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Other hiking trails
The best way to explore the exotic features of the North is to go hiking. The hiking routes provide a splendid setting for discovering the small and great secrets of nature.
RUKA HIKING ROUTES:
Short Routes at Ruka
There are four short routes in the Central Ruka area, ranging in length and degree of difficulty. These routes are clearly signposted to ensure safe and trouble-free independent trekking and they include:
• The fell route in the terrain of Fell Ruka
• The children’s route to the stadium
• The Valkeisenvaara route (combined with the Stadium route)
• The Kalliolampi Pond route, which partly follows the cycling paths in the area
• The wilderness route of Fell Valtavaara
Rukatunturi Trail for Disabled
Starting point: Top of Juhannuskalliontie road
Degree of difficulty: Easy
Length: 1 km
This route is available with a wheelchair or stroller. Route is approximately 3 meters wide, gravel based. Not a ring route. Scenery spot near the highest peak of Ruka.
CLIMBING TO FELL KONTTAINEN
Fell Ruka - Fell Valtavaara - Fell Konttainen - Fell Ruka
The route takes you from the hotels in the Central Ruka area to the tallest fells in Kuusamo and back again. From the brows of fell Ruka and Fell Valtavaara you can admire the fantastic scenery at a height of 490 m. At the northernmost point of the trail, you will reach the majestic top of Fell Konttainen at 423 m. Suitable places for resting and picnics include the organic lean-to shelter and the park ranger’s hut at Suolampi, as well as the bivouac of Valtavaara where you may catch sight of rare birds, such as the red-flanked bluetail, greenish warbler and three-toed woodpecker.
Starting point: Fell Ruka
Degree of difficulty: Demanding; craggy terrain with notable height differences
Duration: 5 hours
Length: Total of 14 km
Alternative route: starting from the Vuotunki-Virkkula road - Konttainen - Vuotunki-Virkkula road
How to get there from Kuusamo: Kemijärventie road (5) past Ruka - Vuotunki-Virkkula road, along which there is a small parking area on the left side of the road after passing crossroads of the Karhunkierros Trail.
Juhannuskallio trail (green route signs)
Departure: at to top of Juhannuskalliontie road
You can access Juhannuskallio trail from Ruka village by using the Rukatunturi service road network. Nature trails at Juhannuskallio.
Services: RukaPeak terrace and restaurant open in July –
August (cafeteria and lunch services).
Distance covered (from Ruka village): 2.5 km
ROUTES IN OULANKA NATIONAL PARK
CALLING AT OULANKA CANYON
Border of Oulanka National Park - Oulanka Canyon - returning through the same route
You will walk through impressive scenery of cliffs and rocks. The Savinajoki and Oulankajoki rivers run into Savilampi Pond and continue from there as one: the grand Oulankajoki River. Right at the river delta is the wondrous Oulanka Canyon, where (about 2 km from the starting point) you will find the Savilampi hut, breathing the timelessness of a bygone world. If you walk upstream along Savinajoki River, you will be able to marvel at the famous Rupakivi, a tall stone bolder in the middle of the river.
Starting point: Urriaapa, Savilampi at the edge of the national park
Transport: Ruka - Urriaapa, Savilampi 59 km
Degree of difficulty: Medium
Duration: 5 hours
Length: 6 km
How to get there from Kuusamo: Kemijärventie road (number 5) - Sallantie road (950), from which along the signs of "Oulangan Kanjoni".
SEARCHING FOR THE ORCHID
Ristikallio Ravines - Taivalköngäs Rapids - Oulanka Visitor Centre - Kiutaköngäs Rapids
The hike starts at Ristikallio, in the Western part of Oulanka National Park, which is also known as the starting point for the Karhunkierros (Bear's Trail). You will walk through majestic and varied scenery: through sweet-smelling pine forests, past cliffs with their rugged beauty and across several hanging bridges. You may be able to spot a calypso orchid and many other plants you would not see anywhere else. The route also passes by the tremendous Taivalköngäs, the second largest rapids on the Oulankajoki River. Let your thoughts drift back to the lumberjack era at the deserted cabin that sits right by the rapids.
