What's Currently Happening in Koli National Park

Warnings

Directions and arrival to Koli

Current on hiking

Koli Nature Centre Ukko

Vaarojen Maraton (Marathon of Dangers) at Koli National Park 30.9.–1.10. – check parking instructions and prepare for crowded trails

(Updated 29th of September 2022)

Traditional Vaarojen Maraton (Marathon of Dangers) will be run at Koli National Park Fri-Sat 30.9.–1.10.2022. Over 1000 runners are attending to the race, so especially the Herajärven kierros Trail and Mäkrän kierto Trail are supposedly crowded from time to time. Check the timetables and categories of the race (vaarojenmaraton.fi).

Parking instructions during the event 30.9.–1.10.2022

  • Ukko-Koli slopes parking area (Rantatie 27, Lieksa) is partly open. A free for all scenic lift operates from Ukko-Koli slopes parking area to Yläpiha 1.10. Sat from 7 am to 11 am and from 12 pm to 7 pm. A free shuttle bus is also organized from Ukko-Koli slopes parking area to Yläpiha and Koli Nature Centre Ukko. Renovations are taking place at the parking area. The closed site is clearly marked. Be cautious and watch out for construction vehicles when moving around the area.
  • From the Koli village sports field parking area (Ylä-Kolintie 10, Lieksa) you can also take a free shuttle bus to Yläpiha. 
  • Parking areas of Ylä-Koli (P1-P3) are available only to hotel guests or with a separate parking permit (vaarojenmaraton.fi).

During the Vaarojen Maraton, we recommend more quiet nearby destinations for hikers:
Patvinsuo National Park
Petkeljärvi National Park
Tiilikkajärvi National Park
Ruunaa Hiking Area

Renovations in the parking areas of Koli National Park from 3.10.2022 on

(Updated 29th of September 2022)

Some of the parking areas of Koli National Park are partially or completely closed due to renovations. If you go on a longer hike, double check the signs on parking areas to make sure that your car is left in a suitable place.

Renovations are carried out as follows:

  • In Ylä-Koli's parking areas P1-P3 (Ylä-Kolintie 31, Lieksa), asphalting will be carried out from 3.10.2022 on. According to the work plan, only one part of the parking area is renovated at a time. The closed site is clearly marked. Be cautious and watch out for construction vehicles when moving around the area.
  • Ukko-Koli slopes parking area P5 (Rantatie 27, Lieksa) will be closed from 3.10. to 20.11. due to renovation work.
  • The construction of Koli harbour's new support parking area along Rantatie will begin on 3.10.2022. This causes truck traffic in the area.

Parking renovations aim to facilitate traffic to the national park and relieve occasional traffic jams in the future.

Infographic of the Ylä-Koli's parking areas.

Current hiking conditions on Koli National Park's trails

(Updated 29th of September 2022)

Remember to check the instructions and rules of the area before your trip.
 Koli National Park is first of all a nature conservation area. To ensure the health of our environment and to avoid erosion we have limited the locations where you can camp, make a fire (only when the forest fire warning is not in force), or park your car inside our national park. Check out the Outdoor Etiquette too.

The trails of Koli National Park are mostly demanding due to rocks, roots and high hills. Also the demanding accessible trail of Ukko-Koli is demanding and an assistant or electric wheelchair is needed. Moving on the trails of Koli National Park is done at the hiker's own responsibility. Read more about our trails and check out the equipment rental opportunities offered by our partners.

It is good to prepare to a hike with sufficient drinking water. It is also wise to prepare for mosquitoes, ticks and deer flies.

The parking areas of Ylä-Koli, P1-P3, get crowded occasionally. Even if P1-P3 are full, parking on the side of the Ylä-Kolintie road is forbidden. Wrongly parked cars could block the way from emergency vehicles, camping vans or buses. We recommend using our other parking areas and newly renovated trails starting from them.

Herajärven kierros Trail (35-60km)

The Herajärven kierros Trail is available to hikers during the snow-free season. The route is very demanding due to steep ascents and descents. The route also has a rope-pulley ferry and a wading cable at Herajoki. The Sikosalmi rope-pulley ferry is available for use.

