Instructions and Rules in Inari Hiking Area

Inari hiking area is located on Lake Inarijärvi in the Sámi residential area. It is important to study matters dealing with the hiking area in advance and prepare yourself properly for your trip by reading the instruction and regulations.

An information sign with the text "Hautumaasaari" at the lakeshore. The sign has a wooden frame and a wooden cross can be seen on the upper edge of the sign. There are waves on the water and the sky is cloudy.
 

Explore the area on the Maps page and Retkikartta.fi (exploremap.fi), Please note that you are hiking in a reindeer huspandry area.

Respect Nature
Pets
Getting around and Camping 
Lighting Campfires
Litter-free Hiking
Fishing
Picking Berries, Mushrooms and Wild Herbs
Other Rules and Instructions
Forbidden Activities
Peak Seasons
Safety

Respect Nature

With everyman's rights comes also the responsibility for nature. Many sacred places for the Sámi are located in the area. Ukonsaari island is one of the more well-known of these, and there are also many sites of cultural historical importance. When out in nature, behave in such a way that does not disrespect their meaning or degrade their condition. Take a look at the Outdoor Etiquette.

The restraint of dogs is regulated by the Hunting Act and the Public Order Act (finlex.fi, finnish). Take into account reindeer that graze freely.

Getting around and Camping

Moving around and camping, according to the Everyman's right (ymparisto.fi), except in special areas such as Lake Inarijärvis' Hautuumaasaaret, the Graveyard Islands, and Pielpajärvi Wilderness Church and the Inari Sámi winter village surrounding it. Those areas are protected under Antiquites Act (finlex.fi, finnish).

Camping is prohibited:

The Pielpajärvi Wilderness Church and the Inari Sámi winter village surrounding it form a significant Sámi cultural heritage site. This site was probably inhabited before the church was founded. A reminder of the site’s time as a winter village, there are remains of huts and Lapp tents as well as the stone foundations of rectory buildings on the church grounds. 

We recommend camping in the designated places, where is also fireplaces with firewood and drytoilets available. Check the campingsites from exploremap.fi.

Lighting Campfires

Lighting a fire 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. In addition Metsähallitus has decided to grant general permission to light fires in the terrain in Lapland using fallen branches, twigs and small stumps. In places where there is a maintained campfire site within 500 metres, all fires must be lit at the campfire site. 

The use of a portable camping stove is allowed in areas where hiking is allowed. During the forest and grass fire warning, the use of hobo stoves is not allowed, as sparks may be created.

Lighting any campfires is strictly forhibited if the forest fire warning or the grass fire warning is in effect. Always check the current warnings (en.ilmatieteenlaitos.fi). This prohibition does not apply to cooking shelters or other fireplaces with a flue. In Inari hiking area you will find one from Lake Inarijärvi and open wilderness and daytrip huts.

Lighting fires on the Hautuumaasaari islands is prohibited. Read all the restrictions that apply to the Hautuumaasaari islands.

Litter-free Hiking

There are no waste bins at the hiking area. Hikers must look after their own waste and carry it out of the forest with them for sorting.

You can put leftovers and other biowaste in a dry toilet at rest spots.

Small amounts of clean paper and cardboard may be used as kindling at a campfire site. 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.

Read more about Hiking without littering.

Fishing

Hook-and-line fishing and ice fishing are permitted under Everyman's rights. 
For lure fishing, persons aged 18 to 69 must pay a fisheries management fee (eraluvat.fi). In Inari hiking area you also need fishing permit 1579 (eraluvat.fi) for a special water area. You can buy permits in Eräluvat on-line shop (eraluvat.fi) and service points at the Northern Lapland Nature Centre Siida and in Ivalo Metsähallitus Customer Service point. 

Fishers need to check the restrictions on fishing sites at kalastusrajoitus.fi (In Finnish).

Picking Berries, Mushrooms and Wild Herbs

Picking berries and mushrooms are allowed in hiking area.

Taking or damaging trees, bushes, other plants or their parts, or mushrooms other than edible ones is forbidden. 

Other Rules and Instructions

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 Inari Hiking Area 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).

Forbidden Activities

  • In Hautuumaasaaret (the Graveyard Islands) and Pielpajärvi Wilderness Church: camping, lighting campfires, tampering with the soil.
  • Damaging soil or rock, and extraction of earth material or minerals.
  • Capturing, killing, and disturbing wild vertebrates, and taking or damaging their nests or burrows.
  • Catching or collecting invertebrates.
  • Driving motor vehicles, except on roads designated for motor vehicles.
  • Leaving waste in the area, or damaging constructions.
  • Covering, changing, damaging, removing, violating or excavating in archaeological sites.
  • Activities that disturb other people.

Peak Seasons

The Inari hiking area is extensive and the seasons vary depending on the activities. April is the best time for ice fishing, August for river fishing, July-August for boating in general, September and “ruska” (time of colourful autumn foliage) for hiking. The autumn is also when you’ll encounter the fewest mosquitoes. The polar night, which lasts from November to January, is the best time ti see the northern lights and other heavenly phenomena, while March-April is ideal for cross-country skiing and May for watching bird migrations. Choose your own time to visit!

Safety

  • On Lake Inarijärvi, there are marked boat channels, which should be used because there are plenty of rocks elsewhere. Sea kayaks are perfect for navigating the large lake - not even the rocky shoals will pose any problems for these nimble watercraft. 
  • It may be difficult to find natural harbours along the rocky shores. Boat landings maintained by Metsähallitus can be found on Excursionmap.fi. There are also shelters suitable for making fires at these landings. 
  • On Lake Inarijärvi, the weather can suddenly change from calm to windy. Therefore a seaworthy boat is needed on the large open water areas of the lake.
  • Only 4 persons may be on the suspension bridge over the Jäniskoski Rapids on the Juutuajoki River at the same time.
  • Dress for hiking in colorful clothes and according to the weather. Drinking water and toilet paper are good to have along.
  • Information on canoe safety and equipment: Guidelines for canoe safety and gear (melontajasoutuliitto.fi, in Finnish) and Melontaopas (a canoe guide in Finnish at melonta.wasalab.com).
  • 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 Phone Coverage is quite good, except few areas in the Inari Hiking Area without signal. There may also be some smaller spots where there is interference. 
  • Outdoor Guide:

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 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.

Outdoor Etiquette

A cartoon picture of a family walking on a summer path.

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