Starting point: Ristikallio Ravines, also starting point for the Karhunkierros (Bear's Trail)
Transport: Ruka - Ristikallio ca. 40 km
Degree of difficulty: Medium, after Taivalköngäs Rapids easy and enjoyable
Duration: 8-10 hours
Length: 20 km
How to get there from Kuusamo: Kemijärventie road (number 5) - Sallantie road (950), along which the route starts (on a small parking lot).
HIKING TO HIIDENLAMPI POND
Oulanka Visitor Centre - Kiutaköngäs Rapids - Oulanka Visitor Centre
You will roam on the nature trail around the Hiidenlampi Pond, by the red cliffs of the Kiutaköngäs Rapids. Along the route you can stop to read the tourist map guides containing information on the wildlife and history of the area. This easy-going route enables you to concentrate entirely on the surrounding nature and the wonders of the Oulanka Visitor Centre.
Starting point: Oulanka Visitor Centre
Transport: Ruka - Oulanka Visitor Centre 28 km
Degree of difficulty: Easy, enjoyable
Duration: 4 hours
Length: Return trip from the Oulanka Visitor Centre to Kiutaköngäs Rapids 2 km, nature trail 5 km
How to get there from Kuusamo: Kemijärventie road (number 5) - Sallantie road (950) - Liikasenvaara road. The Oulanka Visitor Center is located along Liikasenvaara road before Oulankajoki River.
Kiutalaisen luontopolku - Kiutalainen Nature Path for Children
This is a nature path especially meant for children. On the information boards at the stops along the path children are given instructions about how to move about and manage in the wilderness. Advice is also given about nature protection. The route is quite near the Oulanka Visitor Centre.
Rytisuo Nature Trail
The path starts in the immediate neighbourhood of the Oulanka National Park camping area. The path is well marked; a picture of a cone is printed on the signs guiding the hikers. Information boards along the route telling the hikers about the nature and history of the area.
Starting point: Oulanka Camping
Degree of difficulty: Easy - suitable for children
Length: 5 km
How to get there from Kuusamo: Kemijärventie road (number 5) - Sallantie road (950) - Liikasenvaarantie road. The Oulanka Camping is located on the left side of the road after the Oulankajoki River.
Running along the Keroharju Ridge amidst wide, open peatlands in the north of the national park area. The trail starts at Taka-aho and ends at the Isokuusikontie road. Halfway along the trail there is a wilderness hut with a sauna.
Starting point: Taitaja Cabin by Lake Niitselysjärvi
Degree of difficulty: Fairly easy
Length: One way 14 km, return 28 km.
How to get there from Kuusamo: Kemijärventie road (5) - Liikasenvaarantie road; from Liikasenvaara village towards the border about 200 m from café Neidonkenkä there's a dirt road to the left. At the end of the road in Taka-aho there's a parking lot. There are signs to the hiking route from Liikasenvaarantie road. The starting point of the route was changed from Taitaja cabin by Lake Niitselysjärvi to Taka-aho in autumn 2003.
RIISITUNTURI NATIONAL PARK
RELAXING AT FELL RIISI
Tolvantie Road - Fell Riisi - a deserted hut - same route back
This route is unique compared to the other hiking routes. Easy-going, following paths and planks laid in the wettest marsh areas, it is ideal for the whole family. From the top of the fell you will have a view unequalled by anything else in Kuusamo; this completely treeless brow opens up views to dozens of other fells in all directions. Furthermore, Fell Riisi has unique fell marshes situated high up on its slopes. Less than one kilometre from the highest point, there is a deserted hut, from which you can still dimly see Ruka and River Kitkajoki in the distance. You return home by retracing your own steps back.
