Instructions and rules in Hossa National Park

Hossa National Park was established to protect and manage the organisms, geological features and landscape of the area’s natural environment of ridges, hills and small waters that tells a tale of a long-standing, still continuing coexistence of man and nature. The national park is also tasked with preserving and managing the cultural layers included in the area, in addition to serving as a public destination for recreation, hiking and nature activities.

The area of the Hossa National Park Rules is set out in the rules and regulations for Hossa National Park (In Finnish, appended map, page 7, pdf 386 kt, julkaisut.metsa.fi).

Take a look at the restricted areas in the national park on the page Maps and on the Excursionmap.fi website.

Respect Nature
Pets
Getting around in Nature
Use of Electric Mobility Aids
Water Traffic
Camping
Lighting Campfires
Litter-free Hiking
Biking
Fishing
Berry and Mushroom Picking
Other Rules
Drone Flying
Forbidden Activities
Seasons
Safety

Respect Nature

Outdoor activities in the Hossa National Park are guided with the rules and regulations for the area. Toimitaan ja liikutaan siis luonnossa sitä kunnioittaen. Take a look at the Outdoor Etiquette.

Please don’t share any such contents on the Internet that break the rules of the national park.

Letting pets run free is forbidden. The dogs that are used for hunting and reindeer husbandry do not need be kept on a leash during those activities.

Getting around in Nature

In the Hossa National Park, you may freely walk, snowshoe, ski, row and canoe.

The use of electric mobility aids is permitted on roads and barrier-free routes within the national park area. Persons with a severe physical disability and their assistants do not need a permit for off-road traffic.

Snowmobiling on the snowmobile tracks in the Hossa area requires a snowmobile track permit.

Water Traffic

The use of watercraft with an internal-combustion engine is forbidden on the waters of the national park, with the exception of the Peranka water route on Lakes Pikku-Kukkuri and Iso-Kukkuri.

  • The use of an electric outboard motor is allowed everywhere, except on the Huosilampi, Keihäslampi and Umpi-Valkeainen Ponds.
  • Internal-combustion engine boats are also allowed in connection with national park maintenance work and with seine fishing on Lake Aittojärvi.
  • Using your own boat or canoe is forbidden on the Huosilampi, Keihäslampi and Umpi-Valkeainen Ponds.
  • Float tubes are allowed everywhere, except on the Huosilampi and Keihäslampi Ponds.

Storing boats is only allowed with a specific permit granted by Metsähallitus: Lakes Aittojärvi and Pitkä-Hoilua, Iso-Valkeainen Pond and Lake Saari-Hoilua.

Camping

Camping in the national park is allowed in the immediate vicinity of the rest spots, campfire sites and huts that have been marked on the map and in the terrain, as well as at camping sites marked in the terrain, with the exception of the Iikoski rest spot area and the Huosilampi and Keihäslampi campfire sites, where camping is not allowed. The national park’s wilderness huts and rental huts are listed on the Services page. All of the huts, lean-to shelters and campfire sites in Hossa can be found at Excursionmap.fi.

Lighting Campfires

Lighting an open fire in the Hossa National Park is allowed at the maintained campfire sites that have been marked on the map and in the terrain. You are only allowed to use the firewood that has been reserved for the purpose. The person who lights the campfire is always responsible for the fire.

The use of a portable camping stove is allowed in areas where hiking is allowed.

During the Forest and Grass Fire Warning:

  • Lighting an open fire is forbidden everywhere, including at the marked campfire sites, when a forest fire warning (ilmatieteenlaitos.fi) is in effect.
    • The ban does not concern the cooking shelters or other fireplaces with a chimney, which are: the Lihapyörre cooking shelter, Iikoski cooking shelter and the fireplace inside the large lean-to shelter at Huosilampi, as well as all wilderness hut stoves.
  • During the forest and grass fire warning, the use of twig stoves is not allowed, as sparks may be created.

Litter-free Hiking

There are no mixed garbage bins in the Hossa National Park. Take away everything you brought along.

  • You can leave leftover food and other biodegradable waste in a dry toilet or composter at rest spots.
  • Small amounts of clean paper and cardboard may be used as kindling at a campfire site or a fireplace at a wilderness hut. Other waste, such as packages that contain aluminium foil or plastic, may not be burned in a fireplace, as they may form non-biodegradable waste and toxic gases.
  • There are two recycling points in the park: at the Hossa Visitor Centre day-trip parking area (at Jatkosalmentie 6, by the nature trail starting point) and at the Jatkojärvi camping site.

Biking

When there is no snow on the ground, mountain biking is allowed only on designated biking trails marked on maps and in the terrain. More information on biking trails in Hossa.

In winter, during the season with permanent snow cover, cycling is allowed under everyman’s rights on the multipurpose trails and also outside other trails.

