Beautiful esker ridges and boreal forest
Kylmäluoma Hiking Area is in the Northern Boreal Forest biome. The landscape is dominated by forested, narrow, steep-sloped, high ridges moulded by waters when the Ice Age ended. The rest of the terrain is uneven as the Ice Age left many depressions in the ground. The Hukanharju, Kylmäluomanharju and Sarvenharju ridges are part of a larger esker chain, which stretches from Perämeri - the north part of the Gulf of Bothnia - across Finland into Russia.
The wild ridges and lakes and varying mosaic nature of Kylmäluoma Hiking Area are the most valuable features there and draw the most visitors to the area. Due to its secluded location the area is peaceful and wilderness-like, but it is also easily accessible along main roads.
One of the best scenic spots is near the Kylmäluoma Outdoor Centre (www.hossa-kylmaluoma.fi), where the Hukanharju and Kylmäluomanharju Ridges cross.
Remote, clearwater lakes
There are 90 lakes of varying sizes in Kylmäluoma Hiking Area, most of which were formed in depressions left by receeding glaciers at the end of the last Ice Age.
These lakes are clear, deep and have few nutrients. Fish that naturally inhabit these waters are the Brown Trout (Salmo trutta), the Whitefish (Goregonus lavaretus), the Ide (Leuciscus idus), the Roach (Rutilus rutilus), the Vendace (Coregonus albula), the Burbot (Lota lota), the Pike (Esox lucius) and the Perch (Perca fluviatilis). Though the lakes are bare of vegetation, they are rich in fish and attract birds such as the European goldeneye (Bucephala clangula), the Osprey (Pandion haliaetus) the Red-Throated Diver (Gavia stellata) and the Black-throated Diver (Gavia arctica).
Pristine pine-dominated forests
Approximatly 15% (1100 hectares) of the hiking area is covered by northern old-growth forest. The forests are in the western section of the hiking area and several threatened and fragile species, which are dependant on sturdy pines, have their habitat there. Some polypores (fungi dependent on deadwood) found in the area are Skeletocutis lenis, Phlebia centrifuga, Amylocystis lapponica, Antrodia albobrunnea, Sceletocutis odora and Perenniporia subacida.
Valuable old-growth forests can also be found in the areas around Kylmäluomaharju and Lake Saarilampi. Metsähallitus established a protected area for old-growth forest at the top of Kylmäluomaharju Ridge in 1955.
The birds typically found in the forests of Kylmäluoma are the Western Capercaillie (Tetrao urogallus), the Hazel Grouse (Bonasa bonasia) and the Three-toed Woodpecker (Picoides tridactylus). The most significant of the threatened mammals found in the hiking area is the Lynx (Lynx lynx).
Stop by the flats of the aapa mire
Aapa mires, mixed mires, are the most dominant natural feature in Kylmäluoma Hiking Area. Approximately 15% (1100 hectares) of the hiking area is covered by aapa mires. Birds, which can be found in aapa mires, are the Whooper Swan (Cygnus cygnus), the Common Crane (Grus grus) and the Wood Sandpiper (Tringa glareola).
Finnish Wood Building of the Year 1996
The main building at the Kylmäluoma Outdoor Centre opened in 1994. The building houses the outdoor centres reception desk, information point and café/restaurant. When it was opened, the building was awarded with Puupalkinto, the wood building of the year -title.