There are about 50 km of marked trails in Ruunaa Hiking Area. The terrain is mostly quite easy. The trails are connected via Karhupolku Trail to a larger hiking trail network called Karjalan Kierros. The main trails in the Hiking Area are marked in yellow, and the nature trail and the side trails going to the fishing spots are marked in blue. Karhunpolku Trail which is part of Karjalan Kierros hiking trail network is marked in orange. The beautiful waters and scenery of the fishing trails attract visitors to choose a slightly slower route. The trails are marked on the Ruunaa outdoor map.

The Korpiniemi lean-to-shelter. Photo: Heikki Räsänen

The trails of the Ruunaa Hiking Area have been graded according to the Finnish system of classification of outdoor recreation routes. The demand levels of the area's routes can be found on this page in the trail descriptions. The symbols describing the demand levels of the routes are also used on the trail signposts and on information boards at the starting points of the Ruunaa Hiking Area. The trails of this area are mainly easy or medium demand level. Because they slow down the pace, crossing by boat at Airovirta, Vastuuniemi and Naukuniemi makes some of the short route sections demanding, as do the steep slopes of Huuhkajanvaara Hill. All the trails are signposted and marked in the terrain.

Starting Points for Trails

Närelenkki Nature Trail 2 km, Neitijärven kierros Trail, 22 km, and Koskikierros 31 km, start from the parking area of Neitikoski. In clockwise direction, the long trails start from the gravel road which turns just before Neitikoski parking area, and anticlockwise, along the Neitikoski road past the Hiking Centre.

  • You can also start Neitijärven kierros Trail from the parking areas on the eastern and western side of Haapavitja or Lake Neitijärvi.
  • You can also start Koskikierros Trail from the parking areas on the eastern and western side of Haapavitja, Lake Neitijärvi or Siikakoski.
  • The short circular trails of Siikakoski, 3 km and 5 km, and the circular trail of Vastuuniemi, 9 km, start from Siikakoski parking area, where you can also start Koskikierros Trail.
  • Directions to the parking areas.

 

Easy Trails

 

The Accessible Neitikoski Trail, 600 m/each way

A demanding wheelchair route Hiking Fishing Sightseeing Campfire place Cooking shelter Toilet for the disabled Recycling Parking

When there is no snow on the ground, travel time 1h
Category: an easy trail Easy trail, a demanding wheelchair trail Demanding wheelchair trail

See the Neitikoski Rapids up close! Easy access on foot and for wheelchairs, prams or pushchairs.

The accessible Neitikoski trail is suitable for everyone. Photo: Heikki Räsänen

Starting Point
Neitikoski parking area (Pdf 4,9 Mb, julkaisut.metsa.fi)

Coordinates: Euref-Fin (~ WGS84) lat: 63° 23.2830' lon: 30° 27.5521' ETRS-TM35FIN: N: 7033492 E: 672825

Hiking Structures
Two campfire sites, two viewing platforms, fishing possibilities even for wheelchair users, and a roofed campfire site, an accessible dry toilet and a recycling point by the parking area. Please bring your own toilet paper.

Sights
The old log floating dam made of stone and the stopper wave at the Neitikoski rapids. 

Route Description
Route markings: yellow paint

Summer has arrived to he accessible Neitikoski trail is suitable for everyone. Photo: Heikki Räsänen

Närelenkki Trail, 2 km Circle Trail

Access to nature trail Campfire place Cooking shelter Toilet for the disabled Recycling Parking

When there is no snow on the ground, travel time 1h
Category: Easy trail Easy trail

Bring the whole family to explore nature at Ruunaa, along the Verkkopuro river. 

The Närelenkki trail takes hikers through varied scenery. Photo: Heikki Räsänen

Starting Point
Neitikoski parking area (Pdf 4,9 Mb, julkaisut.metsa.fi)

Coordinates: Euref-Fin (~ WGS84) lat: 63° 23.2830' lon: 30° 27.5521' ETRS-TM35FIN: N: 7033492 E: 672825

There are magnificent anthills along the nature trail. Photo: Heikki Räsänen

Hiking Structures
A campfire site, dry toilet and recycling point by the Neitikoski parking area. The diverse services of the Ruunaa Hiking Centre (www.ruunaa.fi).

Route Description
Route markings: blue paint
Recommended direction of travel: clockwise

Närelenkki Trail, 2 km, covers the quite easy terrain of Verkkopuro and Miikkulankangas. On this trail you can learn about the traditions of log floating.

Connecting Routes
It is connected to Koskikierros Trail and Karhunpolku Trail.