Starting point: Vicinity of the village of Tolva
Transport: Ruka - Tolva 40 km
Degree of difficulty: Easy, suitable for children. The route follows a road; path and wooden walkway (duckboards)
Duration: 4 hours
Length: 10 km
How to get there from Kuusamo: Kemijärventie road (number 5) - Rovaniementie road (81) - Tolvantie road, along which the route starts. Alternatively you can drive from Ruka: Kemijärventie road (5) north - Alakitkantie road - Tolvantie road.
OTHER ROUTES IN KUUSAMO:
The path starts on the east side of the fell. It is well marked. There is a Lappish kota-type shelter on the top of the fell, from where you have a breathtaking view to the Nuorunen fell in the East, to the Salla fells and to the Iivaara fell in the South.
Starting point: Along the nearest road to Kuntivaara (signs lead you there)
Degree of difficulty: Easy - suitable for children even if it's a little bit uphill
Length: 1.7 km
How to get there from Kuusamo: Vuotungintie road (8690) and following the signs to Kuntivaara to get there.
Suininki Game Trail
The path is located ca 20 km to the North-East from Kuusamo town. The game path gives a good overall picture about forestry and preservation of game in Kuusamo. The information boards along the route give more detailed information.
Starting point: Vaimosuontie road
Degree of difficulty: Easy
Length: 5 km
How to get there from Kuusamo: Vuotungintie road (8690) - Vaimosuontie road, along which the route starts.
Iirinki Day Trip Trail 9 km
Duration: 4-5 hours
Starting point: Iivaara parking area (Iivaaran Eräkartano)
Services: Iivaara campfire site, Näätälampi hut
Sights: Iivaara fell, sceneries to east
It is located ca 13 km to the South of Kuusamo town. Along the trail there are remains of Salpalinja, a fortified defence line reaching from the South of the country all the way up to Kuusamo and further north. The visitors can see trenches, collapsed machine gun nests and blown up concrete bunkers, remains of a narrow gauge railroad built by the German troops during the war (time of building 1941-1944), and also places and remains related to a system of moving logs from one waterway to another by lake draining to the desirable direction (in operation btw. 1923-1929). The path runs from Lahtela to Lake Vanttajanjärvi. There are information boards along the path. The texts are in Finnish, German and English.
Starting point: Lahtela village
Degree of difficulty: Fairly easy, but more suitable for adults because of the topic of the path.
Length: One way 4.5 km, return 9 km.
How to get there from Kuusamo: Kajaanintie road (number 5) about 5 km - Lämsänkyläntie road about 8 km.
There are actually two routes on Näränkä area: Näränkä Route goes over the Hyöteikönsuo swamp to the Näränkä farm (an old farm on top of the fell) to the border line and down to the Hyöteikönsuo swamp again. This route is appr. 11-15 km long depending on the starting point. Fell Route (Vaaranreitti) goes around the Näränkä farm past the Kirkkokallio and Yheksänsylenkallio sightseeing spots. Vaaranreitti is about 3 km long.
Starting point: Along the Närängänvaarantie road
Degree of difficulty: Intermediate (there are some mosquitos in the swamp area)
Length: Fell Route 3 km, Näränkä Route 11-15 km
How to get there from Kuusamo: Kajaanintie road (5) - Kerontie road (8421) - Kurvisentie road, from which along the signs to Närängänvaara.
The trail follows the steep banks of the Canyon Lake Julma Ölkky. The starting and finishing point is located nearby a boat service. You can also combine this route with the routes in Hossa area.
Starting point: Along the Julma Ölkkyntie road.
Degree of difficulty: Fairly easy.
Length: 10 km
How to get there from Kuusamo: Kajaanintie road /5) - Kerontie road (8421) - Kurvisentie road (843) - Julma- Ölkkyntie road. Or alternatively following the road to Kajaani even further and then Selkoskyläntie road - Kurvisentie road (843) - Julma- Ölkkyntie road.