Instructions on Exploring Ruijanpolku Trail

  • In the Sompio Strict Nature Reserve you are only allowed to move on the marked trails, i.e., you may not turn off from Ruijanpolku Trail.
  • When hiking on the Ruijanpolku Trail, you must follow the Sompio Strict Nature Reserve Rules and Regulations and the Urho Kekkonen National Park Regulations.
  • The use of motor-driven land vehicles and motorboats and the landing of aircraft are forbidden.
  • Picking berries and mushrooms is forbidden in the Sompio Strict Nature Reserve.
  • Making a fire is only allowed at the designated sites by sparingly using the firewood provided solely for this purpose. You may not make a campfire or a corresponding open fire in a forest or in the vicinity of a forest when there is an obvious risk of forest fire because of a drought, strong wind or other natural conditions. Lighting campfires is totally forbidden when there is a forest fire warning in effect.
  • In spring and early summer there may be flooding on the Ruijanpolku Trail where it meets the River Nalijoki, so you will need rubber boots for crossing the river. The Ruijanpolku Trail has been designed for summer hikes.
Markings on the trail. Photo: Kimmo Kuure


Preparations

Careful planning and obtaining information on the local conditions will enable you to enjoy the wonders of nature in the best way possible.

Mobile Phone Coverage

  • Although Finland has a broad network for mobile phones, there are some areas along the Ruijanpolku Trail 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

  • You can practise hiking on day trips. It is recommended that a person who has good wilderness skills participates on longer hikes.
  • Remember to inform your friends, close relatives, your place of accommodation or the Urho Kekkonen National Park's customer service points about yourself, your schedule and your route plans. Also inform them, as far as possible, of any changes to your route and schedule. Write your name in the guestbooks at huts and lean-to shelters, as that facilitates the helpers' work in an emergency. The area's rescue service has been statutorily organised and it can be reached via the Emergency Response Centre (ERC). Remember to inform others of your arrival at the destination in order to avoid any unnecessary search alarms. The rescue service will invoice for all unnecessary searches. Remember that the telephone number you must first use in an emergency is 112.
  • 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 winter is demanding. In midwinter the weather and light conditions are difficult, as it may be -40 C and there are only a few hours of daylight during the polar night. Windy conditions significantly increase the bitterness of the cold weather.
  • Avoid hiking alone. In an emergency a fellow hiker is indispensable.
  • Late winter is a popular time for hiking, but you must have proper gear at that time as well. Do not go on the Ruijanpolku Trail with the usual cross-country skis!
  • Hiking in Finland:

Equipment

  • Take the different seasons into account when considering equipment and provisions.
  • The most important pieces of equipment on a hike are a sheath knife, matches, a map and a compass. You should take them with you even on the shortest day trips in addition to packed meals and drinks. More information on equipment and hiking can be found in hiking books and on the Hiking in Finland webpages.
  • Make sure you pack a first-aid kit.
  • Take the food preparation equipment and your personal cutlery with you.
  • There is a saw and an axe at the lean-to shelters and the campfire sites. However, it is advisable particularly for winter hikers to take their own saw and axe with them. There may be spare saw blades by the wall of the woodshed.
  • On the Ruijanpolku Trail you will manage with hiking boots, but in early summer and during rainy periods it is advisable to bring rubber boots with you, too.
  • Always be an environmentally friendly hiker.

Peak Seasons

  • Summer and the period of autumn colours are popular times for hiking on the Ruijanpolku Trail. The period of autumn colours usually takes place in the early part of September.

A Considerate Hiker

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!