You can set off on this section of the trail either from Oulanka Visitor Centre or from Oulanka Camping Ground. The camping ground is 1.5 km north of the visitor centre. The most demanding portion of this section is from Päähkänäkallio Cliffs to the bank of the River Kitkajoki. From the River Kitkajoki the trail continues along the route of the Pieni karhunkierros Trail to the village of Juuma. Pieni karhunkierros Trail is classified as a demanding hiking trail. The section is approximately a 2-day-hike, but if you walk continuously without stopping to rest it should be about an 8 to 9 hour walk.

Flooding Kiutaköngäs rapids. Photo: Hannu Hautala

The beginning of the section from Oulanka Visitor Centre to Kiutaköngäs Rapids is quite demanding. After this the trail is less demanding and passes through forest. This forest terrain continues up to Jussinkämppä open wilderness hut. After Kiutaköngäs Rapids the trail enters dry pine forest and then descends to a brook nestled in herb-rich forest and from there along the bank of the River Oulankajoki to the new Ansakämppä open wilderness hut. From the wilderness hut the trail heads towards the Kitkanniemi area and to the next open wilderness hut Jussinkämppä.

The final part of the trail is the most demanding. After passing Jussinkämppä the trail descends the steep slope of Päähkänäkallio Cliff and then follows the rocky bank of the River Kitkajoki to the village of Juuma.

Koivumutka in Kitkajoki. Photo: Hannu HautalaUnder Päähkänäkallio Cliff the trail connects to Pieni karhunkierros Trail. Hikers can choose whether they want to travel Pieni karhunkierros clockwise or counter-clockwise. If you choose to go counter-clockwise the structures and sights on the trail are the Myllykoski and Niskakoski hanging bridges, the Kallioportti lookout point and Myllykoski day trip hut. If you choose to go clockwise you will pass by a magnificent waterfall at Jyrävä, Siilastupa open wilderness hut and the hanging bridges at Harrisuvanto and Niskakoski. Both route options lead to the village of Juuma.

Waste Management

There are recycling points at Ylikota in Päähkänä, near Kitkajoki river and in Juuma at Pieni Karhunkierros between Myllykoski and Aallokkokoski. Visitors can sort metal, glass, plastic and paper at these points as well as throw away hazardous waste (batteries).

Canoe Route

6 km of the section can be travelled by canoe. You can set off from the boat launch place right below Kiutaköngäs Rapids and paddle to the spot where the old Ansakämppä wilderness hut used to stand. After this the canoe route from Oulanka Visitor Centre to Jäkälämutka does not follow Karhunkierros hiking trail. More about Oulanka's canoe routes.

Winter Trail

During winter part of Karhunkierros Trail is transformed into a maintained trail for skiing or showshoe walking. The trail is called a wilderness trail. It is maintained from the middle of February to the end of April if weather conditions allow for it. Read more about the Oulanka wilderness trail.

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