Instructions and Rules in Iivaara Nature Reserve

Instructions on Exploring Iivaara Nature Reserve 

In the Nature Reserve, the following are

allowed:

  • Walking, skiing, row boating and canoeing, except in the restricted areas
  • Picking berries and mushrooms 
  • Hook and line fishing and ice fishing. Fishers need to check the restrictions on fishing sites at kalastusrajoitus.fi (In Finnish).

restricted:

  • Making campfires and camping in the open. This is only permitted at sites marked for these purposes.
  • Hunting is allowed for local people in the area of their municipality of residence (Hunting Act, Section 8)
  • Fishing is allowed with Metsähallitus permit. Fishing with nets is prohibited in the area. Fishers need to check the restrictions on fishing sites at kalastusrajoitus.fi (In Finnish).

​forbidden:

  • Lighting campfires if the forest fire warning is in effect 
    • Making open fires is always prohibited at both marked campfire sites and when fires are permitted by the land owner if a forest fire warning has been issued for the area (ilmatieteenlaitos.fi).
    • This prohibition does not apply to cooking shelters or other fireplaces with a flue.
  • Pets running at large
  • Taking or damaging trees, bushes, other plants or their parts, or mushrooms other than edible ones 
  • Damaging soil or rock, and extraction of earth material or minerals 
  • Killing, catching or disturbing wild vertebrates, or damaging their nests 
  • Catching or collecting invertebrates 
  • Driving motor vehicles, except on roads designated for motor vehicles 
  • Leaving waste in the area, or damaging constructions

Preparations 

  • The Iivaara area is located in southern Kuusamo, where tourist services are scarce. 
  • It is advisable to check the availability of services beforehand e.g. on Kuusamo's official website (www.kuusamo.fi) or by contacting Kuusamo Info (www.ruka.fi). 
  • If you do not have access to a car, it is advisable to check bus timetables with Kuusamo Customer Service Karhuntassu or Matkahuolto (www.matkahuolto.fi). 
  • Plan your trip carefully beforehand and reserve plenty of time for transportation. 

Equipment and Safety

  • We recommend that you fill up drinking water bottles at service points. 
  • Be prepared for mosquitoes from midsummer to the end of August. The amount of mosquitoes varies significantly from year to year. 
  • In winter, hiking in deep snow and sub-zero temperatures is tough going. Study the map of the area carefully beforehand and be sure to carry a mobile phone with you in the wilderness at all times. 
  • If something happens during your hike – for example if you get lost, hurt yourself, or spot a wildfire – call 112 and explain the problem. Instructions on how to act in an emergency situation.
    • It is goof to have a First aid kit with you when you go hiking.

Mobile Phone Coverage

  • Although Finland has a broad network for mobile phones, there can be some areas in the nature reserve without signal. There may also be some smaller spots where there is interference. If this happens try to climb to a higher place or go into an open area. It may be worth removing the SIM card from your phone and then trying again to make emergency call. Different phones also differ in their coverage. 
  • We recommend that you keep your mobile phone warm at all times and take along food and drink. Certain phone models do not work when the temperature falls below zero. You should therefore let someone know your planned route. To keep your mobile phone charged, bring along a spare power source, a spare battery or an old phone with a working battery.

Peak Seasons

  • Winter usually starts in mid-October and snow remains until mid-May. On the hilltops the snow melts earlier, but it is not uncommon to find some snow lingering in hollows until June. 
  • The autumn colours usually start to emerge in mid-September. 
  • Iivaara is never truly crowded, but autumn colours make the autumn the most popular time for visiting.

Emergency number 112

In case of an emergency along the way, for example if you get lost or injured or see a forest fire, dial 112. Detailed instructions.

Dogs must be kept on a leash! Photo: Seppo Leinonen

Dogs must be kept on a leash!