Hiking trails

Starting Points for Trails

  • You may hike the Malla Trail from Kilpisjärvi to the Three Nations' Border Point (11 km) and return the same way. Another option is to travel onboard the M/S Malla from Kilpisjärvi to Koltalahti. From there you may walk to the Three Nations' Border Point (3 km) and continue along the Malla Trail (11 km) to Kilpisjärvi.
  • Trails on the map.

M/S Malla. Photo: Seija Olkkonen

Hiking Trails

  • Malla Trail (11 km) has its starting point at the parking area at the northern end of the village of Kilpisjärvi. The trail soon crosses the River Siilasjoki and rises steeply through a mountain birch forest. After a couple of kilometres, the mountain birch zone is left behind and the terrain turns into an easy-to-walk fell heath. The trail to the top of Pikku-Malla Fell diverges from the main trail after 2.5 km.

    The Malla Trail continues winding through the undulating fell landscape past small ponds. The trail becomes rockier and begins to ascend gently towards Iso-Malla Fell. Close to the Kitsiputous Falls, the terrain becomes even steeper, and you have to cross the only scree stone field on the trail. After the falls, the trail winds along the fell slope thick with willows in places, and gradually descends back to the heath.

    The small brooks towards the end of the trail are normally quite easy to cross, but in the flood season the crossing is more challenging. For the last few kilometres the trail follows a reindeer fence. Before Lake Kuohkimajärvi, the trail makes a winding descent in the birch forest. At Lake Kuohkimajärvi you may either turn to Kuohkimajärvi open and reservable wilderness hut, or continue another half a kilometre to the boundary mark. The Malla Trail is part of the Nordic Nordkalottleden Trail.
    • Services: There are information boards in Finnish, English, Northern Sámi and Norwegian at the starting point in the parking area. There are no hiking services in Malla Strict Nature Reserve. At Lake Kuohkimajärvi there is an open and reservable wilderness hut and a campfire site. M/S Malla operates to Koltalahti daily in the summer.

      The protected areas are adopting the principle of hiking without littering. Hikers are expected to bring their own litter back from their hike. The Malla parking area has a waste collection point for mixed waste.
    • Sights: Kitsiputous Falls, Pikku-Malla Fell, Three Nations' Border Point.
  • The Koltalahti - Three Nations' Border Point excursion (3 km) starts with a half-hour boat trip through the arctic Lake Kilpisjärvi. While onboard, you will have time to admire the beautiful view of the Tuipali and Paras Fells, and of Malla Strict Nature Reserve with the Kitsiputous Falls on the northern side.

    From Koltalahti - after the initial hillocky part - the trail continues as an easy, even trail towards the boundary mark. The trail follows the Swedish-Finnish border, now and then popping into the birch forest. The rest of the trail runs along the shore of Lake Kuohkimajärvi.
    • Services: There are no hiking services between Koltalahti and the Three Nations' Border Point.
    • Sights: Three Nations' Border Point.

On the trail from Koltalahti to Three Nations' Border Point. Photo: Seija Olkkonen

  • The trail to Pikku-Malla Fell (7 km) is a to-and-from route. First you stay on the Malla Trail that starts at the parking area. After a couple of kilometres, you will see a signpost by a large boulder pointing to the left - turn there. The trail ascends steadily, and only towards the end is there a steeper slope. On top of Pikku-Malla Fell you will have an amazing panoramic view to the south.
    • Services: There are no campfire sites or other hiking services on this route.

Other Trails

  • From the Three Nations' Border Point, you may also head for the large fells in Norway and Sweden. Paras Fell, with its pointed peak, is one of the most popular hiking destinations in Norway. By following the marked summer trail, you may walk to Goldahytta hut (www.ut.no, in Norwegian)(3 km) and continue to Gappohytta hut (www.ut.no, in Norwegian) at the foot of Paras Fell (14 km). From Gappohytta, you may continue hiking to Pältsastugan hut (www.svenskaturistforeningen.se) in Sweden (12 km) and from there to Koltalahti (14 km).
  • From Goldahytta, another option is to choose the trail passing Malla Strict Nature Reserve on the western side; this trail takes you to the Kilpisjärvi-Skibotn road, one kilometre from the Norwegian-Finnish border.

Skiing Trails

In springtime there is a maintained skiing trail (11 km) in Malla Strict Nature Reserve. There is also a marked skiing trail from Kilpisjärvi through Koltalahti to the Three Nations' Border Point (10 km). You can access the trails on the shore at Hotel Kilpis and Kilpisjärven retkeilykeskus, the local lodging and excursion centre, among other places. There are also other maintained skiing trails in the area, and a short lit trail.

Boating and Canoeing Routes

You may freely go boating on Lake Kilpisjärvi, but it is not wise to venture out onto the open lake in a rowing boat. The shallow shore waters are suitable for canoeing. Boats and canoes can be booked from the local entrepreneurs. More information at Kilpisjärvi Visitor Centre.

Snowmobile Trails and Tracks

Snowmobiling is not allowed in Malla Strict Nature Reserve. Starting from Kilpisjärvi, you may visit the Three Nations' Border Point by taking the Victoria Route. Snowmobiling along the Victoria Route is free. There is a fee for all other snowmobile tracks near Kilpisjärvi. More information (www.eraluvat.fi, in English) on snowmobile tracks and trail permits, the permits can be purchased at Kilpisjärvi Visitor Centre.

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

Dogs must be kept on a leash!