Koli National Park Trails

There are about 80 km of marked trails in the Koli National Park, the length of which vary from 1.4 to 61 kilometres. As some of the trails are demanding and others are less so, you can choose the trail according to your level of physical fitness and the time you have available. The customer service officers at Koli Nature Centre Ukko are more than happy to help you in planning your hike. Even so, it is advisable to take along the Koli service and trail map (koli.fi, in Finnish). Koli beckons!

Please note that Koli's peaks and many other scenic viewpoints have a rough terrain and the bare rock areas are particularly slippery when it rains. There are no handrails at the viewpoints. They are natural attractions where visitors go at their own risk.

Parking

When setting off from Nature Centre Ukko's Yläpiha courtyard, park your car in the Ylä-Koli's parking area P1 (for short-term parking) or P2 (for long-term parking). In the village of Koli, you can park your car in the Koli Church parking area. There are also parking areas at Koli Harbour and at Ollila. When hiking in the southern parts of the national park, you can park your car at the Likolahti, Paimenenvaara, Peiponpelto, Pirunkirkko, Seppälä parking areas and Rykiniemi and the Rantatie Road lay-bys.

Summer Trails

There are several alternative starting points for the summer trails which you will find in each trail's description.

Starting from Nature Centre Ukko's Yläpiha courtyard, there are trails that continue across the Koli peaks to the national park's southernmost areas. In addition to these, there are also trails beginning from the Yläpiha courtyard that run via the Kolinuuro gorge to the shore of Lake Pielinen and to the north to Koli Harbour and the village of Koli.

Koli Harbour and the village of Koli are also popular starting points.

In addition, there are starting points by the Rantatie Road and all the national park's parking areas.

Popular Trails 

 

Huippujen kierros Trail (Trail of the Tops), 1.4 km Circle Trail

The image shows two adults with an infant and a dog on the top of a high hill.

Available: In the snow-free season. The trail does not have winter maintenance, but as it is a popular trail all year round, the path is often clear also in the winter.

Travel time: 30 min–1 h.

Difficulty: The trail is intermediate due to differences in height, steep stairs and slippery bare rock. The trail also has step-free access for prams and wheelchairs to a demanding accessible lookout point, but due to large differences in altitude an assistant is needed.

Starting Point: Koli Nature Centre Ukko's courtyard (Yläpiha), Ylä-Kolintie 39, Koli.

Trail description of the Huippujen kierros Trail

 

Ukko-Koli demanding accessible Trail, 400 m / Direction

Demanding accessible nature trail symbol.

Two adults, a child in a buggy and a dog are sitting at a viewing point on a high hill. There is an autumnal lake landscape in the background.

Available: In the snow-free season.

Travel time: 30 min.

Difficulty: Demanding accessible trail. The gravel trail does not have any stairs but the altitude differences are significant so wheelchair users should have an assistant with them. The trail has lateral slopes, roots and rainwater ruts that can make the trail more challenging for those using mobility aids.

Starting Point: Koli Nature Centre Ukko's courtyard (Yläpiha), Ylä-Kolintie 39, Koli.

Trail description of the Ukko-Koli demanding accessible Trail

 

Kolinuuron kierros Trail, 3.1 km Circle Trail

A child is seen shouting on a cliff top. The child is surrounded by a moist and misty pine forest on a rocky outcrop.

Available: In the snow-free season.

Travel time: 2–3 h.

Difficulty: The demanding trail feature large elevation differences and steep stairs. Some parts of the trail are also very rocky and have exposed tree roots on the path. Therefore a good basic fitness level is sufficient for the trail and it is best suited for families with children over 6 years old.

Starting Point: Koli Nature Centre Ukko's courtyard (Yläpiha), Ylä-Kolintie 39, Koli.

Trail description of the Kolinuuron kierros Trail 

 

Mäkrän kierto Trail, 7.5 km Circle Trail

A hiker is sitting on a rocky outcrop beside a stunted pine tree. A landscape of hills and lakes opens out in front of the hiker.

Available: In the snow-free season.

Travel time: 3–4 h.

Difficulty: The demanding trail feature large elevation differences and steep stairs. Some parts of the trail are also very rocky and have exposed tree roots on the path. A good basic fitness level is sufficient for the trail.

Starting Point: Koli Nature Centre Ukko's courtyard (Yläpiha), Ylä-Kolintie 39, Koli.

Trail description of the Mäkrän kierto Trail

 

Nature Trails

 

Sataman polku Trail (Harbour Trail), 2.1 km / Direction

Two hikers are climbing up along a steep path. They are surrounded by an old-growth forest and fallen trees, with stone steps in the foreground.

Available: In the snow-free season.

Travel time: 1.5–2 h/uphill (return 1 h/downhill).

Difficulty: The trail is demanding due to the differences in elevation but for the most part, the paths are broad and easy to walk. There are also multiple steep steps on the trail, so a good basic fitness level is sufficient.

Starting Point: Koli harbour parking area, Rantatie 12, Koli.

