Natural and cultural attractions, various marked hiking trails, and bountiful fishing waters in the Inari Hiking Area offer plenty to see and do throughout the year. Although all of the hiking destinations are easy to access, tranquil solitude is also guaranteed to those in search of it.
The numerous lakes and rivers make the Inari Hiking Area perfect for fly fishing as well as ice fishing. The best-known fishing sites include the legendary Juutua trout river in the Inari Parish, and Lake Inarijärvi itself. Trolling on the still waters of the lake under the midnight sun is an unforgettable experience. And what could taste better than self-caught and freshly cooked whitefish or grayling? Lake Tuulijärvi some 8 km from the centre of Inari is an excellent ice-fishing spot for families with children. A snack around a campfire at the Tuulijärvi lean-to provides a nice break during the chase for the arctic char in winter.
In Lake Inarijärvi one need a fisheries management fee (www.eraluvat.fi) for one rod. Trolling with several rods one need also an angling permit area 1580. Ice fishing and hook-and-line -fishing are permitted under public rights of access. Juutua and the lakes within the Inari Hiking Area, which are stocked with farmed fish, require a separate angling permit (permit area 1578 and 1579). For more information about the permits, go to eraluvat.fi or a Metsähallitus service point.
Fishers need to check the restrictions on fishing sites at kalastusrajoitus.fi (In Finnish).
Trails in the Inari Hiking Area are suited for day trips and pass through the area's most beautiful landscape. The Juutua trail (7.5 km) follows the shores of Juutuanjoki River near Inari Parish and is one of the most popular trails in Inari. The trail can be hiked as a circular route. Some of the trails are illuminated and are kept open in winter also. The Pielpajärvi trail (4.5 km) leads through old pine forests and forest ponds to Pielpajärvi Wilderness Church. A 9-km trail leads to Otsamotunturi Fell. The fairly steep rise at the end is rewarding: the views from the top of the fell are the most splendid in all of Inari, extending all the way to Lake Inarijärvi and the Lemmenjoki River fells. Services available for day trip visitors along the trails include maintained campfire sites and day trip huts.
One of Finland's largest lakes, Inarijärvi offers canoeists a vast number of starting points and routes. In addition to day trips, the lake is perfect for longer trips. One could well be tempted to spend the entire summer there, without managing to explore the entire lake. Shoreless lake views, narrow straits, thousands of rocky islands covered with twisted pines, and hills and fells in the distance vary in the scenery. Peace and quiet is guaranteed! The vast expanse of Lake Inarijärvi can prove a tall order for lake canoeists – a kayak designed for sea conditions is the best choice. Ready-planned route options make it easier to explore the lake.
Juutua River is an excellent destination for canoeists who are looking for more speed. The river can be run down in an open canoe (Indian canoes) or rapids kayak except for Jäniskoski Rapids, whose surging waters run free.
- Cross-country skiing: Trekking trails in Inari take the visitor to Otsamotunturi Fell, shores of Juutua, or Pielpajärvi Wilderness Church. There are day trip huts and campfire sites along the trails.
- Visitor centre: The Sámi Museum and Northern Lapland Nature Centre Siida's exhibitions introduce northern nature and Sámi culture. Nature Centre and Ivalo service point provide hiking tips, local maps, and all permits required.
- Seeing the sights and the views: The best-known destinations include Pielpajärvi Wilderness Church, Otsamotunturi Fell, Tuulispää Fell, Ukonsaari Island that is sacred to the Sámi people, and graveyard islands on Lake Inarijärvi.
- Cycling: The mountain biking route along Vanha Menesjärventie road (55 km) takes the visitor to the forest landscape of Inari. Mountain biking is allowed according to everyman's rights. Always stay on clearly visible tracks and pay attention to other hikers.
- Boating: Lake Inarijärvi is easy to access from harbours in Inari, Nellim, Veskoniemi, and Nanguniemi that are all equipped with information boards and recycling points. Islands with huts, camping sites, or destinations maintained by Metsähallitus have jetties for landing.
- Learn in nature: Read more about the Sámi Museum and Northern Lapland Nature Centre Siida's offerings for school groups.