Hiking Trails

There are about 122 km of marked trails in Syöte National Park. Trails are for day trips as well as for longer wanderings. In addition there are four Nature Trails which are 0,5 - 4 km long. The largest hiking trail network is in Syöte area, where trails have been marked with yellow paint marks on trees. With blue paint marked National Hiking Route, the UKK Trail also runs through the areas of Maaselkä and Syöte.

Note! During winter time snowshoes or skis are essential for moving around the national park due to the thik layer of snow. For equipment rental, see the enterprises in the area.

Starting Points for Trails

  • The Syöte Visitor Centre is the crossroads for the trails and the main starting point for the trails. From the visitor centre, you can set off for the Salojen siivekkäät (Wingbeats in the Wilderness) Nature Trail (0.5 km), the Naavaparta Trail (3 km), the Ahmankierros Trail (Wolverine's Circular Trail) (17 km), the Toraslammen kierros Trail (27 km) and the UKK Trail (34 km in the national park's territory).
  • You can also set off for the trails from the parking areas. They are located in Jaaskamo (the Toraslammen kierros Trail and the Ruuhensuo - Syöte Visitor Centre Trail), at Lomaoja (the Toraslammen kierros Trail and the UKK Trail), at Ruuhensuo (the Ruuhensuo - Syöte Visitor Centre Trail) and at Ukonvaara (the Rytivaaran kierros Trail, the UKK Trail). 
  • You can set off for the Kirkkopolku Trail (the Church Trail) from Sirniönkylä in Posio, from Huovisenkylä in Taivalkoski or from the Pyhitys forest road. 
  • The driving directions to the parking areas.

Nature Trails

  • Naavaparta trail (3km) The starting point for the trail is Syöte Visitor Centre. Naavaparta trail will lead hikers to the secrets of Syöte. Wide and gravelled trails runs all the way to the Annintupa Day Trip Hut. From Annintupa, the trail is more narrow winding through the depths of the forest back to the Visitor Centre.
    • Services: Annintupa Day Trip Hut
    • Sights: Animal figures along the way.
    • Suitability: for children and adults. The trail is also accessible with a pram to the Annintupa hut. 
  • Salojen Siivekkäät Nature Trail (Wingbeats in the Wilderness), 0,5 km, is a circular trail. It starts at the Visitor Centre leading through the old growth forest of the area. The nature trail reveals the lives of non-migratory birds, and their relationship to their environment and its other inhabitants. The trail is open all year round, and during summertime a pram and a wheelchair (with an assistant) can be used.
    • Services: A lean-to shelter.
    • Sights: A woodpecker's anvil and an eagle's nest with a wooden eagle sculpture.
    • Suitability: for children and adults, also accessible with a pushchair and by wheelchair, when accompanied by an assistant.
  • Vattukurun luontopolku (Vattukuru Ravine Nature Trail), 2,1 km, is a circular trail. Its starting point is at the Syöte – Taivalkoski road (no 862), about 3 km north of Syöte. There is a sign to Vattukuru at the roadside. On this trail you get information on the natural features of the area, especially about the old-growth forest and its plants and animals.
  • Services: There are a lot of stairs, especially where the trail descends to the lean-to shelter on the bottom of the ravine. There are duckboards at some sections of the path.
    • Sights: Vattukuru Ravine, and the diverse natural features of the forest in it. The ravine was formed around the end of Ice Age by the melting waters which burst out that way.
    • Suitability: for children and adults, not suitable for the disabled.
  • Huippupolku (Syöte Summit Trail) 1 km and Kellarilampi Nature Trail 0,9 km are located in the Iso-Syöte Hiking Area.

Circular Trails

Please note! Some duckboards along the Ahmankierros Trail (Wolverine's Circular Trail) and the Toraslammen kierros Trail are in poor condition. Please be careful.

