Instructions and Rules in Hämeenkangas
Hämeenkangas is a military training and multi-use area. It is primarily a training area for the Finnish Defence Forces where hikers can also move with certain restrictions. Most of the forests in Hämeenkangas are used for commercial forestry, but there are also parts which are protected due to their natural value. It is important to study matters dealing with the area in advance and prepare yourself properly for your trip by reading the instructions of the area.
Getting around in Hämeenkangas
Picking Berries, Mushrooms and Wild Herbs
Other Rules and Instructions
When getting around in nature, let’s show respect for it. Take a look at the Outdoor Etiquette.
Letting pets running at large is forbidden. Dogs and other pets are welcome but only on a leash.
Everyman's rights may be exercised in Hämeenkangas, with the exception of restrictions:
- Hämeenkangas is a military practice area and due to military activity there are sometimes restrictions on which areas visitors may enter. More information: Niinisalo garrison tel. int. +358 2 99800.
- Movement is restricted during military exercises.
- Passing through the Niinisalo Garrison is prohibited.
- Access to fenced areas is prohibited.
- Movement in the airport area is only allowed on marked trails.
- The use of motor vehicles is only permitted on public roads.
Camping is permitted under everyman's rights, taking into account the restrictions on movement. We recommend that you stay overnight at lean-to shelters and campfire huts.
Campfire is only allowed at sites marked for this purpose. Check the current warnings (ilmatieteenlaitos.fi). The person who lights the campfire is always responsible for the fire.
- Lighting campfires is forbidden also at the constructed campfire sites if the wildfire warning is in effect. The prohibition does not apply to Koivistonvati cooking shelter or Niinikota's covered campfire site with a flue.
- Metsähallitus takes care of firewood maintenance only at some of the area's lean-to shelters and campfire huts. For other points you will have to take firewood with you.
The use of a portable camping stove is allowed in areas where hiking is allowed.
There are no waste-bins in the area. Measures should be taken in advance to avoid taking unnecessary waste into the area. Biodegradable waste should be placed in a toilet and small amounts of clean paper and cardboard can be used as kindling in a campfire.
- Toilets at Viidentienristeys, Kuninkaanlähde, Ruskalaavu and Koivistonharju are emptied with suction. Do not put any food waste or other garbage in them.
- There are Metsähallitus maintained dry toilets only at these points; at Viidentienlaavu, Ruskalaavu, Jättikota, Kuninkaanlähde and Koivistonharju lean-to shelters and Koivistonvati cooking shelter.
- Read more about Hiking without Littering.
In the Valkiajärvi lake hook and line fishing and icefishing are allowed as Everyman's Rights and lure fishing with one rod if you have paid the fisheries management fee (eraluvat.fi).
Picking berries and edible mushrooms is allowed, except where specific restrictions apply.
Taking or damaging trees, bushes, other plants or their parts, or mushrooms other than edible ones is forbidden. Picking wild herbs is therefore forbidden.
Riding a bicycle is permitted under everyman's rights, taking into account the restrictions on movement.
The Hämeenkangas area is an excellent mountain biking destination.
Horseback riding is allowed on roads and trails marked on the Hämeenkangas outdoor map (pdf 1,1 MB, julkaisut.metsa.fi) as riding tracks.
Flying drones is only permitted in Hämeenkangas with a special permit, as some of the area is restricted due to the activities of the Defence Forces, and the Jämi area is a UAS airspace zone due to airport operations.
Elk and small game hunting is allowed for the local hunting clubs subject to a permit issued by Metsähallitus on application.
As a rule, a permit issued by Metsähallitus is required for activities other than those included in everyman's rights, which may include research, organised events and the shooting of films or advertisements in the terrain. Further information on required permits: research and access permits (metsa.fi) and permits and notifications related to events (metsa.fi).
The use of the trails and structures of Hämeenkangas for business activities is always subject to a fee, and for frequent business use, a contract with Metsähallitus (metsa.fi, in Finnish) is required. The right of use fees for specific days are paid at the Eräluvat webshop (eraluvat.fi).
It is important that you get as much information as possible about your hiking destination in advance and prepare for your trip thoroughly. Knowing your route and sticking to it and knowing what the weather and warnings in effect (ilmatieteenlaitos.fi) has in store, will help make your trip a success.
- Make sure you pack a first-aid kit. 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.
- Mobile telephones work quite well in Hämeenkangas, except in some areas in the Hämeenkangas area where cliffs or forest block signals. Download the 112 Finland application (112.fi) to your phone.
- If you do not have a very good knowledge of the Hämeenkangas area you should always have a proper map with you.
- Dress for hiking in colorful clothes and according to the weather.
- Please note that there is no paper in the toilets.
- Hiking in Finland:
112 Emergency Number
If you have an emergency during your trip, such as getting lost, injured or finding a wildfire, call 112. Read more detailed emergency instructions.
Download the 112 Finland application (112.fi) to your phone. When an emergency call is made through the 112 Finland application, the emergency centre attendant is automatically informed of the caller's location.
It is recommended to keep the mobile phone warm and to bring extra food and water with you. There are many excursion locations with no mobile coverage and some mobile phones does not work in sub-zero temperatures, that is why it is always a good idea to let someone know about your itinerary and timetable.
Game and Fisheries Wardens supervising nature destinations
Wilderness supervision (eräluvat.fi) offers services and education for the benefit of Finnish nature. A Game and Fisheries Warden is responsible for supervising the legality and authorisation of operations and the use of nature in state-owned areas.
If you witness or suspect a violation, you can report your observations to the warden (eräluvat.fi). Although we would like for you to leave your contact details when filing a report, you may also file a report anonymously.