Intermediate trails

 

The short trails of Siikakoski, 3 km and 5 km Circle trails

Hiking Sightseeing Fishing Campfire place Lean-to shelter Dry toilet  Recycling Parking

When there is no snow on the ground, travel time Siika - Murrookoski (5 km) 2h ja Siikakoski (3 km) 1h
Category: Intermediate trail Medium level trail

Tour of one or two rapids along the banks of the Lieksanjoki river. Along the way, you can admire the flowing waters, for instance from the Siikakoski suspension bridge.

Fishermen at the Siikakoski rapids. Photo: Heikki Räsänen

Starting Point
Trails start from Siikakoski parking area (Pdf 4,9 Mb, julkaisut.metsa.fi).

Coordinates: Euref-Fin (~ WGS84) lat: 63° 20.3045' lon: 30° 27.4282' ETRS-TM35FIN: N: 7027961 E: 673020

Hiking Structures
Siikakoski lean-to shelter 1 km from the starting point and Uittopato campfire site 0,3 km from the lean-to shelter (both trails). Murrookoski lean-to shelter 0,8 km from Uittopato campfire site and Niskalahti campfire site 0,8 km from Murrookoski lean-to shelter (only along the longer trail). There is a campfire site, a dry toilet and a recycling point at the parking area of Siikakoski. Please bring your own toilet paper.

Sights
Siikakoski suspension bridge near the trail about 0,8 km from the starting point. Murrookoski Rapids (only along the longer trail) about 1,3 km from the starting point.

Siikakoski suspension bridge. Photo: Heikki Räsänen

Route Description
Route markings: yellow circles
Recommended direction of travel: anticlockwise

The short 3 km and 5 km trails at Siikakoski are both easy for most of the way. The trails are suitable for family outings regardless of the small differences in altitude and short rocky sections where tree roots cover the path. In the beginning, the trails follow the bank of Lieksanjoki River near Siikakoski Rapids, and then they go into pine forests and open mires. The mire sections have duckboards. 

Connecting Routes
These trails are connected to Koskikierros Trail and Karhunpolku Trail.

Demanding trails

 

Vastuuniemen kierros Trail, 9 km Circle trail

Hiking Sightseeing Fishing Campfire place Lean-to shelter Dry toilet  Suspension bridge Crossing boat Recycling Parking

When there is no snow on the ground. Hiking this trail takes 3 - 5 hours, depending on the choice of route, and the walking pace and fitness of the hiker. 
CategoryDemanding trail demanding trail

This challenging trail on both banks of the Lieksanjoki river in the southern part of the hiking area will improve your fitness. 

The trail crosses the Lieksanjoki river by rowing boat at the north end of Lake Murroojärvi. Photo: Heikki Räsänen

Starting Point
Siikakoski parking area (Pdf 4,9 Mb, julkaisut.metsa.fi).

Coordinates: Euref-Fin (~ WGS84) lat: 63° 20.3045' lon: 30° 27.4282' ETRS-TM35FIN: N: 7027961 E: 673020

Hiking Structures
There are 5 lean-to shelters and 5 campfire sites. Their locations are marked on the map. There is a recycling point and a dry toilet at Siikakoski parking area. There is a dry toilet close to all lean-to-shelters and campfire sites. Please bring your own toilet paper.

Sights
Siikakoski suspension bridge near the trail about 0,8 km from the starting point. Murrookoski Rapids about 1,3 km from the starting point.

Kattilakoskenkangas. Photo: Heikki RäsänenRoute Description
Route markings: yellow circles
Recommended direction of travel: anticlockwise

Vastuuniemen kierros Trail, 9 km, mostly covers quite easy terrain. The mire sections have duckboards.

Please Note
The trail crosses the Lieksanjoki river along a suspension bridge by the Siikakoski rapids and by rowing boat at the north end of Lake Murroojärvi.

Connecting Routes
These trails are connected to Koskikierros Trail and Karhunpolku Trail.

Neitijärven kierros Trail, 22 km Circle trail

Hiking Sightseeing Fishing Observation tower Campfire place Lean-to shelter Toilet for the disabled Dry toilet  Suspension bridge Crossing boat Recycling Parking

When there is no snow on the ground. It will take all day to hike this trail.
Category: Demanding trail demanding trail

Conquer the highest point of the hiking area by climbing to the top of Huuhkajanvaara hill, and enjoy the view over the lands and waters!

View over Lake Neitijärvi. Photo: Heikki Räsänen

Starting Point
Trail starts clockwise from the gravel road which turns off just before Neitikoski parking area (Pdf 4,9 Mb, julkaisut.metsa.fi).

Coordinates: Euref-Fin (~ WGS84) lat: 63° 23.2830' lon: 30° 27.5521' ETRS-TM35FIN: N: 7033492 E: 672825 

Hiking Structures
There are 4 lean-to shelters and 5 campfire sites. Their locations are marked on the map. Fishing at Haapavitja Rapids. Recycling points by the parking areas of Neitikoski and Haapavitja, and dry toilets by all lean-to-shelters, campfire sites and parking areas. Please bring your own toilet paper. The diverse services of the Ruunaa Hiking Centre (www.ruunaa.fi).  

