Instructions on Exploring Virvatulten polku Trail

  • Hiking, skiing, snowshoe walking and biking along roads are all permitted in the protected areas and Natura 2000 areas along the trail.
    • The trail is open to the public when the ice is melted from the end of May through to October when the permanent snow falls. The flooding along the trail varies each year, but usually floods end by the beginning of June.
    • During early spring there is sometimes a ski trail between Metsäkartano and Pumpulikirkko. To get up-to-date information on the condition of the ski trail contact Metsäkartano nature tourist centre, as they are they ones who maintain it.
  • 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 in protected areas. Animals should not be disturbed. Damaging soil or rock, and extraction of earth material or minerals is forbidden.
  • Hunting is forbidden in Tiilikkajärvi National Park and Pumpulikirkko Old-growth Forest Reserve. In other Natura 2000 areas along the trail hunting is permitted with the permission of the landowner.
  • Entering protected areas with a motor vehicle is forbidden except on roads marked for this purpose. Snowmobiling is only allowed on official snowmobile routes.
  • In Tiilikkajärvi National Park visitors must abide by the area's rules and regulations.

There are lingonberries growing along the trail. Photo: Katri Suhonen

Camping and Campfires

  • Camping is permitted at Yrttilampi campfire site and at Pankalampi and Yrittisuo lean-to shelters. Lighting campfires is only allowed at places designated for this purpose.
  • Lighting campfires is completely forbidden when there is a forest fire warning in effect.

Preparations

Mobile Phone Coverage

  • A GPS device is a useful tool for hikers, but in gorges like Pumpulikirkko it can not always receive a signal. Photo: Katri SuhonenAlthough Finland has a broad network for mobile phones, there are some parts of the area where cliffs or forest block signals. 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

  • Virvatulten polku Trail is marked with paint markings and signposts, but it is also advisable to have a map along.
  • Cliffs, rocky sections and sections with many roots can be slippery. Loose rocks can also be treacherous.
  • Steep precipices make the terrain demanding, which means it takes longer to hike each kilometre than in other terrain.
  • A GPS device can not receive a signal in Pumpulikirkko Canyon.
  • 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.
  • Read more about Safety.

Equipment

  • To hike Virvatulten polku Trail you should have sturdy waterproof shoes, as portions of it are rocky and have roots growing across it. There are duckboards at the wettest part of the trail, but parts of the trail can be flooded up until the beginning of summer.
  • You should take drinking water and toilet paper with you on your hike.
  • Hiking in Finland: What to Take

Seasons

  • Snow can remain in hollows and gorges all the way to the end of May or beginning of June.
  • There are duckboards at the wettest part of the trail. Crossing points of streams can be flooded still at the end of May.

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!