Instructions and Rules in Arctic Circle Hiking Area
The Arctic Circle Hiking Area is a nature destination in the wilderness, suitable for hiking all year round. The Southern Lapland nature is close to the city, providing easy access to the lush river islands, magnificent mires and old-growth forests. It is important to study matters dealing with the area in advance and prepare yourself properly for your trip by reading the instructions.
Picking Berries, Mushrooms and Wild Herbs
Other Rules and Instructions
Take a look at the Outdoor Etiquette.
Letting pets running at large is forbidden. Dogs and other pets are welcome, but only on a leash.
Moving around in the area and camping are allowed thanks to the Everyman's Rights (environment.fi).
Camping is recommended in the immediate vicinity of the rest spots and campfire sites that have been marked on the map and in the terrain. The campfire sites and huts have been listed on Services-page. All huts, lean-to shelters and campfire sites are available on the Excursionmap.fi website.
Lighting a fire is allowed at the maintained campfire sites that have been marked on the map and in the terrain. You are only allowed to use the firewood that has been reserved for the purpose. The person who lights a fire is always responsible for it.
The use of a portable camping stove is allowed in areas where hiking is allowed. During the wildfire warning, the use of hobo stoves is not allowed, as sparks may be created.
Lighting any campfires is strictly forhibited if the wildfire warning is in effect. Always check the current warnings (ilmatieteenlaitos.fi). This prohibition does not apply to cooking shelters or other fireplaces with a flue and a roof.
There are no waste-bins in the Arctic Circle Hiking Area. Take away everything you brought along. There are recycling points at Vikaköngäs and Vaattunkiköngäs, the trails' starting points.
Toilets in Vikaköngäs and Vaattunkiköngäs starting points are emptied with suction and therefore even biodegradable waste should not be placed in them. Biodegradable waste can be placed in other areas’ dry toilets.
Small amounts of clean paper and cardboard can be used as kindling in a campfire. Other waste, such as packages that contain aluminium foil or plastic, may not be burned in a fireplace, as they may form non-biodegradable waste and toxic gases.
Read more about Hiking without littering.
Fishing permits in the Vikaköngäs Area (permit area 2565) can be purchased at Metsähallitus online shop (eraluvat.fi) or at Pilke House Customer Service Point. 24h and 3h permits are available. For instructions, go to Metsähallitus online shop (eraluvat.fi).
Fishers need to check the restrictions on fishing sites at kalastusrajoitus.fi (In Finnish).
Picking berries and edible mushrooms is allowed. Taking or damaging trees, bushes, other plants or their parts, or mushrooms other than edible ones is forbidden.
Research activities, organised events and the shooting of films or advertisements in the terrain always require a permit from Metsähallitus. Additional information: permits for research and getting around in nature (metsa.fi), a well as the permits and notifications regarding events (metsa.fi).
The use of the trails and structures of the Arctic Circle Hiking Area for business activities is always subject to a fee, and for frequent business use, a contract with Metsähallitus (metsa.fi) is required. The right of use fees for specific days are paid at the Eräluvat webshop (eraluvat.fi).
Hunting is restricted in the Arctic Circle Hiking Area (Vikaköngäs and Vaattunkivaara, Vaattunkiköngäs and Könkäänsaari). Restrictions on a map: Excursionmap.fi.
- Driving motor vehicles, except on roads designated for motor vehicles.
- Leaving waste in the area, or damaging structures.
- Taking or damaging trees, bushes, other plants or their parts
- Activities that disturb other people.
Arctic Circle Hiking Area is most visited during summertime and when there is little snow. Some of the most popular destinations in the area are the Vaattunkiköngäs Islands and the Vikaköngäs area.
Get to know the destination before your visit. Staying on the trail and following weather forecasts and warnings (ilmatieteenlaitos.fi) will help you have a successful trip. Also find out about the wildfire warning situation.
- During spring floods in late April and early May part of the duckboards in the area may be under water.
- During winter visitors should be especially cautious when climbing the steps to the nature observation tower.
- During the winter, the ice in the river may be thin due to the flow.
- Dress for hiking in colorful clothes and according to the weather. You should always bring along some toilet paper.
- Information on canoe safety and equipment: Guidelines for canoe safety and gear (melontajasoutuliitto.fi, in Finnish) and Melontaopas (a canoe guide in Finnish at melonta.wasalab.com).
- Make sure you pack a first-aid kit. If you face an emergency on your hike, e.g. get lost, get injured or observe wildfire, call 112 and report an emergency. More information on how to act in an emergency.
- Mobile phone coverage is quite good in the Arctic Circle Hiking Area, but there may be some blind spots.
- Outdoor Guide:
112 Emergency Number
If you have an emergency during your trip, such as getting lost, injured or finding a wildfire, call 112. Read more detailed emergency instructions.
Download the 112 Finland application (112.fi) to your phone. When an emergency call is made through the 112 Finland application, the emergency centre attendant is automatically informed of the caller's location.
It is recommended to keep the mobile phone warm and to bring extra food and water with you. There are many excursion locations with no mobile coverage and some mobile phones does not work in sub-zero temperatures, that is why it is always a good idea to let someone know about your itinerary and timetable.