Sights
The suspension bridge over Haapavitja, the great scenery from the lookout tower of Huuhkajanvaara Hill, and Neitikoski Rapids.

The Haapavitja suspension bridge takes you over the rapids. Photo: Heikki Räsänen

Route Description
Route markings: yellow circles
Recommended direction of travel: clockwise

Neitijärven kierros Trail, 22 km, mostly covers quite easy terrain. The steep slopes of Huuhkajanvaara hill make short sections of the trail very challenging and will slow you down. Dry pine forests, shady spruce bogs and open mires alternate in the landscape. The mire sections have duckboards.

Please Note
The ascent to Huuhkajanvaara Hill to the scenic lookout tower is steep and rocky. At Haapavitja, Lieksanjoki River is crossed on a small suspension bridge, and at Airovirta by a row boat.  

From the parking area of Neitikoski, there is a 600-metres-long plank trail which is accessible by baby pram and wheelchair and takes you to the edge of Neitikoski. There is a dry toilet suitable for the disabled at the parking area.

Connecting Routes
These trails are connected to Koskikierros Trail and Karhunpolku Trail.

Koskikierros Circle Trail, 31 km

Hiking Sightseeing Fishing Observation tower Campfire place Lean-to shelter Toilet for the disabled Dry toilet  Suspension bridge Recycling Parking

When there is no snow on the ground. You should reserve at least one whole day, preferably two, to hike Koskikierros Trail.
Category: Demanding trail demanding trail

Explore Ruunaa on this circular tour of the hiking area, featuring two bridges. See and experience the varied natural surroundings in Ruunaa.

Suspension bridge of Haapavitja. Photo: Heikki Räsänen

Starting Points
Trails starting point is at Neitikoski parking area (Pdf 4,9 Mb, julkaisut.metsa.fi). Other good places to get onto the trail are the parking areas at Siikakoskentie road, Lake Neitijärvi and on the east and west sides of Haapavitja Rapids. 

Coordinates of the Neitikoski parking area : Euref-Fin (~ WGS84) lat: 63° 23.2830' lon: 30° 27.5521' ETRS-TM35FIN: N: 7033492 E: 672825

Coordinates of the Siikakoski parking area : Euref-Fin (~ WGS84) lat: 63° 20.3045' lon: 30° 27.4282' ETRS-TM35FIN: N: 7027961 E: 673020

Hiking Structures
There are 8 lean-to shelters and 7 campfire sites along the trail. Their locations can be found on the area's map. Fishing is possible at the following rapids: Haapavitja, Neitikoski, Murrookoski and Siikakoski. Ruunaa Hiking Area recycling points are located at the Haapavitja (eastern side of the river), Neitikoski and Siikakoski parking areas, and dry toilets by all lean-to-shelters, campfire sites and parking areasPlease bring your own toilet paper. The diverse services of the Ruunaa Hiking Centre (www.ruunaa.fi) at Neitikoski. 

Sights
The hanging bridge which crosses Haapavitja Rapids, Huuhkajavaara nature observation tower, Murrookoski and Siikakoski Rapids, the hanging bridge which crosses Siikakoski Rapids, Neitikoski Rapids. Fishing in the area's rapids is a unique experience.

Route Description
Route markings: yellow circles

Signage at Ruunaa. Photo: Heikki Räsänen

Koskikierros Circle Trail, 31 km, leads hikers past roaring rapids. The trail leads through easy to cross terrain. There are duckboards on the mire portions of the trail.

Please Note
There are bridges across streams along the trail. There are hanging bridges across Haapavitja and Siikakoski Rapids. The ascent to the Huukajavaara nature observation tower is steep and rocky. 
The length of the trail can be cut in half, if you have the possibility of crossing the river by boat at Kattilaniemi or Vastuuniemi. 

Connecting Routes
From this trail you can get onto Karhunpolku Trail (www.vaellus.info, in Finnish) which leads to Patvinsuo National Park. 

 

Hiking Trails

 

Karhunpolku Trail, 133 km

The Town of Lieksa (www.lieksa.fi, in Finnish) is responsible for managing the trail, except in the Ruunaa Hiking Area, Ruunaa Nature Reserve and Patvinsuo National Park, which are run by Metsähallitus.

Route markings: yellow circles.

The regional 133 km hiking trail Karhunpolku (www.vaellus.info), runs through the Ruunaa Hiking Area and the western part of the Ruunaa Nature Reserve (21 km) from the border of Lieksa and Kuhmo to the Patvinsuo National Park.

Maps
Maps of Karjalan Kierros can be obtained, for example, from Karelia Expert Tourist Service (www.visitkarelia.fi).

