Instructions and Rules in Koli National Park
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.
Instructions on Exploring Koli National Park
In the National Park, the following are
- walking, skiing, rowing and canoeing, except in the restricted areas
- picking berries and mushrooms
- hook and line fishing and ice fishing are allowed under everyman's rights, except where specific restrictions apply. Fishers need to check the restrictions on fishing sites at kalastusrajoitus.fi (in Finnish).
- Lighting campfire and camping are only allowed at sites marked for this purpose
- Parking cars, which is only allowed in designated areas
- Cycling is allowed on car roads
- Snowboarding and downhill skiing, which are forbidden on the natural slopes at the most important lookout points (Ukko-Koli, Akka-Koli and Paha-Koli). This is to conserve nature and to protect the safety of our guests.
- Persons aged 18-64 years must pay the fisheries management fee (eräluvat.fi). If you fish with more than one rod, you also need Metsähallitus' angling permit no 7413 for Southern Finland (eräluvat.fi). Fishing permits are available from Metsähallitus' online shop (eraluvat.fi).
- For trap fishing (in National Park water area off Koli), in addition to paying the fisheries management fee, you will need Metsähallitus' trap fishing permit no 7003 for Lieksa (eräluvat.fi, in Finnish). Permits can also be purchased by phone at +358 (0)20 69 2424.
- Fishers need to check the restrictions on fishing sites at kalastusrajoitus.fi (In Finnish).
- Hunting to fend off animals considered as harmful, is allowed only with the permission of Metsähallitus.
- lighting campfires if the forest fire warning or the grass fire warning is in effect. Check the current warnings (en.ilmatieteenlaitos.fi).
- This prohibition does not apply to cooking shelters or other fireplaces with a flue and a roof which in the area are Ryläys lean-to shelter and Rinnetupa Hut's lean-to shelters.
- pets running at large
- taking or damaging trees, bushes, other plants or their parts, or mushrooms other than edible ones
- damaging soil or rock, and extraction of earth material or minerals
- killing, catching or disturbing wild vertebrates, or damaging their nests
- catching or collecting invertebrates
- driving motor vehicles, except on roads designated for motor vehicles
- leaving waste in the area, or damaging constructions
- In addition, landing at and entering some of the islands is forbidden 15.5. - 15.7. to protect nesting birds.
Mobile Phone Coverage
Although Finland has a broad network for mobile phones, there are some areas in the park without signal. There may also be some smaller spots where there is interference. If this happens try to climb to a higher place or go into an open area. It may be worth removing the SIM card from your phone and then trying again to make emergency call. Different phones also differ in their coverage.
We recommend that you keep your mobile phone warm at all times and take along food and drink. Certain phone models do not work when the temperature falls below zero. You should therefore let someone know your planned route. To keep your mobile phone charged, bring along a spare power source, a spare battery or an old phone with a working battery.
- For longer treks we recommend that you take a large bottle of water as lake and flowing water may be scare in dry seasons or it could get soiled by animals or bacteria. Water taken from lakes or rivers should be boiled before drinking it.
- Before starting on the Herajärvi trail, it is recommended that visitors ensure that they can cross the Sikosalmi strait on a hand-pulled raft and the Herajoki River using a wading cable. More information from Koli Nature Centre Ukko.
- The seasons are in sharp contrast to on another. The summer is hot and begins most years already in May. Autumns can be crisp, when warm clothes and good shoes are essential or rainy, when rain gear is needed. Winter usually begins in November. It is very cold and there is much snow. The snow banks melt in April and trails are still wet in May.
- To get to some tourist sights in the National Park, you will need specialised equipment.
- When visiting caves for example, you will need torches and stable shoes.
- Long hiking trails: a large bottle of water and good shoes
- There can be large differences in altitude within the National Park. Cliffs and trails can be especially slippery after rain, when they are frozen and when the snows melt. To avoid slipping, special caution is required on the steep slopes.
- When in the middle of a thunder storm it is best to not climb to the tops of hill as there is a danger of getting hit by lighting in high open places.
- When a lot of snow has fallen, the trees at tops of the Ukko-Koli and Mäkrävaara hills may cause dangerous situations when their branches break under the strain of the snow.
- 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.
- Make sure you pack a first-aid kit.
- Hiking in Finland:
- The summer peak season begins at Mid-Summer at the end of June and ends at the start of the school-year in mid-August. The Ruska season, when leaves change color is around 20.9 to 10.10. Ski season begins in mid-February and continues into April. School camps come to the area in May.
- The most popular tourist destination in Koli National Park is Ukko-Koli Hill, which has the best lookout points and where Nature Centre Ukko, Hotel Koli and the ski slopes are located.
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.
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.