Instructions and Rules in Patvinsuo National Park

The Patvinsuo National Park is a nature reserve intended as a public attraction and its purpose is to preserve mires, forests and water areas of North Karelia. Make sure to familiarise yourself with the area in advance. Prepare for your hike by studying the instructions and rules of the Patvinsuo National Park (pdf 673 Kb, julkaisut.metsa.fi, in Finnish) and the rules of the nearby Kissansuo-Raanisuo-Tohlinsuo Mire Reserve (pdf 309 Kb, julkaisut.metsa.fi, in Finnish).

Getting around in nature is limited in the restricted areas. Take a look at the restricted areas in the national park on Maps pages and in Excursionmap.fi.

Respect Nature
Pets
Getting around in National Park 
Camping
Lighting Campfires
Litter-free Hiking
Fishing
Picking Berries, Mushrooms and Wild Herbs
Biking 
Other Rules and Instructions
Drone Flying
Forbidden Activities
Peak Seasons
Safety

Respect Nature

The outdoor activities in the Patvinsuo National Park are guided with the rules and regulations. When getting around in nature, let’s show respect for it. Take a look at the Outdoor Etiquette.

Please don’t share any such contents on the Internet that break the rules of the national park.

Letting pets running at large is forbidden. Dogs and other pets are welcome in the national park but only on a leash.

Getting around in National Park 

In the Patvinsuo National Park, you may freely walk, ski, row and canoe, except in restricted areas. 

  • You are not allowed to enter the Hietajärvi integrated monitoring area between 1 January and 10 July and between 1 August and 31 December. The area is shown in the map.  
  • You are only allowed to use marked trails in the restricted areas shown in the map (in Surkansuo and on both sides of Teretinniemi in Patvinsuo) between 1 April and 10 July.   
  • You are only allowed to use marked trails in the restricted areas shown in the map (Lahnasuo, Säästö-Maksimansaari and Iso-Maksimansaari as well as Hulkkonen and the mires surrounding it) between 15 February and 10 July. 

You are not allowed to enter the firing range during firing exercises. Between Lahnalampi parking area and Pirskanlampi camping site, the trail passes through the firing range of the Finnish Border Guard. The firing range is marked in the terrain with red bands around trees. Training times are marked on boards in the surrounding area and along trails leading to the area.  

Camping

Camping is only permitted at camping sites designated for the purpose. There are several camping sites and one lean-to shelter in Patvinsuo.  

In addition to rental huts, there are also places for caravans and campervans at the Suomu Nature Information Hut. A fee is charged for the use of the places. 

Caravans can also be parked at the Surkanpuro parking area.
 

Lighting Campfires

Lighting a fire is allowed at the maintained campfire sites that have been marked on the map and in the terrain. You are only allowed to use the firewood that has been reserved for the purpose. The person who lights the campfire is always responsible for the fire.

The use of a portable camping stove is allowed in areas where hiking is allowed. During the forest and grass fire warning, the use of hobo stoves is not allowed, as sparks may be created.

Lighting any campfires is strictly forhibited if the forest fire warning or the grass fire warning is in effect.  Always check the current warnings (ilmatieteenlaitos.fi). The ban does not apply to the cooking shelters at Kaunisniemi and Kurkilahti parking areas in Suomu.

Litter-free Hiking

The National Park's recycling points can be found at Suomu Nature Information Hut and Kurkilahti parking Area. Biodegradable waste should be placed in a dry toilet or composter, and small amounts of clean paper and cardboard can be used as kindling in a campfire. 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.

Fishing

Hook and line fishing and ice fishing are allowed under everyman's rights, except where specific restrictions apply.

Persons aged 18-64 years must pay the fisheries management fee (eraluvat.fi). If you fish with more than one rod, you also need Metsähallitus' angling permit no 7413 for Southern Finland (eraluvat.fi). Fishing permits are available from Metsähallitus online shop for permits (eraluvat.fi).

For trap fishing, in addition to paying the fisheries management fee, you will need Metsähallitus' trap fishing permit no 7003 for Lieksa (eraluvat.fi, in Finnish). Permits can also be purchased by phone at +358 (0)20 69 2424.

All types of fishing are prohibited in the research area of Iso Hietajärvi Lake.

Fishers need to check the restrictions on fishing sites at kalastusrajoitus.fi (In Finnish).

Picking Berries, Mushrooms and Wild Herbs

Picking berries and edible mushrooms is allowed, except in restricted areas.

Taking or damaging trees, bushes, other plants or their parts, or mushrooms other than edible ones is forbidden. Picking wild herbs is therefore forbidden.

Biking

Biking is permitted under Everyman’s rights, with the exception of the restricted areas. Always stay on clearly visible tracks and pay attention to other hikers. 

Other Rules and Instructions

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 Patvinsuo 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).

Drone Flying 

The northeastern corner of the Patvinsuo National Park belongs to the ADIZ border zone, which means that all drone operators must submit a drone flight plan to AIS Finland in advance. You can find instructions to prepare flight plans at AIS Finland’s website (ais.fi). You can also call customer service at the Koli Nature Centre for further information.  

Aerial photography is prohibited in the Hiienvaara firing range located southwest of the Patvinsuo National Park. For this reason, there are also restrictions to flying drones in the Patvinsuo National Park. Check the restrictions with the Finnish Defence Forces and the Finnish Border Guard. 

Drone flying that disturbs other people and animals is prohibited in the Patvinsuo National Park. Flying drones is also banned in restricted areas when the restrictions are in effect.

Other Forbidden Activities in the Patvinsuo National Park

  • Using snowmobiles. 
  • Using motor boats in any of the park's waters. 
  • Damaging soil or rock, and extraction of earth material or minerals.
  • Killing, catching or disturbing wild vertebrates, or damaging their nests.
  • Catching or collecting invertebrates.
  • Hunting.
  • Driving motor vehicles, except on roads designated for motor vehicles.
  • Leaving waste in the area, or damaging structures.
  • Covering, changing, damaging, removing, violating or excavating in archaeological sites.
  • Activities that disturb other people.

Rules and Regulations for Patvinsuo 

Peak Seasons

Patvinsuo National Park has lots of visitors in July. It is also a popular hiking destination, during ‘ruska'-season in autumn when leaves are changing colour. Ruska begins after the Mid-August.

Safety

It is important that you get as much information as possible about your hiking destination in advance and prepare for your trip thoroughly. Knowing your route and sticking to it and knowing what the weather and warnings in effect (ilmatieteenlaitos.fi) has in store, will help make your trip a success. 

  • Make sure you pack a first-aid kit. If you face an emergency on your hike, e.g. get lost, get injured or observe wildfire, call 112 and report an emergency. More information on how to act in an emergency.
  • Mobile telephones work quite well in Patvinsuo National Park, except in some areas in the park where cliffs or forest block signals. Download the 112 Finland application (112.fi) to your phone.
  • Dress for hiking in colorful clothes and according to the weather. For their own comfort visitors should wear water-proof calf-high shoes during spring and early summer, as their pants are likely to get soaked otherwise. During dry weather sneakers are suitable foot wear for the Patvinsuo terrain. Mires and wetlands have duckboards.
  • During summer mosquitoes and sand flies thrive in the park's mires. The wind sometimes clears the air of them for a short time. ‘Elk flies' (Lipoptena cervi) buzz around visitors during autumn in the middle of forests.
  • Drinking water and toilet paper are good to have along.
  • Hiking in Finland 
  • Before your trip see also page What is New.

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.

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Download the 112 Finland application (112.fi) to your phone. When an emergency call is made through the 112 Finland application, the emergency center 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.

Outdoor Etiquette

1. Respect nature.

2. Mainly use marked trails.

3. Camp only where it is allowed.

4. Light your campfire only where it is allowed.

5. Do not litter.

Read more

Game and Fisheries Wardens supervising nature destinations

Two people standing on top of a high hill, wearing snowmobile clothes. A wide, open view in the background.

Wilderness supervision (eräluvat.fi) offers services and education for the benefit of Finnish nature. A Game and Fisheries Warden is responsible for supervising the legality and authorisation of operations and the use of nature in state-owned areas.

If you witness or suspect a violation, you can report your observations to the warden (eräluvat.fi). Although we would like for you to leave your contact details when filing a report, you may also file a report anonymously.