What can one do in Koitajoki Area?
Walk on Marked Trails
The area offers wonderful hiking opportunities. There are approximately 50 km of marked trails in the area.
In Koivusuo Strict Nature Reserve visitors must stay on marked trails. Additionally hikers must have a special permit from the border guard to enter the border zone.
Go Wilderness Trekking
Tapion taival Trail, which follows old log-floaters' tracks, has been a hiking trail through the Koitajoki Area from the 1960s. The landscape along is spectacular and in its natural state from the banks of the River Koitajoki to mires and hill slopes. The trail is about 21 km long stretching from Tapionaho to Hoikantie Road. The Hanhikoski and Niemipuro open wilderness huts are on the trail.
As the area is so large and many new connecting trails have been built through out it, it is possible to go on hikes lasting several days. Please note that within Koivusuo Strict Nature Reserve hikers must stay on marked trails and not wander into the terrain. Entering the border zone is forbidden if you do not have a special permit from the border guard.
The River Koitajoki winds slowly through the backwoods of the area. There are no fast flowing or abundant rapids in the river and thus it is a suitable canoe excursion destination even for beginners. During springtime floods the River Koitajoki is at its best for canoeing, but the otherwise shallow river can usually be paddled throughout the summer. Rental equipment and maps are available. Also read the area's canoeing instructions.
Ski Cross-country off Trails
Skiing is permitted in the Koitajoki Area, but no ski trails are maintained there.
Hook-and-line fishing and ice fishing are permitted under Everyman's Rights (www.environment.fi), with the exception of rapids and running areas with migratory fish stock (www.kalatusrajoitus.fi, In Finnish). Lure fishing is allowed in the region with a fisheries management fee (www.eräluvat.fi). A fisheries management fee does not entitle you to fish in rapids and running areas with migratory fish stock (www.kalastusrajoitus.fi, In Finnish). If you are fishing with more than one rod or in rapids and running areas with migratory fish stock, you will need to pay the Metsähallitus recreational fishing permit for Southern Finland (no 7413, www.eräluvat.fi) in addition to the fisheries management fee. Fisheries management permits may also be purchased on the Metsähallitus Eräluvat web shop (verkkokauppa.eraluvat.fi).
In the southern part of the Koitajoki River at Lake Niemijärvi, stationary traps may also be used. For trap fishing, in addition to paying the fisheries management fee, you will need Metsähallitus' trap fishing permit no 7004 for Ilomantsi (www.eräluvat.fi, In Finnish). Permits can also be purchased by phone at +358 (0)20 69 2424.
Fishers need to check the restrictions on fishing sites at kalastusrajoitus.fi (In Finnish).
Experienced cyclists can mountain bike along the hiking trail from Koidanvaara lean-to shelter, via Asumajoki lean-to shelter to Polvikoski. The distance of this cycling route is 6 km. We recommend you only cycle along roads, as well as on trails and routes outside this area from Koidanvaara lean-to shelter, via Asumajoki lean-to shelter to Polvikoski. At Asumajoki lean-to shelter you must cross the river by rope pulley ferry. We ask that you not cycle on the trails between Polvikoski and Lakonkangas.
There are several visible old cycling tracks in the Koitajoki Area, but they are difficult to travel at points by bicycle because of new structures such as duckboards. There are no marked cycling routes in the area.
Go on Guided Group Tour
Local entrepreneurs provide guide services in the area. For more information contact Visitor Centre Ukko or see the Ilomantsi website's tourism section (www.ilomantsi.fi, in Finnish) or the Karelia Expert tourist service website (www.visitkarelia.fi).
Hunting is forbidden in Koivusuo Strict Nature Reserve. The rest of the Koitajoki Area is part of the Ilomantsi small game hunting area (permit area 7652). Permits can be bought from Metsähallitus netstore (www.eräluvat.fi).
A portion of the Natura Site outside of Koivusuo Strict Nature Reserve is a moose hunting permit area.
Go Berry and Mushroom Picking
Koitajoki has mires full of cranberries. Picking berries and mushrooms is allowed in all other parts of the area except in Koivusuo Strict Nature Reserve, where it is only permitted for permanent residents of the municipality of Ilomantsi. Also entering the border zone without a special permit from the border guard is forbidden.
There are no supervised beaches in the area, but the rivers sandy bends make for wonderful places to take a dip. Please note that due to the rivers strong current swimming may be difficult and dangerous.