Iivaara Nature Reserve Trails
Starting Points for Trails
- Rajalampi parking area: Iirinki Trail, 10.2 km
Important information about parking, read this before heading to Iivaara:
The road to the parking area of Iivaara is kept open throughout the winter season 2022-2023. The road is not cleared daily, so the road may be blocked partially due to snow blown by the wind. If the road is blocked or it has been snowing, please leave the car to the wider area at the beginning of the road. Especially if you are going on an overnight trip, please leave your car there.
Iirinki Trail is a circle trail, demanding in places, and runs in the landscape of the wooded hill of Iivaara. The trail is also suitable for snowshoeing.
Available all year round: a hiking trail in the summer and a snowshoeing trail in the winter.
Travel time 3-5 hours.
Category: intermediate - demanding.
Rajalampi parking area. In order to access the parking area, drive along Hiltusentie Road and turn onto Suokannanvaarantie Road. Drive along the road until a forest road diverges to the right. The parking area is located at the end of the forest road.
- You can print out a topographic map on Excursion Map (excursionmap.fi), which is a free-of-charge map service provided by Metsähallitus.
- Trail marking: green paint signs on trees and green reflectors on wooden poles.
- Direction of travel: first, there is a one-way section, two kilometres long, that runs from the Rajalampi parking area onto the top of Iivaara Hill. The circle trail starts from the top of Iivaara Hill. The recommended direction of travel along the circle trail is anticlockwise. Hence, set off from the viewpoint on Iivaara Hill, hike to Näätälampi Wilderness Hut and return to the top of Iivaara Hill.
- The trail is demanding in places, as there are steep ascents and descents along the trail. Some sections of the trail are stony and root-filled.
The trail starts from the Rajalampi parking area, crosses River Rajajoki and ascends onto the top of Iivaara Hill. There is a campfire site on the top of the hill, and at a distance of 100 metres, there is also a viewpoint. From the viewpoint, you may continue to Näätälampi Wilderness Hut. This way, you will complete the Iirinki Trail in its entirety (10.2 km). It is also possible to return from the viewpoint, along the same trail, to the parking area. This way, your excursion will be about four kilometres long (the distance from the parking area onto the top of Iivaara Hill is about 2 km).
There is a dry toilet in the Rajalampi parking area. On the top of Iivaara Hill, you will find a viewpoint and a campfire site, a dry toilet and a firewood shelter. Along the Iirinki Trail, there is Näätälampi Wilderness Hut and a campfire site, a firewood shelter and a dry toilet in the yard of the hut. Bring toilet paper with you.
A view from the top of Iivaara Hill (470 m from above the sea level), unique natural features of Iivaara, including fell plants and old-growth forest bird species, a spring that is the source of River Iijoki and tree trunks that fell throughout a wide area in the Paula storm in 2021, reminding visitors of the raging power of the storm. In the winter, the trees on Iivaara Hill are enchanting, covered with crown snow.
Due to a large number of windfalls caused by the Paula storm, the Iirinki Trail has been realigned in 2022: due to the realignment, the starting point of Iirinki Trail has been moved to another location, there is a new route onto the top of Iivaara Hill and the trail is now longer than before (please see the map).
- Due to the new alignment, the trail cannot always be seen clearly in the terrain, which is why it is important to follow the green trail markings and signposts.
- In the winter, there is also a snowmobile route onto the top of Iivaara Hill.
- In the autumn and winter, visitors to the top of Iivaara Hill may be taken by surprise how cold it is there. Bring warm clothes with you. Tips on winter outdoor activities.
- The snowmobile route from the north, 10 km, passes to Näätälampi open wilderness hut and further on to Murtovaara and Kuusamo either directly or via Lämsänkylä or Törmäsenvaara villages. Snowmobiling is free in Kuusamo for non-locals also.
- Services: Näätälampi open wilderness hut
- Sights: Iivaara