Tarvantovaara Wilderness Area Trails

A hiker admiring the view. In the forefront are mountain birches and a lake, and in the background are fells.

Hiking Trails

Starting Points for Trails

  • The easiest place to set off on the Kultima-Leppäjärvi Trail is along a sandy road from the village of Kultima.
  • The starting point for the Kaaresuvanto-Syväjärvi Trail is in the village of Kaaresuvanto.
  • The starting point for the Palojärvi-Salvasjärvi Trail is on the north side of the village of Palojärvi.

Marked Trails

The Kultima-Leppäjärvi Trail is an old 25-km -long postal route. Today it is maintained by the Finnish Road Administration. The trail is easy to travel and part of it is marked with kilometre signs. The trail leads from the village of Kultima to Leppäjärvi and the easiest starting point is a sandy road from the village of Kultima. The trail is a good day trip route.

The Kultima-Leppäjärvi Trail leads through mainly lichen filled dry forest, but there are damper sections on it, which do not have duckboards over them. The last 5 km of the trail from the River Palojoki to the village of Leppäjärvi is a dirt track and there are privately-owned cottages there. The trail is suited for mountain biking. For more information contact Fell Lapland Visitor Centre.

  • Sights: At the trail's halfway point you can turn off the route and go 1 km north of the trail to Lake Pahtajärvi. The lake is clear and surrounded by cliffs.

The Kaaresuvanto-Syväjärvi Trail has its starting point at the village of Kaaresuvanto and its leads by Lavivaara Hill to Lake Syväjärvi. The trail is approximately 20 km long. The section of the trail between the village of Kaaresuvanto and Lavivaara Hill is gravel-covered. After Lavivaara it continues as a dirt track to Lake Syväjärvi. The trail is marked with kilometre posts, as are all trails maintained by the Finnish Road Administration. The terrain is undemanding although it is a bit rocky at the Syväjärvi end of the trail. The trail is suited for mountain biking. For more information contact Fell Lapland Visitor Centre.

Old Roads and Tracks

The Palojärvi-Salvasjärvi Trail is an old track between the village of Palojärvi and the reindeer herders' summer cabins at Lake Salvasjärvi used by locals as a regular route between Palojärvi and Salvasjärvi. This 20-km -long trail is ideal for hiking. The track is clearly visible in the terrain and if you have a map and a compass you are not likely to get lost. The track crosses over into Norway at one point, so you must take into consideration what you would need to have along to cross a national border.  

When approaching Lake Salvasjärvi the trail starts an ascent and it very soon enters the fells. The trail's end point is on the east side of Lake Salvasjärvi at Salvasjärvi open wilderness hut. The reindeer herders' summer cabins are to the south of Lake Salvasjärvi. The trail is also suited for mountain biking, but it is demanding as there are great changes in altitude and vast mires. For more information contact Fell Lapland Visitor Centre.

Skiing Trails

There are no maintained skiing trails in the wilderness, but you can ski along snowmobile tracks. There is a track from the village of Palojärvi to Salvasjärvi and another from Kaaresuvanto to Syväjärvi. The Kultima-Leppäjärvi Trail can also be used for winter wilderness treks.

Boating and Canoeing Routes

There are two rivers within the wilderness area along which canoeing is possible. The Rivers Palojoki and Tarvantojoki are both quite narrow and are both well-suited for beginners to try out their skills and for proper excursions. Of the rivers Palojoki is the easiest to reach.

  • The River Palojoki (60 km) follows the eastern boundary of Tarvantovaara Wilderness Area part of its way. Its source is at Lake Palojärvi and it flows into the River Muoniojoki. Canoeists can start their water excursion from Lake Palojärvi from a bridge located halfway between the villages of Leppäjärvi and Palojärvi. The canoe trip from there to the village of Palojoensuu is about 60 km long. Almost the entire length of the River Palojoki can be canoed. Only Perjantaikoski Rapids halfway down the river are difficult to paddle down. When the water is shallow the river is rocky. The River Palojoki is a wilderness river which draws fishers as it has a rich assortment of fish inhabiting it.
  • The River Tarvantojoki (30 km) runs through the centre of the wilderness area. Its source is near the Norwegian border and it empties into the River Muoniojoki. You can only get to the upper course of the river by flying, but the section between the villages of Kultima and Kuttanen, on its lower course, is great for a short day trip. As there are vast mires on the riverbank you can stop to pick cloudberries on your canoe trip.

Biking Trails

There are no marked biking trails in Tarvantovaara Wilderness Area, but there are paths which are suited for mountain biking.

Horseback Riding Trails

There are no marked horseback riding trails in Tarvantovaara Wilderness Area, but the trails leading between Kultima and Leppäjärvi, and Kaaresuvanto and Syväjärvi are suitable for riding. 

Snowmobile Trails and Tracks

The Hetta-Kilpisjärvi snowmobile track runs through Tarvantovaara Wilderness Area. The Syväjärvi-Kaaresuvanto snowmobile track turns off of the Hetta-Kilpisjärvi track (eraluvat.fi, pdf 1,22 Mt). For more information and for permits contact Fell Lapland Visitor Centre or visit the Eraluvat.fi web store (eraluvat.fi).