Trail description of the Sataman polku Trail

 

Kylän polku Trail (Village Trail), 3 km / Direction

Two hikers are walking along a trail. An old red house can be seen in the background.

Available: In the snow-free season.

Travel time: 1.5–2 h/uphill (return 1 h/downhill).

Difficulty: The trail is demanding due to the differences in elevation but for the most part, the paths are broad and easy to walk. There are also multiple steep steps on the trail, so a good basic fitness level is sufficient.

Starting Point: Koli Church parking area, Ylä-Kolintie 4, Koli.

Trail description of the Kylän polku Trail

 

Kasken kierros Trail (Slash-and-burn Trail), 4.1 km Circle Trail

Two adults and an infant are walking through a meadow in summer.

Available: In the snow-free season.

Travel time: 2–3 h.

Difficulty: Intermediate. The trail is moderately demanding due to the differences in elevation but for the most part, the paths are broad and easy to walk. The trail is suitable for prams and buggies from the Ollila parking area until Mattila and Turula.

Starting Points: Ollila parking area, Ylä-Kolintie 12, Lieksa.
Alternatively you can start from Koli Harbour parking area, Rantatie 12, Lieksa.

Trail description of the Kasken kierros Trail 

 

Other Circle Trails

 

Paimenen polku Trail (Shepherd's Trail), 2.5 km Circle Trail

 

A hiker is looking at an autumnal view in a pine heath on a hill slope. There is a lake in the background.

Available: In the snow-free season.

Travel time: 1.5–2 h.

Difficulty: The demanding trail feature large elevation differences and steep stairs. Some parts of the trail are also very rocky and have exposed tree roots on the path. A good basic fitness level is sufficient for the trail.

Starting Point: Paimenenvaara parking area, Kotaniementie 10, Lieksa.

Trail description of the Paimenen polku Trail
 

Koli Summer Café Tour, 6.8 km Circle Trail

The counter of the cafe.

Available: In the snow-free season.

Travel time: One day.

Difficulty: The trail is demanding due to the differences in elevation but for the most part, the paths are broad and easy to walk. There are also multiple steep steps on the trail, so a good basic fitness level is sufficient.

Starting Points: You can start the Summer Café Tour from any café.

Trail description of the Koli Summer Café Tour

 

Hiking Trails

 

Kiehisen kierros Trail, 3 to 19 km partly Circle Trail

Three hikers and a dog are having a break against the backdrop of a hill landscape in autumn.

Available: In the snow-free season.

Travel time: At least 2 days to complete the whole trail.

Difficulty: The demanding trail feature large elevation differences and steep stairs. Some parts of the trail are also very rocky and have exposed tree roots on the path. One section of the trail also features a river crossing with a wading cable which you can skip if you want. A good basic fitness level is sufficient for the trail.

Starting Points

Rykiniemi parking area, Vaaralahdentie 116, Joensuu,
Seppälä parking area, Herajärven rantatie 36, Kontiolahti and
Pirunkirkko parking area, Rantatie 118, Lieksa.

Trail description of the Kiehisen kierros Trail

 

Herajärvi Trail (30 to 61 km)

A view of forests and lakes from the Herajärven kierros trail.

Available: When there is no snow on the ground.

Travel time: Visitors are recommended to reserve three days (of which the first and last are not full hiking days) for the trail around the northern end of Lake Herajärvi, and four days for the entire 60 km trail.

Difficulty: The Herajärvi trail is a demanding hiking trail, as it is slow to walk and there are variations in elevation. 

Starting Points: Several starting points.

Trail description of the Herajärvi Trail

 

Boating Routes

A pier at the harbor.

A boating fairway leads to Koli Harbour across Lake Pielinen from Lieksa, from Juuka and Nurmes in the north as well as through Ahveninen from the Pielisjoki River and Joensuu in the south.  Lake Pielinen is linked with Lake Saimaa by fairways.

Read more about boating routes.

 

Canoeing Routes    

A paddler in a kayak.

Paddling on Lake Pielinen can be challenge due to the long, open expanses of the lake, but the experience of paddling across wilderness-like waters is unforgettable.

Read more on canoeing routes.

 

Biking Trails
 

Finnish National Biking Route 6

A road in an autumnal forest.

Starting Point: You can get onto it from main road 6, which runs between Joensuu and Kajaani. From main road 6 turn onto road 515 in the direction of Ahveninen and then turn left onto the biking route.

Read more about biking routes.

 

Riding Trails

Two riders on horseback, with roundpole fence and a wooden building at the edge of the forest in the background.

Farmhouse Paimentupa (paimentupa.fi) arranges cross-country riding excursions along small roads in Koli National Park.

 

Winter Trails

In the winter, you can go cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, walking and downhill skiing in the Koli National Park.  The winter trails in the Koli National Park invite you to a wide range of winter sports. The national park and its vicinity boast more than 50 km of maintained cross-country ski trails. The Koli peaks also attract snowshoers, in particular, however you can also walk along the trodden paths, summer trails and the maintenance tracks. You can even go downhill skiing on the Ukko-Koli ski slopes. The snowmobile route near the village of Koli passes by the National Park. There is updated information on the state of the campfire sites, winter trails and maintenance routes on the What is New page.

