Sallantie parking area (Ristikallio starting point) - Oulanka Visitor Centre, 18 km
The Ristikallio starting point is situated next to Sallantie road (road 950). This section of the trail begins there and was the first part of Karhunkierros Trail to be marked. The trail leads to the Ristikallio Cliffs. Along the route there are herb-rich forests, cliffs, river bank meadows and old buildings such as barns and herders' cabins. The section is considerably easy to travel and is approximately a 2-day-hike.
The beginning of this section is easy to travel river bank and pine forest terrain as the trail follows the River Aventojoki. About 5 km down the trail is Ristikallio open wilderness hut. From there on the trail leads via Puikkokämppä day-use hut to Taivalköngäs Rapids. At this point the trail crosses the river. There are two hanging bridges over the river. You may camp in the vicinity of Taivalköngäs open wilderness hut and and all other wilderness huts in Oulanka National Park. Runsulampi camping site is on the trail between Taivalköngäs and Oulanka Camping Ground.
There are several sights on this section of the trail: Ristikallio Cliffs, Taivalköngäs Rapids and Oulanka Visitor Centre.
There is a recycling point at Oulanka National Park Camping Ground. Visitors can sort metal, glass, plastic and paper at this point as well as throw away hazardous waste (batteries).
Cycling is only permitted on roads and on the designated trail from Taivalköngäs to Oulanka visitor centre (9 km).
16 km of this section of the trail can be travelled by kayak. Note: The River Aventojoki is narrow and rocky and you must have a kayak to paddle down it and even then only during the spring floods, when the water is at its highest. Kayak down the River Aventojoki into the River Oulankajoki. You can then continue down the River Oulankajoki to the boat launch place at Oulanka Visitor Centre. You can set off from the parking area at Lake Ollilanjärvi. From there paddle to the mouth of the River Aventojoki at the northeast end of the lake. From there it is 12 km to the River Oulankajoki. More about Oulanka's canoe routes.