Koli National Park Trails

There are about 80 km of marked trails in the Koli National Park, the length of which vary from one and a half to 61 kilometres. As some of the trails are demanding and others are less so, you can choose the trail according to your level of physical fitness and the time you have available. The guides at Koli Nature Centre Ukko are more than happy to help you in planning your hike. Even so, it is advisable to take along the Koli outdoor and service map. Koli beckons!

Please note: The Koli peaks and many other lookout points are bare rock areas that are often slippery and difficult to traverse. There are no platforms or handrails at the lookout points - these are natural sights where you walk at your own risk.

Parking

When setting off from Nature Centre Ukko's Upper Yard, park your car in the upper yard's parking area P1 (for short-term parking) or P2 (for long-term parking). In the village of Koli, you can park your car in the designated area next to the Kulmakivi tourist information building. There are also parking areas at Koli Harbour and at Ollila. When hiking in the southern parts of the national park, you can park your car at the Likolahti, Paimenenvaara, Peiponpelto, Pirunkirkko, Seppälä parking areas and Rykiniemi and the Rantatie Road lay-bys.

Summer Trails

  • There are several alternative starting points for the summer trails which you will find in each trail's description.
    • Starting from Nature Centre Ukko's Upper Yard, there are trails that continue across the Koli peaks to the national park's southernmost areas. In addition to these, there are also trails beginning from the upper yard that run via the Kolin Uuro gorge to the shore of Lake Pielinen and to the north to Koli Harbour and the village of Koli.
    • Koli Harbour and the village of Koli are also popular starting points.
    • In addition, there are starting points by the Rantatie Road and all the national park's parking areas.

Scenic Trails 

 

Huippujen kierros Trail ("The Trail of The Tops"), 1.4 km Circle Trail

 Access to the nature center symbol. WC at the nature center symbol. Parking symbol. Sightseeing symbol. Hotel symbol. Restaurant symbol. Café symbol. Campfire place symbol. Recycling symbol. Program service cabin symbol.

A view of forests and lakes from the Huippujen kierros trail.

When there is no snow on the ground, travel time 0.5 h.

Using the trail without stairs, most of the circle trail can be accessed with a pram. 

Starting Point: Koli Nature Centre Ukko Upper Yard, Ylä-Kolintie 39, Koli

Description of the Huippujen kierros Trail

 

Ukko-Koli, back-and-forth trail, length 0.8 km

 Access to the nature center symbol. WC at the nature center symbol. Parking symbol. Sightseeing symbol. Hotel symbol. Restaurant symbol. Café symbol. Campfire place symbol. Program service cabin symbol.

Two children peaking from behind the branch of a spruce tree.

When there is no snow on the ground, travel time 0.5 h.

Visitors with prams can also walk this trail without using stairs all the way to the scenic lookout.

Starting Point: Koli Nature Centre Ukko Upper Yard, crossroad no. 11 behind the Nature Centre, Ylä-Kolintie 39, Koli

Description of the Ukko-Koli, back-and-forth trail

 

Akka-Koli, back-and-forth trail, length 0.8 km

 Access to the nature center symbol. WC at the nature center symbol. Parking symbol. Sightseeing symbol. Hotel symbol. Restaurant symbol. Café symbol. Campfire place symbol. Recycling symbol. Program service cabin symbol.

A view of forests seen from Akka-Koli.

When there is no snow on the ground, travel time 0.5h.

Without stairs and visitors with prams can also walk this trail all the way to the Temple of Silence.

Starting Point: Koli Nature Centre Ukko Upper Yard, crossroad no. 11 behind the Nature Centre, Ylä-Kolintie 39, Koli

Description of the Akka-Koli, back-and-forth trail

 

Paha-Koli, back-and-forth trail, length 1.2 km

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A hiker sitting legs spread on the top of hill with forests and lakes in the background.

When there is no snow on the ground, travel time 0.5 h.

The trail is relatively easy and without stairs. 

Starting Point: Koli Nature Centre Ukko Upper Yard, crossroad no. 11 behind the Nature Centre, Ylä-Kolintie 39, Koli

Description of the Paha-Koli, back-and-forth trail

 

Sataman polku ("Harbour trail"), back-and-forth trail, length 4.2 km

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When there is no snow on the ground, travel time 2h.

The steep slopes make this trail challenging. The ascent from the other side of Ipatti via Vaaralanaho is a bit easier. 

Starting Point: Koli harbour, Rantatie 12, Koli

Description of the Sataman polku, back-and-forth trail

 

 

Nature Trails

 

Kasken Kierros Nature Trail, 2.5-5 km

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A forest view during sunset.
When there is no snow on the ground, this relatively easy basic trail (2.5 km) takes 1-2 hours to walk.

Starting Points: The main trail is just over 2 km long, with up to an additional 2.5 km depending on the starting point. The shortest trail is when starting from Koli harbour (Rantatie 12, 200 m longer); the longest is from the Upper Yard (Ylä-Kolintie 39, tot. 2.4 km longer). In addition to this, visitors can start at Koli village, walking first to, for example, Mattila (approx. 2 km longer) or from the Ollilla parking area (Ylä-Kolintie 12, 800 m longer).

