What can one do in Kaldoaivi Wilderness Area?
Walk on Marked Trails
There are three marked trails in the wilderness area, which are 60 - 100 km long. The large wilderness area offers excellent possibilities for independent trekking for an experienced hiker.
Go Canoeing and Rowing
A canoeing route begins from the Lake Iijärvi in the wilderness area, and then follows the River Näätämöjoki until the Barents Sea. The river is famous for its valuable fish. In the Finnish side of the border, it flows in the middle of the wilderness, and in the Norwegian side it will come closer to roads.
See the Sights and Scenery
Čuomasvárri Fell along the Sevettijärvi-Pulmanki Trail is worth climbing. On the top of Čuomasvárri Fell, during clear weather you can see the massive snowcapped fells shining on the Norwegian side, far in the north and west. The lushness of the valleys of the Rivers Pulmankijoki and Vetsikkojoki differ from the barrenness of the surroundings.
Ski Cross-country off Trails
In the snowy wilderness, you can ski wherever you like. The only marked trail, Sevettijärvi-Pulmanki, is marked with cross signs in red. The trail is wilderness-like: it is not maintained regularly. Therefore you will most likely be skiing in unbroken snow.
Hook-and line- fishing and ice fishing are allowed without a permit in the wilderness area, except on the rapids and currents of the waterways where the Salmon (Salmo salar) and the Whitefish (Goregonus lavaretus) live. For angling and other methods of fishing people who are 18-64 years old need to pay the fisheries management fee (www.eraluvat.fi).
Most of the brooks, rivers and lakes in the municipalities of Inari and Utsjoki are covered by the Metsähallitus Inari fishing area permit no 1564 (www.eraluvat.fi) and Utsjoki fishing area permit no 1574 (www.eraluvat.fi). For the River Näätämöjoki, you need the fishing permit no 1565. There are five fishing zones on the River Näätämöjoki, and the fishing season is 1.6- 31.8. The Koltta Sámi people living in the Koltta area have a special right to fish on the state-owned waters in their home district.
The permits can be bought from Ivalo Customer Service, from Siida - Northern Lapland Nature Centre or at Metsähallitus webstore (www.eraluvat.fi).
Fishers need to check the restrictions on fishing sites at kalastusrajoitus.fi (In Finnish).
The salmon parasite Gyrodactylus salaris has not yet spread to the valuable salmon rivers flowing to the Arctic Sea. Read more.
Kaldoaivi Wilderness Area belongs to four permit areas: in the north 1603 Kaldoaivi and 1604 Nuorgam, in the south 1605 Näätämö and 1607 Kaamanen. A limited number of small game permits a day are sold for these areas. Visitors to the wilderness area may also obtain these permits to hunt willow grouse, hare, small carnivores and water birds during the hunting season. The fell highland and the sandy hills where mountain birch forests grow around the large mires of Kaldoaivi area are especially favoures by hunters with gun dogs. Because reindeer herding is an important source of livelihood in the area, hunting with a hound is not allowed. There may be different restrictions in the area during different seasons due to reindeer herding work.
According to the Finnish writer and folk tradition collector Samuli Paulaharju (1965), the best places for catching the willow grouse have been in the middle of Kaldoaivi area, behind the Lake Iijärvi. Willow grouse hunting still is an important recreational activity and source of income for the local people. In the Northern Lapland, the local people know how to practise the old trap method in catching willow grouse. There are still a few professional hunters in Kaldoaivi. "The Bird of Life" is still the traditional dish in many families in the north.
The permanent residents of the municipalities of Enontekiö, Inari and Utsjoki have a free hunting right on the state owned lands in their municipality.
The small game permits can be obtained from Metsähallitus Customer Service in Ivalo and from Siida - Northern Lapland Nature Centre.
Go Berry and Mushroom Picking
A hiker who wants to add colour to the dry food supplies, or stock up the freezer with delicacies, can pick Cloudberries (Rubus chamaemorus) on the mires, or Lingonberries (Vaccinium vitis-idaea), Blueberries (Vaccinium myrtillus) and Crowberries (Empetrum nigrum) on the heaths. Picking berries and mushrooms is allowed everywhere in the wilderness area, and on the protected mires next to it.
There are hundreds of small lakes in the wilderness area, the waters of which are refreshing even in the midsummer.