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Rovaniemi offers easy access to many hiking trails

Published : 05 Jul 2020, 11:03

  DF Report

File Photo Lapland Material Bank by Iiro Kerkelä.

The hiking areas in Rovaniemi sub-region offer excellent opportunities for nature lovers to pursue a kaleidoscopic range of outdoor activities. There are a large number of hiking trails of various lengths and levels of difficulty in the areas around the city and people have very easy access to them.

The trails include the Ounasvaara nature trail and the Ounasvaara winter walking routes located on the Ounasvaara Hill, the Korkalovaara nature trail on the Korkalo Hill, the Koivusaari nature trail, and the Arctic Circle hiking area.

Although some trails are close to the city that can be reached on foot or by a bicycle, the Arctic Circle hiking area is about 25 kilometres north of Rovaniemi. One has to go there by bus or a car. The starting point of one trail could be reached by bus, but the most popular trail starting point at Vaattunkiköngäs doesn’t have regular year-round bus service.

Officials at the Pyhä-Luosto National Park and Visit Rovaniemi said the Arctic Circle hiking area includes both wilderness and commercial forests of various ages. Hikers, however, should follow some safety and security instructions including wearing proper outfit to hike in a safe and joyful way there. It is also important to carry your rubbish away from nature and pay respect and obey rules when moving in a protected area.

“The clothing should respond to the current weather. Extra clothing for breakes is recommended. Please take into account that trails might be slippery sometimes during rainy days and winter, so appropriate shoes are needed,” Pyhä-Luosto National Park’s Customer Service Officer Meeri Koivuniemi told the Daily Finland.

The Korkalovaara nature trail is about 3.6km west of the city centre and is marked for the tranquillity of a secluded forest while offering the convenience of being close to an urban centre. The 3.35km trail runs dry forests, mires, bogs, and swamps and has a nice camping area with a campfire site.

The Koivusaari nature trail is about 2.3km away from Rovaniemi towards Sodankylä. Koivusaari is a rather short but a very exciting route. It goes around a small island where one can see sheep grazing in the summer. The trail also leads to a floating bird watching tower.

The Arctic Circle hiking area has plenty of trails like the Barrier-free nature trail (1.5km) and the Kivalonaapa meadow culture trail (1.3km) which can be accessed from Vikaköngäs and the Vaattunkiköngäs parking area.

The finest rapids of the Raudanjoki River flowing through the area are at Vikaköngäs and Vaattunkiköngäs, easily accessed via suspension bridges. There are lush groves in the Könkään and Kielosaari islands and the rocky hills of Vaattunki, Könkään and Sortovaara have hilltop pine forests that are hundreds of years old.

Hikers may also use public transportation as there are several coaches (www.matkahuolto.fi) that travel everyday between Rovaniemi and Sodankylä as well as Rovaniemi and Kemijärvi. The buses operate along the Highway 4. The closest bus stop is by the Lake Vikajärvi. The Vikaköngäs starting point is 200 metres from the bus stop. The Makialampi parking area lies just beside the Highway 4. You can set off on the local trails from the very parking lot.

The main starting points for excursions are at Vikaköngäs and Vaattunkiköngäs.

The most popular trail starting point at Vaattunkiköngäs, however, doesn’t have regular year round bus service. This winter there was a service but it was not regular. The closest regular bus traffic bus stop is at Makialampi, about 2,2, km away.

“We have many easy accessible hiking routes and nature trails in Rovaniemi. Among them, the nearest to the city centre are the Ounasvaara nature trail (winter walking trail in wintertime) and the Koivusaari nature trail at just a 20-minute walking distance from the city centre,” Visit Rovaniemi’s Tourism Officer Heidi Rantanen told the Daily Finland.

Beside them, the most popular hiking trails are located in the Arctic Circle hiking area, about 24km north of the city centre. It can be reached by bus if you don’t have a car, she said.

“Rovaniemi is a great destination for hiking, also for beginners as there are many trails that can be reached from the city by walking or by using public transportation. Besides, the trails are well marked and maintained, so there is no danger of getting lost,” Heidi Rantanen added.