All people whether residing in Finland or just visiting have the right to enjoy nature anywhere in the Finnish countryside regardless of land ownership. The legal concept of “Everyman’s Right” in Finland extends immense freedom to roam but comes with some serious responsibilities. Primary of all is a mutual respect for nature, people and property. The outdoor enthusiast’s golden rule requires a desire to preserve and protect the unspoiled beauty and wonder of nature for future generations to enjoy.
The need for nature conservation can require certain restrictions on these rights. In national parks and many nature reserves, special regulations can additionally limit activities such as camping, hunting, using motor vehicles, and moving through sensitive areas during the nesting season. Such restrictions are listed separately for each area. Be sure to check online or ask at visitor centres before venturing into national parks or other nature reserves.
Everyone is allowed to…
- walk, ski, cycle, or horseback ride freely (except very near homes and other private buildings or through farm fields and nursery plantations which could easily be damaged)
- camp out temporarily a reasonable distance from homes
- pick wild berries, mushrooms and flowers, as long as they are not protected species
- fish with a simple rod and line
- use boats, swim or bathe in inland waters and the sea
- walk, ski, or drive a motor vehicle or fish on frozen lakes, rivers, and the sea
- all the above can be restricted or forbidden in national parks and other nature reserves during certain seasons or year-round to protect sensitive areas and threatened species of plants or animals. Please pay close attention to any restrictions.
It’s NOT allowed to…
- disturb people or damage property
- disturb reindeer, game, breeding birds, their nests or young
- let pets off leash
- cut down or damage trees
- collect moss, lichen, or fallen trees from other people's property
- light open campfires without permission, except in an emergency
- disturb people's privacy by camping too near them or making too much noise
- leave litter
- drive motor vehicles off road without the landowner's permission
- hunt without the relevant permits
- fish with nets, traps, or a reel and lure without the relevant permits