Instructions on Exploring Itäraja Summer Hiking Route

Environmentally friendly hiking

  • Hiking causes the least harm and disturbance to nature when hikers stay on trails.
  • Hiking in Finland.

In Raate the Hiking Route follows also road Raatteentie. Photo: Heikki Susiluoma

Campfire Sites

  • Lighting campfires is only permitted in spots designated for this purpose.
  • When there is a forest fire warning in effect lighting fires is  permitted only at open wilderness huts in ovens or fireplaces which have a flue. Lighting campfires is completely forbidden at campfire sites when there is a forest fire warning in effect.

Within the border zone

  • The Itäraja Hiking Route trails at some points lead along the back boundary of the Finnish portion of the Finnish-Russian border zone. Entering the border zone is only permitted for those who have a separate permit.

Area specific instructions and rules

Fishing

Hook and line fishing and ice fishing are permitted as Everyman's Rights in the lakes along Itäraja summer hiking route, with the exceptions listed below. If you wish to lure fish you must have paid the fishing management fee (www.eraluvat.fi) as well as the local provincial lure fishing fee (www.mmm.fi).

Hunting

  • The Itäraja Hiking Route leads through hunting areas Suomussalmi 5604, Martinselkonen 5603 and Hossa 5602 (www.eräluvat.fi, in Finnish). Also, local residents have right to hunt freely.
  • When hiking in the area during autumn hikers must take the hunting season into consideration. A red or orange hat or jacket will discern hikers from their surroundings.

Preparations

Mobile Phone Coverage

  • Although Finland has a broad network for mobile phones, there are some areas along the hiking route 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.

Safety

  • The Itäraja Hiking Route's trails are marked in the terrain with paint symbols and signposts, but hikers should still have a map with them. Hikers can use a map to follow their progress and plan their route in advance as well as place themselves more quickly in the event of an emergency.
  • If you face an emergency on your hike, e.g. get lost, get injured or observe wildfire, call 112 and report an emergency. More information on how to act in an emergency.
  • Make sure you pack a first-aid kit.
  • There are bear photo spots in the Itäraja area maintained by local entrepreneurs. These bear feeding spots are, however, not located in the immediate vicinity of the Itäraja Hiking Route trails. Bears usually sense the presence of hikers from far away and flee.
  • Hiking in Finland:

Equipment

  • For most of the route's trails hiking boots are suitable footwear from June to September. During rainy times hikers should have rubber boots with them. The area's wettest spot have duckboards built across them.
  • Normal hiking clothing is suitable for travelling the trails, taking into consideration changes in weather.
  • From about mid-June through August there as gnats in the Kainuu region to the extent that some sort of mosquito repellent is a necessity.
  • The area's waters are normally safe to drink.
  • Before setting off on your hike, you should take into consideration what you pack, for example food. If you remove all wrapping and packages before you leave home, you will be left with less litter.
  • Hiking in Finland.

Seasons

  • Ruska season is at its peak around mid-September. Its exact time and the array of colours varies yearly.
  • The winter season - during which it is impossible to travel the trails on foot - begins around the beginning of November and ends around mid-May.

Peak Seasons

  • The Itäraja Hiking Route is peaceful and hardly ever crowded.

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!