Fishing

  • A Metsähallitus angling permit, Hossa 5502 (Eräluvat.fi), is required for fishing on the Iso-Valkeainen and Umpi-Valkeainen Ponds and the streams in the national park, as well as on the Huosilampi and Keihäslampi Ponds and River Hossanjoki outside the national park.
  • On the other waters of the national park, everyone has the right to go angling and ice fishing free of charge, and those who have paid the fisheries management fee are entitled to go lure fishing on the ponds and lakes.
  • On the lakes and ponds that are located outside the Hossa National Park and which are managed by Metsähallitus, everyone is allowed to go angling and ice fishing free of charge; lure fishing with one rod is permitted under the lure fishing right that is included in the fisheries management fee. Fishing with more than one rod on rapids and streams is possible with the North Ostrobothnia‒Kainuu angling permit 5411 (Eräluvat.fi).
  • Recreational trap fishing with stationary traps is allowed with a Metsähallitus trap fishing permit, Suomussalmi 2001 (Eräluvat.fi), on Lakes Iso-Kukkuri, Pikku-Kukkuri, Iso Syrjäjärvi and Aittojärvi.
  • Kalastajan on tarkistettava kalastusrajoitukset osoitteesta kalastusrajoitus.fi.

Berry and Mushroom Picking

Picking berries and edible mushrooms is allowed.

Other Rules

  • Research activities, organised events and the shooting of films or advertisements in the terrain always require a permit from Metsähallitus. Additional information: permits for research and getting around in nature (metsa.fi), a well as the permits and notifications regarding events (metsa.fi).
  • The use of the trails and structures of the Hossa National Park for business activities is always subject to a fee, and for frequent business use, a contract with Metsähallitus (metsa.fi) is required. The right of use fees for specific days are paid at the Eräluvat webshop (eraluvat.fi).
  • Hunting permits are not sold to the Hossa National Park, but locals have the right to hunt in certain parts of the national park.
  • Parts of Hossa National Park are included in the ADIZ border zone, which means that recreational drone pilots must also submit an RPAS flight plan to the Fintraffic Air Navigation Services (Fintraffic ANS). Instructions for completing a flight plan and the required forms are available on the website of Fintraffic ANS’s Aeronautical Information Services (ais.fi). You can find additional information regarding drone flying on the Fintraffic ANS website (fintraffic.fi). Drone flying in Hossa National Park that disturbs other people or animals is forbidden. You must be especially careful during the nesting period of birds.
  • Climbing in the national park is allowed under everyman’s rights. Permission is required for climbing activities that require the installation of permanent bolts or similar anchors. Rock climbing under everyman’s rights also does not entitle the climber to remove or damage moss, lichen or other vegetation from rock surfaces.

Forbidden Activities

  • Constructing buildings, structures and roads.
  • Extracting earth material or minerals, as well as damaging the soil or bedrock.
  • Drainage of land areas.
  • Taking or damaging fungi, trees, shrubs or other plants, or parts of them.
  • Catching, killing or disturbing wild vertebrates, or destroying their nests, as well as catching or collecting invertebrates.
  • Any activities that may have an unfavourable effect on the natural conditions and landscape or the preservation of organisms in the area.
  • Littering, damaging archaeological sites and other cultural heritage sites.
  • Any activities that disturb other people.

Rules and Regulations for Hossa

The rules and regulations for Hossa National Park (In Finnish, appended map, page 7, pdf 386 kt, julkaisut.metsa.fi). ratified on 20 April 2020.

Seasons

Hossa welcomes some 133,000 visitors per year. The busiest months are July and September.

  • The snowy season starts in November‒December and usually continues to early May.
  • The period of autumn colours begins in early September and lasts, varying each year, to the end of September or to October.
  • The mosquito season is at its worst from mid-June to August. The amount of mosquitoes varies a great deal each year.

Safety

  • 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 has in store, will help make your trip a success. It is also good to know if the forest fire warning is in effect. 
  • Winter hiking requires a degree of more detailed planning and good equipment. Read more about winter hiking in Hossa.
  • In Hossa, the mobile phone coverage is fairly good, but there may also be dead zones due to landforms.
  • The waters in Hossa are very clean, but not all of them have been studied. You can get drinking water from the visitor centre. A safe way to clean the drinking water is to boil it for a few minutes, during which any microbes will die.
  • Background information on how to act in case of an emergency.
  • See also Hiking in Finland.

Check for Warnings

When forest and grass fire warnings (en.ilmatieteenlaitos.fi) are in effect, fire is only allowed at covered campfire sites that have a flue. A fire can be also lit in fireplaces at wilderness and other huts. Always use extreme caution when handling fire. The one who lights a fire is always responsible for its safe use. Please note, that making fire at these campfire sites can be banned locally. 

Drawing of a fireplace. The drawing shows the roof, the flue and off the ground.

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.

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Download the 112 Finland application (112.fi) to your phone. When an emergency call is made through the 112 Finland application, the emergency center 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.

Outdoor Etiquette

1. Respect nature.

2. Mainly use marked trails.

3. Camp only where it is allowed.

4. Light your campfire only where it is allowed.

5. Do not litter.

Read more