In many beautiful natural areas around Finland a wide range of freely usable facilities are provided for nature-loving visitors by Metsähallitus Parks & Wildlife Finland and other organisations.
Many areas have extensive networks of well-maintained, signposted trails. From spring to autumn these trails can be freely used by walkers or joggers. During the winter many are maintained for use by energetic cross-country skiers, while some trails can still be safely walked if conditions are not too icy – especially if you have snowshoes, which can also be rented in many places.
There are suitable routes and trails for everyone. Short routes enable families or casual walkers to enjoy a brief walk or explore for a couple of hours; while more adventurous trekking routes though the wilds may take several days to hike.
Many other free facilities are provided by the wayside in popular areas, including:
- nature trails where visitors can learn about local nature from notice-boards or free booklets
- picnic sites with tables, cooking shelters and campfire sites with free firewood
- free facilities such as wells and campfire sites in areas reserved for free camping
- shelters where visitors may rest or even freely sleep overnight
- steps and duckboards along popular trails, to prevent erosion
- compost toilets
- waste collection points
Cooking shelters and campfire sites are especially popular with walkers. Finns love to grill sausages or fish over these campfires. Firewood and an axe are usually freely available in a shed nearby.
Visitors are encouraged to stay on marked trails and duckboard routes wherever possible, to help limit erosion. Some trails may get muddy or icy at times, so make sure you wear suitable footwear!
For information about local guided excursions, boat trips, and opportunities to hire bikes, canoes, skis, snowshoes or other equipment for outdoor activities, check the links from the web pages for specific destinations in the Nationalparks.fi website, or search local tourism websites.
These links lead to more information about outdoor activities in Finland: