Instructions and Rules in Punkaharju Nature Reserve
The Punkaharju Nature Reserve has been established to protect the nationally valuable esker nature and cultural landscape of the area. It is important to study matters dealing with the nature reserve in advance and prepare yourself properly for your trip by reading the instructions and rules.
Getting Around in Nature Reserve
Picking Berries, Mushrooms and Wild Herbs
Other Rules and Instructions
The outdoor activities in the Punkaharju Nature Reserve 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 nature reserve.
Visitors to the Nature Reserve are free to roam the area on foot, on skis, or by watercraft (although joy riding on water scooters or similar is forbidden).
Camping is prohibited in the nature reserve.
Lighting a fire is prohibited in the nature reserve.
The nearest campfire site is located on the northern shore of the Laukansaari island in the Punkaharju Research Park.
There are no waste-bins or recycling points in the nature reserve. Measures should be taken in advance to avoid taking unnecessary waste into the area. Take away everything you brought along.
You can put leftovers and other biowaste in a dry toilet at rest spots.
Small amounts of clean paper and cardboard may be used as kindling at a campfire site or a fireplace at a hut. 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.
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). These permits can be purchased in the web shop (eraluvat.fi).
Fishers need to check the restrictions on fishing sites at kalastusrajoitus.fi (In Finnish).
Picking berries and edible mushrooms is allowed.
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 is permitted only on the area's roads and Topeliuksen polku Nature Trail, the Hakki (Nutcracker) Trail and Puulajireitti (Tree Species Trail), as well as on the Lusto-Harjutie section via Pususilta.
Horseback riding is forbidden in the area.
- Research activities, organising events or, for example, filming of films or advertisements on location always require a permit from Metsähallitus. 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 the Punkaharju Nature Reserve 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).
- Hunting, killing, catching, or disturbing any animals, as well as disturbing or destroying their nests.
- Damaging soil or rock, and extraction of earth material or minerals.
- Catching or collecting invertebrates.
- Driving motor vehicles, except on roads designated for motor vehicles.
- Leaving waste in the area, or damaging structures.
- Damaging research area, prehistoric artefacts, buildings, information boards and other structures.
- Activities that disturb other people.
- Landing an aircraft.
The peak season in Punkaharju is during the middle of summer spanning from Mid-summer to the beginning of August.
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 (en.ilmatieteenlaitos.fi) has in store, will help make your trip a success.
- When travelling on water boaters should always have an appropriate map with them.
- Dress for hiking in colorful clothes and according to the weather. Drinking water and toilet paper are good to have along.
- 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 Punkaharju Nature Reserve, except in some areas in the area where cliffs or forest block signals. Read more about mobile phone coverage (112.fi).
- Hiking in Finland
- Before your trip see also page What is New.
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.
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.
Download the 112 Finland application (112.fi) to your phone. When an emergency call is made through the 112 Finland application, the emergency centre 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.
Game and Fisheries Wardens supervising nature destinations
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.