 

Walking Routes

 

Ukko-Koli, back-and-forth trail, length 0.8 km

A view of wintry forests and frozen lake Pielinen seen from Ukko-Koli.

Travel time 0.5h.

Starting Point: Koli Nature Centre Ukko Upper Yard, Ylä-Kolintie 39, Koli

Description of the Ukko-Koli, back-and-forth trail

  

Cross-country Skiing Trails

Track maps showing the hours, skill level and length of each track can be obtained from most businesses in the Koli area. For updated track information, contact Koli Tourist Information at (tel.) +358 45 1387 429. See up-to-date track information on the Koli website (koli.fi) or download a track map at mapline.fi/koli. Tracks are maintained by Kolin Latupooli. Hannu Mustonen oversees maintenance of the ski tracks +358 400 204 373. Track feedback can be submitted at info(at)koli.fi.

Please Note
For safety reasons, skiers are requested to keep to the maintained ski trails particularly in the area of the Koli peaks.

    

The hillyskiing trails of the Koli National Park, 3 and 7 km Circle Trails

 A skiing trail in a wintry deciduous forest.

The ski trails are unlit.

The 3-km ski trail is not demanding and suited mainly for classical cross-country skiing. The 7-km ski trail is demanding because of the steep ascents and descents. 

Starting Point: Ukko-Koli at the number 2 parking area (P2)

Description of the hillyskiing trails

 

The Loma-Koli - Kopravaara, a lit ski trail, 22 km

Two skiers on a skiing trail.

Trail is lit and suited for both classical and free-style cross-country skiing. The trail can be skied in both directions.

The trail has demanding and semi demanding parts.

Starting Points: Kopravaara, Jero, Leppäsärkkä (Ylä-Kolintie Road 16), the village of Koli and Loma-Koli.

Description of the Loma-Koli - Kopravaara, a lit ski trail

 

 

Snowshoeing Trails

 

Snowshoeing trail on the Koli peaks, 1.5 km Circle Trail

Four snowshoers on the peak with wintry forest in the background.

Starting Point: Koli Nature Centre Ukko Upper Yard, crossroad no. 11 behind the Nature Centre, Ylä-Kolintie 39, Koli

Description of the snowshoeing trail on the Koli peaks

 

The Koli peaks - the village of Koli, 3 km in one direction

A skiing trail.

Starting Points: The village of Koli and Koli Nature Centre Ukko Upper Yard

Description of the Koli peaks - the village of Koli

 

The snowshoeing trail from Ukko-Koli Hill onto the shores of Lake Pielinen, approx. 2 km / in one direction

Frozen lake with forest in the background.

Starting Point: Koli Nature Centre Ukko Upper Yard, crossroad no. 11 behind the Nature Centre, Ylä-Kolintie 39, Koli

Description of the snowshoeing trail from Ukko-Koli Hill onto the shores of Lake Pielinen

 

 

Downhill Skiing

A snowboarder on a slope on a sunny day.

The Ukko-Koli ski slopes (koli.fi) 

For safety reasons, downhill skiing is prohibited outside the Ukko-Koli slope areas on the Koli peaks. 

Starting Point: The parking area for the ski slopes, equipment rental and the ticket office is located along the Rantatie Road by the Rinnetupa hut.

 

 

Riding Trails

A group of horseback riders in the snow with leafless birch trees in the background.

You can visit the national park's cultural landscape on horseback in winter as well. Further information is available at the Paimentupa farmhouse (en.paimentupa.fi).

 

 

Snowmobile Routes

In Koli National Park, snowmobiling is prohibited, including the islands. The snowmobile route runs outside Koli National Park from Ahmovaara (via the village of Koli) onto Lake Pielinen, passing by Koli Harbour and Hiekkasaaret Islands. By Koli Harbour and the Rinnetupa hut, snowmobiles can be parked on the ice. From Koli, the snowmobile route further continues to Juuka and Nurmes, Lieksa and finally to Eno and Joensuu.

Self-guided Tour: "From Helsinki to the Taiga Forests"


Pdf 2,4 Mb (julkaisut.metsa.fi)

Check for Warnings

When forest and grass fire warnings (en.ilmatieteenlaitos.fi) are in effect, fire is only allowed at covered campfire sites that have a flue. A fire can be also lit in fireplaces at wilderness and other huts. Always use extreme caution when handling fire. The one who lights a fire is always responsible for its safe use. Please note, that making fire at these campfire sites can be banned locally. 

Gathering at the campfire sites increases the risk of coronavirus infection. Guidelines concerning coronavirus COVID-19

Trail Brochures of Koli National Park - winter


Snowshoeing Trail on the Koli Peaks (pdf, 810 Kb, julkaisut.metsa.fi)