Hepoköngäs Nature Reserve Trails
Starting Points for Trails
- The trail to the water fall has its starting point at Hepoköngäs parking area, address: Hepokönkääntie 22, Puolanka.
- The Puolanka portion of the UKK Hiking Trail has starting points at Paljakka tourist resort, at Ukkohalla in Hyrynsalmi, at Lake Siikajärvi on the north side of Siikavaara Nature Reserve near the municipal border between Puolanka and Pudasjärvi, or at any point where the UKK Hiking Trail crosses a road; for example road 895, which runs from Joukokylä to Askankylä.
The marked trails on the area belong to the UKK Hiking Trail, which portion in Puolanka municipality is called "Tonkohuikonen". UKK Hiking Trail is marked with blue color.
The Geological Nature Trail, 1,5 km
- Breaks off the trail leading to the waterfall. Nature trail leads down to the shore of river Heinijoki and circles back to the parking area. Nature Trail is marked with red colour spots.
- Services: Ten displays (in Finnish) and a lookout spot
- Connections: UKK Hiking Trail "Tonkohuikonen"
The trail leading to the Hepoköngäs waterfall, 600 m
- Trail, which is suitable also for disabled, is marked with colour spots.
- Services: Hepoköngäs parking area, Lappish Kota Hut and two lookout spots on the waterfall.
- Connections: This trail connects to the UKK Hiking Trail "Tonkohuikonen".
- The marked trails on the area belong to the UKK Hiking Trail, which portion in Puolanka municipality is called "Tonkohuikonen". UKK Hiking Trail is marked with blue color.
- There are numerous starting points for the UKK Hiking Trail, but Tonkohuikonen leg of the trail has its starting point at the boundary between Hyrynsalmi and Puolanka at the northern tip if Paljakka Strict Nature Reserve and then leads along the road between Lauttakylä Village and road 78 which runs in an east-west direction and then heads west towards Lake Väärälampi, where the trail divides in two:
- the section heading south leads to Paljakka (12 km). The route leads via Teerivaara Hill - Lake Lohilampi - Myllypuro - Pirunkirkko protected forest - Louhenjoki - Holsti road - Paljakka and has sights including Pirunkirkko protected forest, the Pirun saarnastuoli rock column and Pirunkirkko day trip hut.
- the section heading north leads to Hepoköngäs (9.5 km). After passing the waterfall the trail climbs over Äikänvaara Hill and crosses road 891 (Puolanka - Hyrynsalmi), after which the trail divides in two at Pyssykulju:
- to the centre of Puolanka (15 km).
- and towards Siikavaara Hill and Lake Siikajärvi. The Kuirivaara, Välivaara, Iso Nuottivaara and Siikavaara Hills are all over 360 metres high. After passing Siikavaara the trail reaches the boundary of the municipality of Pudasjärvi from where it heads into Syöte National Park.
- Services: There are lean-to shelters by the trail.
- Sights: Hepoköngäs Waterfall, Pirunkirkko Gorge, the steep Kometto cliffs at the north end of Siikavaara.
Hepoköngäs Waterfall - Lake Puolankajärvi, 25 km
It is possible to paddle by canoe from below Hepoköngäs Waterfall down the River Heinijoki and across lakes Puolankajärvi, Vihajärvi and Ristijärvi immediately at the beginning of spring when waters are high. The route is a combination of calm river sections and long lake sections. The end point of canoeing route is Puolankajärvi Camping Ground.
- Services: The Heinijoki and Vihakoski lean-to shelters, which are maintained by the municipality of Puolanka, are situated beside the route.
The centre of Puolanka to Paljakka
- Snowmobile track permits are sold by service station Shell Osteri Ky at Puolanka.