The northernmost section of Karhunkierros Trail starts at Hautajärvi village and ends at Oulanka Visitor Centre by Liikasenvaarantie road. This section leads mostly through dry forest, but there are also places where visitors can admire cliffs, gorges and lush herb-rich forests. The River Oulankajoki can be crossed at Savilampi and Taivalköngäs by hanging bridge. The section is easy to travel and is approximately a 2-day-hike.

When setting off from Hautajärvi the first structure you will come to is Perttumakoski lean-to shelter about 7 km down the trail. To the next Vasajängänoja lean-to shelter is about 6 km, and before that is one of Oulanka National Park's main sights Rupakivi Rock. About halfway through this section of the trail (15 km from Hautajärvi) are Savilampi open wilderness hut on the bank of the River Oulankajoki and Oulanka Canyon. Four kilometres south of Savilampi is Taivalköngäs open wilderness hut, which is also on the bank of the River Oulankajoki. After Taivalköngäs Rapids the trail crosses the river. There are two hanging bridges to cross. After this the section has several places you can stop at to rest: Runsulampi camping site and at the end of the section Oulanka Camping Ground and Oulanka Visitor Centre.

There are several sights along the trail, such as Rupakivi Rock, Oulanka Canyon, Taivalköngäs Rapids and Oulanka Visitor Centre.

Rupakivi. Photo: Ismo Lampi

Waste Management

There is a recycling point at Oulanka National Park Camping Ground. Visitors can sort metal, glass, plastic and paper at this point as well as throw away hazardous waste (batteries).

Cycling

Cycling is only permitted on roads and on the designated trail from Taivalköngäs to Oulanka visitor centre (9 km)

Canoe Route

Canoe trips can begin at Lake Savilampi or at the bridge next to Sallantie road. From there paddlers can head down the River Oulankajoki to the shore at Oulanka Camping Ground or the boat launch place at Oulanka Visitor Centre. From Lake Savilampi it is 15 km to the visitor centre. More about Oulanka's canoe routes.

Other Services

  • There is a café at Oulanka Visitor Centre. The exhibition at the visitor centre provides information on the area's nature and life in and around the flowing waters.
  • Oulanka Camping Ground is located near the visitor centre. There is a kiosk at the camping ground.