  • Ahman kierros (Ahma's Circular Trail): Visitor Centre - Ahmavaara - Visitor Centre, 17 km
    • The trail starts at the Visitor Centre and continues along the Naavaparta trail 1,2 km to Annintupa Day Trip Hut. From there the trail continues via Koiratupa Day Trip Hut and Ahmatupa Hut towards Ahmavaara hill and it´s hilltop scenery. If you turn right at the crossroads of Ahmavaara, you will find the panorama tower of Ahmakallio. Otherwise turn left towards Ylpitupa Day Trip Hut and continue to Annintupa Day Trip Hut. From there take the Ansapolku nature trail back to the Visitor Centre.
    • Services: Syöte Visitor Centre, Annintupa Day Trip Hut, Koiratupa Day Trip Hut and Ahmatupa Open and Reservable Wilderness Hut.
    • Sights: nautre trails (Naavaparta trail, possibility to visit the Geological Nature Trail), near Ahmalampi pond there are remnants of the old meadow culture, such as a dam ditch and remains of the Ahmaoja logger's cabin.
    • Suitability: for people who have some hiking experience.
  • Toraslammen kierros (Lake Toraslampi Trail): Visitor Centre - Toraslampi - Pikku-Jaaskamo - Ahmavaara - Visitor Centre, 27 km
  • The trail separates from Ahma's Circular Trail to go to Toraslampi Open Wilderness Hut. The national UKK Hiking Trail towards north uses the same path.
    • Services: Toraslampi Open Wilderness Hut
    • Sights: At the southern end of Lake Toraslampi there are embankments which were built to store the water from melting snow in the spring inside Lake Toraslampi to make log floating easier in the brook.
    • Suitability: for people who have some hiking experience.
  • Rytivaaran kierros (Rytivaara Trail): Ukonvaara parking area - Rytivaara Crown tenant farm - Ukonvaara parking area, 10 km
  • The trail start´s from the Ukonvaara parking area about 18 km from Syötekylä village. At the beginning of the trail there is an information board and a 600 m connection path to the circular trail where it continues clockwise to the old smoke sauna and the dam. There's also fen meadows at Latolampi Pond and Latolampi barn. From Latolampi it is only half a kilometre to the Rytivaara Crown tenant farm, built in 1852. After the Rytivaara house the trail continues about 6 km back to the starting point.

Lake Latva-Kouvanjärvi is located close to the UKK Trail. Photo: Jorma Luhta

Other Trails

  • Ruuhensuo - Kaunislampi - Rytivaara Trail, 17 km, starts from the village of Ruuhensuo, and continues through the old-growth forest of Kaunislampi to Rytivaara Crown Forest Croft. From Rytivaara there is a connection path (4 km) to Ukonvaara forest road, where there is a parking area and an information board.
    • Services: Parking area and information boards on Ukonvaara forest road and Ruuhensuo local road. Kaunislampi Day Trip Hut (in Finnish). Open Wilderness Huts at Kumpu-Raatevaara, Raatetupa Hut (in Finnish). Rytitupa Reservable Hut at the Rytivaara Crown Forest Croft area.
    • Sights: The old-growth forest area at Lake Kaunislampi and the ravine lake. Rytivaara Crown Forest Croft and the traditional landscape on its grounds. Several hanging bogs and large treeless aapa mires, such as Vatisuo.
  • The national hiking route, UKK Trail, has a 34 km section inside Syöte National Park. The eastern branch of the trail comes into the park at the southern edge of Maaselkä area, and goes to Syöte Visitor Centre via the tourist centres of Pikku-Syöte and Iso-Syöte. From there it continues towards north, together with Ahmatupa Hut's Trail and Toraslampi Trail, and then to Jaaskamonvaara and Rytivaara. After that, it goes through the village of Kouva, and still in the National Park via Lomavaara and Suvantovaara to Posio. CAUTION, some of the duckboards in the north are in poor condition, please be careful!
  • Kirkkopolku (The Church Trail) goes through traditional agricultural landscapes. It starts from the village of Sirniö in Posio, and goes in the National Park through Salmitunturi Fell area for 30 km to end in the village of Huovinen in Taivalkoski. There are connections from this trail to the village of Loukusa, and via Vaara-Salminen to Pyhitys forest road.
    • Services: Vaara-Salminen Open Wilderness Hut (in Finnish) and a lean-to shelter at Salmitunturi Fell. There are a parking area and National Park information boards on Pyhitys forest road at Selkälehto. There are private tourist services in the villages of Sirniö and Loukusa. More information from the municipalities of Posio (www.posio.fi) and Taivalkoski (www.taivalkoski.fi, in Finnish).
    • Sights: In the National Park, close to the trail, are forests of Jylkynvaara and Karhuaho in Salmitunturi area, which are dominated by deciduous trees due to the slash-and-burn agriculture in the end of 1800s. The meadows on the shores of Lake Vaara-Salminen, with the ditches for controlling the water level, are a sample of the old meadow culture.

Canoe Routes

Through Syöte National Park runs River Pärjänjoki - a popular water activity and fishing destination. Pärjänjoki river is a smallish river and especially in low water a quite rocky one. In flood conditions the river flows fast but is still quite easy to run. Enterprises operating in the area offer guided canoe safaris and transportation for canoes.

  • River Pärjänjoki Canoe Route, 22 km
  • The route is suitable for those who already have some experience in canoeing and for beginners accompanied with more experienced canoeists.The rapids have been classified according to the international I-VI rapids classification as approved by the Finnish Canoe Federation: the rapids of river Pärjänjoki are classified as class I-II. The starting point of the route is by the Kuivakoski bridge, where you will find a small parking area and signposts to the route. The route ends at Harriranta by the bridge at Rytinki road (858). The river can be best explored by kayak or canoe.

Videos from Syöte National Park

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

Dogs must be kept on a leash!