Metsähallitus is closing the open wilderness huts and day huts in the national parks of Northern Ostrobothnia and Kainuu and in other popular hiking destinations managed by Metsähallitus in order to prevent the spread of coronavirus. The maintenance of winter routes in national parks has also been terminated for the rest of this winter.
Open wilderness huts and day huts are now closed in areas such as Rokua, Syöte, Oulanka, Valtavaara conservation area, and the National Parks at Riisitunturi and Hossa.
The buildings will be locked and a notice explaining the prohibition of use will be attached to the door. Notifications will also be placed at the starting points of routes and other central places. Information on closed sites will be updated on the sites of Metsähallitus' nationalparks.fi website.
Winter routes in national parks also closed
The ski tracks in Pudasjärvi, Syöte National Park are no longer being maintained. Likewise, winter maintenance has also been terminated for the National Park’s winter hiking trails, which are used for recreational pastimes such as cycling, snowshoeing and wilderness skiing. The maintenance of the Syöte National Park wilderness route has also been terminated for the rest of the winter.
The Syöte track pool will continue to maintain the tracks in the core tourist areas in Syöte. More information on services in the Syöte tourism area: https://syote.fi. The Rokua trail pool will also maintain its area’s network of ski tracks as well as the area’s multi-purpose track.
The wilderness trail in the Oulanka National Park in Kuusamo has been closed, and the maintenance of ski tracks and multi-purpose tracks in Hossa National Park in Suomussalmi has been terminated for the rest of the winter.
In most areas, the Metsähallitus Nature Centres have already been closed for around a week. The privately-run Kahvila Korppi café at the Syöte Visitor Centre has remained open, but will be closing its doors until further notice on Thursday 26 March at 5 pm. The Metsähallitus Natural Heritage Services will continue to operate via telephone, social media and e-mail.
Everyone must follow the travel instructions and regulations issued by the Finnish Government and act accordingly. The most popular hiking destinations should be avoided, and you should not go too far from populated areas. It is also important to remember to follow when out in nature the same official instructions that apply for cities and built-up areas: a sufficient safety distance must be kept with fellow hikers, and good hygiene must be followed during breaks and when using toilets.
The up-to-date coronavirus instructions issued by Metsähallitus National Heritage Services can be viewed at https://www.nationalparks.fi/coronavirusguidelines.
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