Instructions and Rules in Bothnian Bay National Park
The Bothnian Bay National Park was established to protect the outer archipelago and marine nature of the Bothnian Sea, as well as for environmental research and nature recreation.
The Bothnian Bay National Park is mainly a summer destination. The Perämeri is particularly suitable for boaters and hikers: you will need your own boat or a boat trip. There are no accessible services. In winter, depending on the ice conditions, the nearest islands can be reached by skiing or snowmobile.
In the Bothnian Bay National Park, everyone's rights do not apply. Hiking in the park is governed by a code of conduct (pdf, 191 kt, in Finnish julkaisut.metsa.fi). So let's act and move around in nature with respect for it. See also the Outdoor Etiquette.
Please don’t share any such contents on the Internet that break the rules of the national park.
Movement on foot, skiing, rowing and canoeing allowed, except in restricted areas. Restricted areas where movement and landing are restricted:
- Access restriction area 1 - In order to protect the nesting peace of birds, from 1 May to 31 July, landing and movement within 100 metres of the shore is prohibited without Metsähallitus' permission at the following sites: Keilakrunni, Pauha, both Pitkäletot, Riekonhöyhen, Pohjois-Kraaseli, Sarvenkrunni, Savukrunni and parts of Maa-Sarvi and Selkä-Sarvi.
- Access restriction area 2 - In order to protect the nesting peace of the birdlife, landing and movement is prohibited from 1 May to 31 July without Metsähallitus' permission at the following sites: Nokikrunni, Pensaskarinkrunni, Lounakari, Kemi Kiikkara, Lehtikarinkrunni, Pöllä, Välikrunninkari and Ylikrunninmatalat and part of Pensaskari.
- Access restriction area 3 - From 1.2. to 15.6., it is prohibited to move closer than one nautical mile (1852 metres) from Möyly Island without permission from Metsähallitus.
- Movement closer than half a nautical mile (926 metres) from Möyly Island is prohibited without permission from Metsähallitus.
Temporary camping is only allowed in the camping area on the island of Selkä-Sarvi near the shelter harbour. There are 3 rented huts: the Kokko Rental Hut and Selkä-Sarvi Rental Hut, and the Selkä-Sarven vartio Rental Hut, and the Vähä-Huituri Rental Hut.
Open fires are permitted in the national park at the official fire sites at the northern end of Selkä-Sarvi, Pensaskar and Vähä-Huituri, which are marked on the map. Only use wood that has been brought to the site and reserved for the purpose. The responsibility always rests with the person lighting the fire.
During the Wildfire Warning:
- Lighting an open fire is forbidden everywhere, including at the marked campfire sites, when a wildfire warning (ilmatieteenlaitos.fi) is in effect.
- During the wildfire warning, the use of twig stoves is not allowed, as sparks may be created.
There are no mixed garbage bins in the national park. Take away everything you brought along.
Small amounts of clean paper and cardboard may be used as kindling at a campfire site or a fireplace at a wilderness hut. 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.
Picking berries and edible mushrooms is allowed.
- Fishing is allowed in public waters in accordance with the Fishing Act and the current fishing regulations, management plan, quota decision and Metsähallitus fishing permit conditions in all waters of the national park, taking into account the restrictions on movement mentioned separately.
- Professional fishermen are also entitled to use the restricted areas for fishing purposes, but not within half a nautical mile of Möyly Island without permission from Metsähallitus.
- Persons aged 18-69 years must pay the fisheries management fee (eräluvat.fi).
- Fishers need to check the restrictions on fishing sites at kalastusrajoitus.fi (In Finnish).
- As a rule, a permit issued by Metsähallitus is required for activities other than those included in everyman's rights, which may include research, organised events and the shooting of films or advertisements in the terrain. Further information on required permits: research and access permits (metsa.fi) and permits and notifications related to events (metsa.fi).
- The use of the trails and structures of the Bothnian Bay National Park 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).
- The use of buildings and structures associated with the traditional use of the area is allowed.
- Damaging soil or rock, and extracting earth material or minerals, - taking or damaging trees, shrubs or other plants or parts thereof,
- killing, catching or disturbing wild invertebrates, destroying their nests and catching or collecting invertebrates,
- any other activity that may adversely affect the natural conditions, landscape or conservation of animal or plant species in the area,
- damage to ruins or monuments,
- As the park is located in the windy and wave-prone outer archipelago, the boat must be seaworthy and suitable for the demanding conditions of the outer archipelago. The waters of the national park are in many places very shallow and rocky. To visit the National Park on your own, you must have experience of navigation at sea.
- Check the sea weather and wind forecast before setting out on the water. When the wind is strong, it is safest to stay ashore with a small boat or little boating experience.
- It's a good idea to have good binoculars on board. They are a good tool for navigating and birdwatching.
- In normal summers, there are plenty of horse flies on the islands, which you should protect yourself against by wearing adequate clothing.
- Take a first aid kit with you. If you get lost, injured or discover a campfire, call 112 and report the emergency. The emergency number of the Maritime Rescue Service is 0294 1000. Background information on what to do in an emergency.
- Keep your phone warm and take food and drink with you. Some phone models do not work in freezing temperatures, so it is a good idea to let someone know your route plan and timetable. Take a back-up power supply, a spare battery or a spare phone, for example.
- The ABCs of hiking: safety.
- See also the Baltic Sea News page.
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.