Connecting Routes
Karhunpolku Trail is part of Karjalan Kierros (www.vaellus.info, in Finnish) hiking trail network.  

Cross-country Skiing Trails, 30 km

Ski cross-country on maintained trails Sightseeing Campfire place Lean-to shelter Dry toilet  Recycling Parking

Ruunaan Matkailu maintains about 30 km of skiing trails in Siikakoski - Murrookoski area. Metsähallitus makes skiing trails at Neitikoski beginning in the winter holiday season in February, but these trails are not regularly maintained. 

The hiking area offers a pleasant setting for skiing trips, for example, along Lieksanjoki River.

Skiers at Ruunaa. Photo: Heikki Räsänen

Starting Points
Ruunaa Hiking Centre, Ruunaan Matkailu in Munkinvaara and Siikakoski parking area (Pdf 4,9 Mb, julkaisut.metsa.fi) are good places to start from. 

Coordinates of the Neitikoski parking area : Euref-Fin (~ WGS84) lat: 63° 23.2830' lon: 30° 27.5521' ETRS-TM35FIN: N: 7033492 E: 672825

Coordinates of the Siikakoski parking area : Euref-Fin (~ WGS84) lat: 63° 20.3045' lon: 30° 27.4282' ETRS-TM35FIN: N: 7027961 E: 673020

Frosty days by Siikakoski. Photo: Heikki Räsänen

Please Note
Parts of the trails go on the ice. Skiers should bear in mind that flowing water makes the ice more fragile, and that currents can move to different places in the winter. On the snowmobile track on Koskireitti Trail, skiing is not allowed for safety reasons. Ruunaan Matkailu and Pielisen Latu organise a skiing trip in February - March along different skiing trails which follow Lieksanjoki River.

Map
Ruunaa Ski Trail Map (pdf-file, 510 kB, in Finnish).

Canoeing Routes

Canoeing Campfire place Lean-to shelter Dry toilet  Recycling Parking

Lieksanjoki River is an excellent destination for rapids shooting as well as flat water paddling. The rapids belong to class II - III according to Finnish Canoe Federation.

Freestyle canoeing. Photo: Heikki Räsänen

Different sections of the river, rapids and lakes provide alternative routes for canoeists with different levels of experience. The services along each route can be seen on the map of the Hiking Area.

Canoeing on the Neitijoki River. Photo: Juha Virekoski

For those interested in rapids shooting, especially Neitikoski with its steep drop is an ideal place for practice and competitions. Various canoeing events are organised at Neitikoski every year.

It is also possible to explore the area by boat. Boats and canoes can be rented from local enterprises. Guided canoeing trips are also organised in the area. More information from Koli Nature Centre Ukko, or from Karelia Expert Tourist Service (www.visitkarelia.fi).

Snowmobile Tracks, 30 km

Snowmobiling Campfire place Lean-to shelter Dry toilet   

A snowmobile route maintained by the North Karelia Association for Recreational Trails circles  the Ruunaa Hiking Area (www.retkikartta.fi).

Snowmobiles on the Ruunaa route. Photo: Heikki Räsänen

The route crosses the Lieksanjoki river along the Siikakoski and Haapavitja suspension bridges and connects to the national route passing through the southern part of the hiking area via the Siikakoski suspension bridge. Snowmobiling on the routes is subject to the permission of the North Karelia Association for Recreational Trails. More information from the local snowmobiling association "Pohjois-Karjalan virkistysreitistö ry" (www.pohjoiskarjalankelkkaurat.fi, in Finnish), from Koli Nature Centre Ukko, or from Karelia Expert Tourist Service (www.visitkarelia.fi).

Customer Service

Tel. int. +358 206 39 5654
ukko(at)metsa.fi
 
Ruunaa Hiking Centre (Ruunaan retkeilykeskus, www.ruunaa.fi)
Tel +358 13 533170, +358 40 579 5684
info(at)ruunaa.fi

Services Offered by Partners in Ruunaa Hiking Area

Partners operating in Ruunaa provide accommodation, food and catering and conference services, programme and hiking services and equipment rental and sales.

Parking Areas

Neitikoski

  • Neitikoskentie (parking area at the end of the road), Lieksa

The western side of Haapavitja

  • Paasikoskentie (by the road, about 2.4 km from the Neitikoski parking area), Lieksa

Siikakoski

  • Siikakoskentie (parking area at the end of the road), Lieksa

Neitijärvi

  • Neitijärventie (parking area at the end of the road), Lieksa​

The eastern side of Haapavitja

  • Haapavitjantie (parking area at the end of the road), Lieksa

More precise parking area addresses are not available. Parking area addresses are in Finnish to be used in navigators.

The Neitikoski and Siikakoski parking areas are available in winter, but there may be delays in snow clearance.

Destination Brochure

Pdf-file 4,9 Mb  (julkaisut.metsa.fi)