilijärvi Lake Trail in Hollola loops around three lakes: Vähä-Tiilijärvi, Keski-Tiilijärvi and Iso-Tiilijärvi (little, middle and grand). Starting from Vähä-Tiilijärvenkuja, the nearest campfire spot can be found in Martan maja – a lean-to shelter along the Tiirismaa Kierros Trail, about 1,5 kilometres from the Tiilijärvi Lake Trail.

Sipoonkorpi National Park trails, Helsinki

Sipoonkorpi National Park lies within an easy reach of Helsinki. The 1,4 kilometre Byabäcken Nature Trail (circle trail 2,1 km) snakes through lush forests and ends in pastures – during summer, you might see cows maintaining landscape. Another route, Tasakallio–Storträsk, is a short 1 kilometre trail.

Uutela, Helsinki

Located in eastern Helsinki, the nature trail at Uutela consists of two walking trails that form a figure-eight pattern. You can choose to walk one or both, and they offer everything from glacial rock formations to coastal scenes and forest to marshland.

Bengtskär island, Coast and Archipelago

Not into dense forests? Thirty kilometres southwest of Hanko, Bengtskär is a rocky island in the outer archipelago. With no snakes, mosquitoes or ticks, just stunning open sea (and if you’re lucky, the occasional seal!), Bengtskär is a popular resting place for migratory birds in the spring and autumn. To access the island, board a tour boat from Kasnäs or Hanko.

Biking in Inari-Saariselkä, Lapland

Another easy and fun way to experience arctic nature is to hop on a bicycle. Inari-Saariselkä has several easy forest and fell trails, as well as guided tours all year round. Rent an electric fat bike or a mountain bike and discover the many charms of open fell biking!

Credits: Julia Kivelä

Overnight, intermediate-level experiences

If you want to stay overnight or embark on something a bit more challenging, browse these intermediate nature destinations and trails.

Suomussalmi’s Hossa National Park, Lakeland

Hossa National Park near Kuusamo is nestled within a tangle of narrow lakes and rivers. There are 90 kilometres of marked hiking trails and 60 kilometres of water excursion trails, both of which offer plenty of good spots for both beginners and experienced canoers.

Nuuksio wilderness cabins, Helsinki Region

When you spend a night in the middle of Nuuksio National Park, it can be hard to believe the capital city is only a stone’s throw away. Choose to camp, sleep in a tentsile or rent a cabin. Even better, overnight in a wilderness cabin by Natura Viva, so you can enjoy a day of hiking then hit the sauna!

Teijo National Park, Coast and Archipelago

Located on the southwestern coast of the Gulf of Finland, Teijo National Park offers pristine lakes and rivers and beautiful forests, hills, wetlands and swamps. In Teijo, you can combine outdoor activities with idyllic accommodations in one of the nearby historic villages of Teijo, Mathildedal and Kirjakkala.

Oulanka, Lapland

Karhunkierros (which is Finnish for “Bear’s round”) is one of the most popular hiking trails in Finland. The trail takes hikers by roaring rapids and ramparts that will make your head spin. Walking the full trail takes couple of days, but there are also shorter trails for day trips. There are ten unlocked wilderness cabins along the route, but it’s always wise to carry a tent for back-up.

Credits: : Andre Alexander Baumann
Credits:: Julia Kivelä

Longer, advanced-level adventures

Experienced hikers have plenty of options to escape into nature and get off-grid in Finland.

Nuuksio National Park, Helsinki Region

Despite its location close to the capital, Nuuksio National Park offers long, challenging trails for experienced trekkers – there’s even a 110 kilometre hiking trail that runs through the whole park and is also suitable for biking. The terrain is hilly, so be prepared to break a sweat!

Turku’s St. Olav waterway route, Coast and Archipelago

This one’s a challenge, but it comes with some of the most beautiful archipelago views in the world – and a sauna experience for every day! Walk part of the historical 1,200 kilometre medieval pilgrim route from island to island. If you want to go all the way, the St. Olav waterway route will take you from Turku Cathedral through the Finnish Archipelago and Åland all the way to Trondheim, Norway.

Sevettijärvi-Näätämö, Lapland

Located in the northeastern corner of Finnish Lapland, the Sevettijärvi area is your ticket to the wilderness – and great fishing. The 60-70 kilometre-long Sevettijärvi-Pulmanki hiking trail winds through the vast wilderness of Kaldoaivi. July and August are the recommended months to hike, but there is also a separate winter route for skiers and snowmobilers.

The Seven Fells, Lapland

Why climb one hill when you can climb seven? At Ylläs, you’ll find just that: seven hills in one area. Hike or bike in the summer and ski or snowshoe in winter. Breath-taking scenery is guaranteed.

Kilpisjärvi and the Nordkalott Trail, Lapland

To the polar circle and beyond! At the Cap of the North runs the Nordkalott trail – an 800-kilometre route that crosses Finland, Norway and Sweden. The Finnish section is a 70 kilometre-long summer hiking trail that runs through Käsivarsi Wilderness Area and Malla Strict Nature Reserve. You can access the trail from the village of Kilpisjärvi.

Halti hut-to-hut ski expedition, Lapland

If you want to experience true arctic wilderness alongside luxuries like marked routes, guides and hut accommodations, try a guided skiing tour. This weeklong, Halti hut-to-hut ski expedition will take you to the Käsivarsi Wilderness Area in northern Finland. It’s suitable for fit persons with some experience in hiking and skiing.

Credits: Julia Kivelä