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.

Respect Nature
Pets
Getting Around in Nature Reserve
Camping
Lighting Campfires
Litter-free Hiking
Fishing
Picking Berries, Mushrooms and Wild Herbs
Biking
Horse Riding
Other Rules and Instructions
Forbidden Activities
Peak Seasons
Safety

Respect Nature

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.

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

Getting Around in 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

Camping is prohibited in the nature reserve.

Lighting Campfires

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.

Litter-free Hiking

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.

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). 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, Mushrooms and Wild Herbs

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

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.

Horse Riding

Horseback riding is forbidden in the area.

Other Rules and Instructions

Other Forbidden Activities in the Punkaharju Nature Reserve

  • 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.

Peak Seasons

The peak season in Punkaharju is during the middle of summer spanning from Mid-summer to the beginning of 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 (en.ilmatieteenlaitos.fi) has in store, will help make your trip a success.

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.