Instructions and Rules in Malla Strict Nature Reserve

In Malla Strict Nature Reserve it is forbidden to walk off the marked trails. Photo: Seija Olkkonen.

Instructions on Exploring Malla Strict Nature Reserve

  • Points to Bear in Mind When Exploring the Area. Strict nature reserves have been established especially for the purposes of nature conservation and scientific research. During the snow-free season you are only allowed to walk on the marked trails, unless you obtain a written permit from Metsähallitus. In wintertime you may go cross-country skiing anywhere in the area, but snowmobiling is prohibited. The use of Malla Strict Nature Reserve is governed by the valid rules and regulations.
     
  • In Malla Strict Nature Reserve, the following are allowed
  • In Malla Strict Nature Reserve, the following are forbidden
    • Walking off the marked trails
    • Moving by means other than on foot or on skis
    • Mountain biking
    • Littering
    • Damaging the vegetation, soil or bedrock
    • Disturbing or hurting the animals
    • Hunting and fishing
    • Berry and mushroom picking, and taking plants, animals or parts of them with you
    • Letting pets run free
    • Camping and lighting campfires
    • Reindeer grazing
    • All activities changing or disturbing the nature, landscape or other environment
    • Using motor vehicles

Crossing Borders

  • Nordkalottleden Trail crosses over national borders at several points. Hikers should make sure that they are not carrying any items which you would need to declare in customs. Those wanting to take their dogs on their hike should contact Finnish Customs (www.tulli.fi) well in advance. When entering into Sweden pets must be reported to Swedish Customs (www.tullverket.se). Contact the Finnish Food Safety Authority (www.evira.fi) for information on mandatory vaccinations and certificates. 

Preparations

Mobile Phone Coverage

  • Although Finland has a broad network for mobile phones, there are some areas in Malla area without signal. There may also be some smaller spots where there is interference. If this happens try to climb to a higher place or go into an open area. It may be worth removing the SIM card from your phone and then trying again to make emergency call. Different phones also differ in their coverage.
  • We recommend that you keep your mobile phone warm at all times and take along food and drink. Certain phone models do not work when the temperature falls below zero. You should therefore let someone know your planned route. To keep your mobile phone charged, bring along a spare power source, a spare battery or an old phone with a working battery.

Safety and Equipment

  • When exploring Malla Strict Nature Reserve, you should have a map, compass and appropriate hiking gear with you. Remember that the weather conditions may change abruptly in the fells and it may snow, even in the summer.
  • Before your hike, please read the Hiking in Finland pages and learn about hiking without littering and hike planning.
  • The trail in the reserve is covered with duckboards in places. Appropriate footwear is always necessary. There may be a lot of mosquitoes in the summer, so a mosquito net is useful at that time.
  • It is good to inform Kilpisjärvi Visitor Centre or your place of lodging about your schedule and route plans.
  • 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.
  • Make sure you pack a first-aid kit.
  • Hiking in Finland:

Seasons

September is great time to hike in Malla Strict Nature Reserve. Photo: Juha Kalaoja.

In March, the sun starts warming you in the daytime but the mornings are still cold as the temperature drops below zero during the night. The snow cover is at its thickest with more than a metre of snow in places. The best conditions for cross-country skiing in the Käsivarsi region last from April to mid-May.

The snow melts in the mountain birch forests in June, but there may still be many metres of snow here and there on the fells. It is difficult to walk there in the spring. Water from the melting snow flows down the fell slopes, making the trails wet and thus very susceptible to wear. Hikers are asked to take this into consideration when planning their route and possible date.

Hikers should really wait until July before they head for the fells in the Käsivarsi area to be able to admire the blooming flowers. The mosquito time has also started by then, although up in the fells the insects do not bother you quite as much as below the tree line.

Autumn colours are at their best in the second week of September and continue for another couple of weeks. Sometimes an autumn storm rips the leaves off the trees earlier than usual. The first snow usually falls in September, dusting the distant fell tops with white.

January is the coldest month of the year, with an average temperature as low as -13.6 degrees Celsius. In February the sun gives some light, but the temperature may still be -20° C or colder for days. Winter hiking and staying outdoors overnight require thorough planning and excellent equipment in order to be successful.

Peak Seasons

The most popular hiking months are April - early May, and August.

Emergency number 112

In case of an emergency along the way, for example if you get lost or injured or see a forest fire, dial 112. Detailed instructions.

Dogs must be kept on a leash! Photo: Seppo Leinonen.

Dogs must be kept on a leash!

(chapter 8 -  Keeping a dog)