Description of the Kasken Kierros Nature Trail 

 

Paimenen polku Trail ("Shepard´s Trail"), 2.6 km Circle Trail

Campfire place symbol. Dry toilet symbol. Parking symbol.

A hiker on duckboards in a spruce forest.

When there is no snow on the ground, travel time over 1h.

The trail is challenging due to major variations in elevation.

Starting Point: Paimenenvaara parking area on Kotaniementie road.

Description of the Paimenen polku Trail

 

Ennallistajan polku Trail ("Nature Restoration Trail"), 3 km Circle Trail

Rental hut symbol. Campfire site symbol. Tent site symbol. Dry toilet symbol. Parking area symbol.

Forest and lake landscape seen from Jauholanvaara hill.


In the snow-free season, hiking time over 1 hour.

The trail is moderately challenging due to variations in elevation.

Starting Point: Pirunkirkko parking area on Kolin Rantatie.

Description of the Ennallistajan polku Trail 

 

Kolinuuron Kierros Nature Trail, 3.5 km Circle Trail

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A view of forests and lakes.

When there is no snow on the ground, travel time over 1h.

This trail is somewhat demanding due to major variations in elevation.

Starting Point: Koli Nature Centre Ukko Upper Yard, Ylä-Kolintie 39, Koli

Trail description of the Kolinuuron Kierros Nature Trail 


 

Other Circle Trails

 

Koli Cultural Environments, 3 km Circle Trail

Sightseeing symbol. Hotel symbol. Café symbol. Well symbol. Campfire place symbol. Dry toilet symbol. Program service cabin symbol. Parking symbol.

Cows on a pasture behind roundpole fence.

When there is no snow on the ground, travel time over 1h.

This trail is quite easy to walk and certain sections are also accessible to prams.

Starting Point: The village of Koli, Kulmakivi (tourist info), Ylä-Kolintie 1, Koli 

Trail description of the Koli Cultural Environments

 

Koli Summer Café Tour, 6.8 km Circle Trail

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The counter of the cafe.

When there is no snow on the ground. Walking time: one day.

Most of the trail sections are wide and in good condition, but the altitude differences are considerable.

Starting Points: You can start the café tour from any café.

Description of the Koli Summer Café Tour

 

Mäkrän kierros Trail, 7.2 km Circle Trail

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A view of an autumnal forest seen from Ukko-Koli on a sunny day.

When there is no snow on the ground, travel time 3-4 h.

The trail is challenging due to major variations in elevation.

Starting Point: Koli Nature Centre Ukko Upper Yard, Ylä-Kolintie 39, Koli

Trail description of the Mäkrän kierto Trail

 

 

Hiking Trails

 

Herajärvi Trail (30 to 61 km)

Hiking symbol.

A view of forests and lakes from the Herajärven kierros trail.

When there is no snow on the ground. Visitors are recommended to reserve three days (of which the first and last are not full hiking days) for the trail around the northern end of Lake Herajärvi, and four days for the entire 60 km trail.

The Herajärvi trail is a demanding hiking trail, as it is slow to walk and there are variations in elevation. 

Starting Points: Several starting points.

Description of the Herajärvi Trail

 

 

Boating Routes

Boating symbol. Campfire place symbol. Dry toilet symbol. Tent site symbol.

A pier at the harbor.

A boating fairway leads to Koli Harbour across Lake Pielinen from Lieksa, from Juuka and Nurmes in the north as well as through Ahveninen from the Pielisjoki River and Joensuu in the south.  Lake Pielinen is linked with Lake Saimaa by fairways.

Read more about boating routes.

 

 

Canoeing Routes    

Canoeing symbol.

A paddler in a kayak.

Paddling on Lake Pielinen can be challenge due to the long, open expanses of the lake, but the experience of paddling across wilderness-like waters is unforgettable.

Read more on canoeing routes.

 

 

Biking Trails
 

Finnish National Biking Route 6

Biking symbol.

A road in an autumnal forest.

Starting Point: You can get onto it from main road 6, which runs between Joensuu and Kajaani. From main road 6 turn onto road 515 in the direction of Ahveninen and then turn left onto the biking route.

Read more about biking routes.

 

 

Riding Trails

Riding symbol.

Two riders on horseback, with roundpole fence and a wooden building at the edge of the forest in the background.

Farmhouse Paimentupa (paimentupa.fi) arranges cross-country riding excursions along small roads in Koli National Park.

 

 

Winter Trails

In the winter, you can go cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, walking and downhill skiing in the Koli National Park.  The winter trails in the Koli National Park invite you to a wide range of winter sports. The national park and its vicinity boast more than 50 km of maintained cross-country ski trails. The Koli peaks also attract snowshoers, in particular, however you can also walk along the trodden paths, summer trails and the maintenance tracks. You can even go downhill skiing on the Ukko-Koli ski slopes. The snowmobile route near the village of Koli passes by the National Park. There is updated information on the state of the campfire sites, winter trails and maintenance routes on the What is New page.

