Eastern Finland, North Karelia Region
Tapion taival Trail travels through backwoods near Finland's eastern border in the River Koitajoki area. The trail can be easily accessed from either Lakonkangas parking area or Hoikantie parking area. Lakonkangas parking area is located on the edge of the border zone. At Polvikoski rental cabin the halfway point of Tapion taival Trail another trail to Lake Virmajärvi turns off it. This is where the most eastern point of continental EU is located. In other places without a permit entering the border zone is forbidden.
The southern portion of Tapion taival Trail leads through Ruosmesuo - Hanhisuo Mire Reserve and its northern portion travels through the beautiful landscape of Koivusuo Strict Nature Reserve. For almost half its distance the trail follows the meandering River Koitajoki. The scenery along Tapion taival Trail includes over-river views, beautiful mires and old shield bark covered Scot's Pines which sway in the wind. The Area's peacefulness makes it an ideal habitat for forest animals. In addition to hikers there are also bears and wolves wandering in the area.
The peaceful environment, diverse landscape and interesting history of this backwoods region make the hiking trail a wonderful destination. Pirhuvaara Forest Ranger Estate is situated within the strict nature reserve right by the trail. Hikers can stay overnight for example at either Hanhikoski or Niemipuro open wilderness hut, which are both old loggers cabins. Services along the trail are concentrated along the southern section of the trail running from Polvikoski to Lakonkangas. The area within the strict nature reserve is being conserved as well as possible as a research area. This means that all activity within this area is more limited than in other parts of the area around the River Koitajoki. Hiking off of the marked trail in Koivusuo Strict Nature Reserve requires a permit. The undemanding Tapion taival can be hiked from spring through autumn when the ground is unfrozen.
This is the web page www.nationalparks.fi/tapiontaivaltrail