Directions to Koli National Park
Koli National Park is located east of Highway 6 on the western shore of Lake Pielinen. Koli is 63 km from Joensuu and 182 km from Kajaani.
Tip: Prefer public transportation when Arriving to Koli in summer season.
To the Hiking Trails
Koli has plenty of options for parking. For example, you can get to the starting points for the Ukko-Koli and Kolin kylä hiking trails from the parking areas located at Koli Harbour, Ollila, Ukko-Koli slopes, Likolahti, Paimenenvaara and Peiponpelto.
You can reach the Herajärven kierros Trail and the rest of the park from the Pirunkirkko, Seppälä-Lakkala, Ryläys and Kiviniemi parking areas.
The most popular parking areas in the national park are P1 and P2 near the summit of Ukko-Koli Hill. These parking areas are often busy, so it’s a good idea to plan your departure from other parking areas.
Between Joensuu and Koli you can pre-book a shared taxi (kolintaksi.fi, in Finnish). The shared taxi is a door-to-door service, and you can also hop on along the way.
Between Lieksa and Koli, or Juuka and Koli, you can pre-book a shared taxi provided by the City of Lieksa. The shared taxi is booked directly from the driver whose contact information is provided in the webpage (lieksa.fi, in Finnish).
The nearest bus stop is located on Highway 6 in Ahmovaara (Kolinportti). The distance from the bus stop to Koli National Park is approximately 9 km. There is bus service (matkahuolto.fi) from Joensuu and Kajaani to Koli all year round. The bus stops at Kolinportti in Ahmovaara. You can get from Ahmovaara to Koli National Park by walking, cycling, pre-booking a shared taxi (kolintaksi.fi, in Finnish) or taking a regular taxi (kolintaksi.fi, in Finnish).
Tip: When searching the bus timetables (matkahuolto.fi), it’s a good idea to select Ahmovaara (Juuka) as your stop. This allows you to check the regular buses that stop at the Kolinportti yard and the express buses that stop along Joensuuntie road.
Tip 2: Beginning on 7 June 2021, you can take a bus from Joensuu and Nurmes to Ahmovaara Mon-Fri. A bus connection from Ahmovaara to Koli (koli.fi, in Finnish) must be booked in advance.
By Train to Joensuu, Lieksa or Kajaani
The closest railway stations where trains (vr.fi) stop are Joensuu (63 km), Lieksa (85 km) or Kajaani (182 km).
From Joensuu railway station you can make the trip to Koli National Park by by taxi (kolintaksi.fi, in Finnish).
From Joensuu or Kajaani you can also take a bus to Ahmovaara. The distance from Ahmovaara to Koli National Park is approximately 9 km. You can get from Ahmovaara to Koli National Park by walking, cycling, pre-booking a shared taxi (kolintaksi.fi, in Finnish) or taking a regular taxi (kolintaksi.fi, in Finnish).
From Lieksa railway station you you can pre-book a shared taxi provided by the City of Lieksa (lieksa.fi, in Finnish).
Tip: When the Koli-Vuonislahti ice road (koli.fi) is open, the nearest railway station is in Vuonislahti (18 km). You can take a taxi (kolintaksi.fi, in Finnish) from Vuonislahti railway station to Koli National Park.
By Car to Koli
Tip 2: Rantatie (Road 5046) and Jerontie (Road 15735) are narrow, winding and hilly sand roads. These roads are challenging especially during winter, but also other seasons are challenging especially for big vehicles, such as caravans. During the winter, these roads can be challenging and studded tyres are always recommended. It is always best to arrive to Koli National Park via Kolintie (Road 504), which is asphalted. Navigators often recommend to use Jerontie and Rantatie, but it is better to drive through Neste Kolinportti and Kolintie (Road 504).
Tip 3: In mid-winter, an ice road across Lake Pielinen is open from Koli to Vuonislahti (koli.fi).
Ukko-Koli Parking Areas
P1, P2 and P3 parking areas, Ylä-Kolintie 31, Lieksa (Road 5040). Space for approximately 145 cars. From the parking areas, you can walk up the stairs or take the complimentary railcar service to the Upper Yard, where you’ll find Koli Nature Centre Ukko, the starting points for several trails and Break Sokos Hotel (sokoshotels.fi). The stairs start beside the railcar’s lower station. There is no winter maintenance on the stairs.
The P1-P3 parking areas are often very full. The busiest times are on weekends, during the peak season (June-August), vacation periods and public holidays. During busy periods, we recommend using other parking areas as your starting point. For example, the parking areas at Ollila, Ukko-Koli slopes, Likolahti and Paimenenvaara are only a 1-2 km walk along the trail network to Koli Nature Centre Ukko and the starting points of several trails.