 

Walking Routes

 

Ukko-Koli, back-and-forth trail, length 0.8 km

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A view of wintry forests and frozen lake Pielinen seen from Ukko-Koli.

Travel time 0.5h.

Starting Point: Koli Nature Centre Ukko Upper Yard, Ylä-Kolintie 39, Koli

Description of the Ukko-Koli, back-and-forth trail

  

 

Cross-country Skiing Trails

Track maps showing the hours, skill level and length of each track can be obtained from most businesses in the Koli area. For updated track information, contact Koli Tourist Information at (tel.) +358 45 1387 429. See up-to-date track information on the Koli website (koli.fi) or download a track map at mapline.fi/koli. Tracks are maintained by Kolin Latupooli. Hannu Mustonen oversees maintenance of the ski tracks +358 400 204 373. Track feedback can be submitted at info(at)koli.fi.

Please Note
For safety reasons, skiers are requested to keep to the maintained ski trails particularly in the area of the Koli peaks.

    

The hillyskiing trails of the Koli National Park, 3 and 7 km Circle Trails

Ski cross-country on maintained trails symbol. Sightseeing symbol. Campfire place symbol. Ikolanaho rental hut symbol. Parking symbol.

 A skiing trail in a wintry deciduous forest.

The ski trails are unlit.

The 3-km ski trail is not demanding and suited mainly for classical cross-country skiing. The 7-km ski trail is demanding because of the steep ascents and descents. 

Starting Point: Ukko-Koli at the number 2 parking area (P2)

Description of the hillyskiing trails

 

The Loma-Koli - Kopravaara, a lit ski trail, 22 km

Ski cross-country on maintained trails symbol.

Two skiers on a skiing trail.

Trail is lit and suited for both classical and free-style cross-country skiing. The trail can be skied in both directions.

The trail has demanding and semi demanding parts.

Starting Points: Kopravaara, Jero, Leppäsärkkä (Ylä-Kolintie Road 16), the village of Koli and Loma-Koli.

Description of the Loma-Koli - Kopravaara, a lit ski trail

 

 

Snowshoeing Trails

 

Snowshoeing trail on the Koli peaks, 1.5 km Circle Trail

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Four snowshoers on the peak with wintry forest in the background.

Starting Point: Koli Nature Centre Ukko Upper Yard, crossroad no. 11 behind the Nature Centre, Ylä-Kolintie 39, Koli

Description of the snowshoeing trail on the Koli peaks

 

The Koli peaks - the village of Koli, 3 km in one direction

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A skiing trail.

Starting Points: The village of Koli and Koli Nature Centre Ukko Upper Yard

Description of the Koli peaks - the village of Koli

 

The snowshoeing trail from Ukko-Koli Hill onto the shores of Lake Pielinen, approx. 2 km / in one direction

Snowshoeing symbol.  Access to the nature center symbol. WC at the nature center symbol. Parking symbol. Sightseeing symbol. Hotel symbol. Restaurant symbol. Café symbol. Campfire place symbol. Recycling symbol. Program service cabin symbol.

Frozen lake with forest in the background.

Starting Point: Koli Nature Centre Ukko Upper Yard, crossroad no. 11 behind the Nature Centre, Ylä-Kolintie 39, Koli

Description of the snowshoeing trail from Ukko-Koli Hill onto the shores of Lake Pielinen

 

 

Downhill Skiing

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A snowboarder on a slope on a sunny day.

The Ukko-Koli ski slopes (koli.fi) 

For safety reasons, downhill skiing is prohibited outside the Ukko-Koli slope areas on the Koli peaks. 

Starting Point: The parking area for the ski slopes, equipment rental and the ticket office is located along the Rantatie Road by the Rinnetupa hut.

 

 

Riding Trails

Riding symbol.

A group of horseback riders in the snow with leafless birch trees in the background.

You can visit the national park's cultural landscape on horseback in winter as well. Further information is available at the Paimentupa farmhouse (en.paimentupa.fi).

 

 

Snowmobile Routes

Snowmobiling symbol.

In Koli National Park, snowmobiling is prohibited, including the islands. The snowmobile route runs outside Koli National Park from Ahmovaara (via the village of Koli) onto Lake Pielinen, passing by Koli Harbour and Hiekkasaaret Islands. By Koli Harbour and the Rinnetupa hut, snowmobiles can be parked on the ice. From Koli, the snowmobile route further continues to Juuka and Nurmes, Lieksa and finally to Eno and Joensuu.

Self-guided Tour: "From Helsinki to the Taiga Forests"


Pdf 2,4 Mb (julkaisut.metsa.fi)

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. 

Drawing of a fireplace. The drawing shows the roof, the flue and off the ground.

Gathering at the campfire sites increases the risk of coronavirus infection. Guidelines concerning coronavirus COVID-19

Trail Brochures of Koli National Park - winter


Snowshoeing Trail on the Koli Peaks (pdf, 810 Kb, julkaisut.metsa.fi)