Instructions on Exploring Koli National Park

In the National Park, the following are

allowed:

  • walking, skiing, rowing and canoeing, except in the restricted areas
  • picking berries and mushrooms
  • hook and line fishing and ice fishing are allowed under everyman's rights, except where specific restrictions apply

restricted:

  • Lighting campfire and camping are only allowed at sites marked for this purpose
  • Parking cars, which is only allowed in designated areas
  • Cycling is allowed only on routes marked for this purpose
  • Snowboarding and downhill skiing, which are forbidden on the natural slopes at the most important lookout points (Ukko-Koli, Akka-Koli and Paha-Koli). This is to conserve nature and to protect the safety of our guests.
  • Fishing:
  • Hunting to fend off animals considered as harmful, is allowed only with the permission of Metsähallitus.

forbidden:

  • lighting campfires if the forest fire warning is in effect
  • 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
  • In addition, landing at and entering some of the islands is forbidden 15.5. - 15.7. to protect nesting birds.

Preparations

Mobile Phone Coverage

  • Although Finland has a broad network for mobile phones, there are some areas in the park 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.

Equipment

  • For longer treks we recommend that you take a large bottle of water as lake and flowing water may be scare in dry seasons or it could get soiled by animals or bacteria. Water taken from lakes or rivers should be boiled before drinking it.
  • Before starting on the Herajärvi trail, it is recommended that visitors ensure that they can cross the Sikosalmi strait on a hand-pulled raft and the Herajoki River using a wading cable. More information from Koli Nature Centre Ukko.
  • The seasons are in sharp contrast to on another. The summer is hot and begins most years already in May. Autumns can be crisp, when warm clothes and good shoes are essential or rainy, when rain gear is needed. Winter usually begins in November. It is very cold and there is much snow. The snow banks melt in April and trails are still wet in May.
  • To get to some tourist sights in the National Park, you will need specialised equipment.
    • When visiting caves for example, you will need torches and stable shoes.
    • Long hiking trails: a large bottle of water and good shoes

Safety

  • There can be large differences in altitude within the National Park. Cliffs and trails can be especially slippery after rain, when they are frozen and when the snows melt. To avoid slipping, special caution is required on the steep slopes.
  • When in the middle of a thunder storm it is best to not climb to the tops of hill as there is a danger of getting hit by lighting in high open places.
  • When a lot of snow has fallen, the trees at tops of the Ukko-Koli and Mäkrävaara hills may cause dangerous situations when their branches break under the strain of the snow.
  • 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.
  • Hiking in Finland:

Peak Seasons

  • The summer peak season begins at Mid-Summer at the end of June and ends at the start of the school-year in mid-August. The Ruska season, when leaves change color is around 20.9 to 10.10. Ski season begins in mid-February and continues into April. School camps come to the area in May.
  • The most popular tourist destination in Koli National Park is Ukko-Koli Hill, which has the best lookout points and where Nature Centre Ukko, Hotel Koli and the ski slopes are located.

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!