The P3 parking area for caravans, campers and buses is located at the back of the P2 parking area. Overnight stays are prohibited in the P3 parking area. More information on Koli caravan and camping areas (koli.fi/en). The Upper Yard (Ylä-Kolintie 39, Lieksa) is the best place for buses to turn around.
Electric car charging points are available in the P1 parking area. There is a fee for using the charging points (sokoshotels.fi).
Please note that parking is prohibited in the Upper Yard (Ylä-Kolintie 39, Lieksa). The only exception to this is accessible parking.
Koli church parking area, Ylä-Kolintie 4, Lieksa (Road 5040). Space for approximately 28 cars. During the winter maintenance period, the parking area is smaller.
Koli harbour parking area, Rantatie 12, Lieksa (Road 5046). Space for approximately 15 cars. During the winter maintenance period, the parking area is smaller.
Ollila parking area, Ylä-Kolintie 12, Lieksa (Road 5040). Space for approximately 12 cars. During the winter maintenance period, the parking area is smaller.
Ukko-Koli slopes parking area, Rantatie 27, Lieksa. Space for approximately 200 cars. During the winter maintenance period, the parking area is smaller. You can take a scenic lift from the parking area to Koli Nature Centre Ukko during the winter and in the summer season. Check the schedule and prices for the scenic lift (koli.fi).
Likolahti parking area, Rantatie 45, Lieksa. Space for approximately 10 cars. During the winter maintenance period, the parking area is smaller.
Paimenenvaara parking area, Kotaniementie 10, Lieksa. Space for approximately 8 cars. During the winter maintenance period, the parking area is smaller.
Peiponpelto parking area, Kotaniementie 31, Lieksa. Space for approximately 10 cars. During the winter maintenance period, the parking area is smaller.
Ryläys parking area, Herajärventie 1, Lieksa. Space for approximately 5 cars. During the winter maintenance period, the parking area is smaller.
Pirunkirkko parking area, Rantatie 118, Lieksa. Space for approximately 10 cars. During the winter maintenance period, the parking area is smaller. A steep hill right before the parking area makes it difficult to reach in the winter and during periods of frost heave.
Seppälä-Lakkala parking area, Herajärven rantatie 36, Kontiolahti. Space for approximately 6 cars. No winter maintenance.
Rykiniemi parking area, Vaaralahdentie 116, Joensuu. Space for approximately 6 cars. No winter maintenance. This parking area is located about 300 metres from the Vaaralahdentie intersection. You have to turn left at the intersection before the parking area.
Kiviniemi parking area, Mustalahdentie 27, Kontiolahti. Space for approximately 25 cars. During the winter maintenance period, the parking area is smaller. Parking along the edge of the turning area.
Eteläpää parking area, Eteläpääntie 126, Joensuu. Space for approximately 5 cars. No winter maintenance.
Accessible parking area, Ylä-Kolintie 39, Lieksa (Road 5040). Space for 2 cars. The accessible parking spaces are located next to the side entrance of Break Sokos Hotel. Parking in these spaces is only permitted with an accessible parking permit.
A wheelchair can fit in the railcar that runs from the P1 parking area to the Upper Yard.
More information about accessible services in Koli National Park.
Although Koli National Park cannot be reached by public transportation, it’s easy to take a bike with you on the train or bus and then cycle from the nearest stop to Koli. The Ylä-Kolintie, Rantatie and Kotaniementie roads running through the national park lead to the starting points of all of the national park’s hiking trails.
Tip: Use the Pielisen kierros cycling route (250 km), which passes through places such as Juuka, Nurmes and Lieksa, to help plan your cycling route to Koli. The Pielisen kierros cycling route (koli.fi) mainly runs along quiet sandy roads in the countryside.
Please remember that cycling is not permitted on the steep hiking trails in Koli National Park. Cycling on hiking trails in the national park is restricted to prevent damage to nature and ensure the safety of everyone moving around in the area. Cycling in Koli National Park is only permitted on roads.
By Boat to Koli
Koli Harbour (Rantatie 12, Lieksa) on the shore of Lake Pielinen has a guest harbour with eight berths, a boat ramp for small boats, and a dock for cruise ships and car ferries. Please remember that landing or moving around on islets smaller than one hectare in size is prohibited between 15 May and 17 July to allow waterfowl to nest in peace.
There is a launching site for small boats on the Alaselkä beach of Lake Herajärvi in Lähtevänsärkkä (Herajärven rantatie 48, Joensuu). When water levels are low, access from Alaselkä to Lake Herajärvi can be a problem because Orivirta Sound is shallow. Lähtevänsärkkä parking area has space for approximately 5 cars. There is no winter maintenance in the parking area.