Normally during the snow-free season it is recommended to reserve 2-3 days for The Northern Herajärven kierros Trail (35 km), because the hiking route is demanding even in summer and slow to travel due to the altitude differences. If you plan to circle the whole Herajärven kierros Trail (60 km), please reserve at least 4-5 days for the hike.

Please carefully check our websites for further hiking information on the Northern Herajärven kierros Trail and Southern Herajärven kierros Trail.

Drinking water around Koli National Park

The spring and well in Ikolanaho and the well in Jero reservable hut and are out of commission. Do not drink the water even after boiling it. It is possible to borrow water containers and get clean drinking water from the Nature Centre Ukko. If Ukko is closed, water can be obtained from Break Sokos Hotel Koli (sokoshotels.fi).

Read more about the drinking water of Herajärven kierros Trail and drinking water of Koli National Park.

Campfire sites and fire making

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. 

Except the “Prime minister’s” campfire site, all of our campfire sites marked on the map contain long firewood that hikers can saw and chop to make a campfire. Remember to check the Outdoor Etiquette for further info. 

Read more about Koli National Park's maps and services.

With big vehicles, avoid Jerontie and Rantatie – arrive via the alphalted Kolintie (Road 504) 

(Updated 11th of August 2022)

We recommend arriving to Koli and Koli National Park always via asphalted Kolintie (Road 504). Navigators often recommend to use Jerontie (Road 15735) and Rantatie (Road 5046), but it is better to drive through Neste Kolinportti and Kolintie (Road 504). On Jerontie and Rantatie there is no pavement, so they might be challenging especially for big vehicles, such as caravans.

Read more about arriving to Koli.

By public transportation to Koli National Park

(Updated 29th of September 2022)

Finland's most famous national landscapes can also be reached by train and bus.

From Joensuu railway station you can make the trip to Koli National Park by by taxi (kolintaksi.fi, in Finnish).

From Joensuu and Kajaani Railway Station 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, or taking a regular taxi (kolintaksi.fi, in Finnish). Mon-Fri you can get to Koli village from Ahmovaara by booking a bus connection from Ahmovaara to Koli (koli.fi, in Finnish) in advance. From the village of Koli, a hiker can follow the Kylän polku (“Village Trail”) to the Koli Nature Center Ukko and further to the Ukko-Koli landscape site.

From Lieksa railway station you you can pre-book a shared taxi provided by the City of Lieksa (lieksa.fi, in Finnish).

You can get to Koli National Park from Lieksa Railway Station by ordering a shared taxi in advance (lieksa.fi, in finnish).

Read more from the Directions website.

Check the forest fire warning and the weather before your trip

(Updated 11th of August 2022)

Check the weather and warnings in effect (en.ilmatieteenlaitos.fi) always before your trip.

  • At thunder, one must avoid open terrain and high hills.
  • When forest and grass fire warnings 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 huts and rental huts.
  • Always use extreme caution when handling fire. The one who lights a fire is always responsible for its safe use. 

Check the situation of blue-green algae before your hike

(Updated 11th of August 2022)

As summer warms the water bodies, blue-green algae could start to bloom in some water bodies. At this point there is no blue-green algae observed at the Eastern Finland. The situation might change rapidly. This is how you can assess the blue-green algae situation (jarviwiki.fi). If you observe blue-green algae in the water, or you know that it has recently been observed at the spot, keep these things in mind:

  • Do not swim in the blooming water
  • Do not allow children or pets to play or swim in the blooming water
  • The water must not be used as drinking water for humans or animals, even if boiled
  • The water must not be used as sauna water
  • The water is not recommended for washing
  • The water is not recommended for dish washing

Blue-green algae water should always be treated with the assumption that it may cause harm to your health. If you suspect that you swam in blue-green algae water, wash thoroughly with plenty of clean water.

You can check the blue-green algae situation of your area from the map service (jarviwiki.fi).

Koli Nature Center Ukko is open for public

(Updated 22th of June 2022)

Koli Nature Center Ukko's lobby and gift shop space were renewed this spring. The Nature Center was closed to public during the construction. From the renewed lobby you can find basic hiking information and guidance, information about our trails and maps. Visitors can choose between different trails depending on their own skill level and plan a suitable hike. Visitors can also hone their hiking skills by exploring the Retkipiste-area. The day trails of Koli National Park are also undergoing some renovations. The new site information boards are to be installed to the terrain during the summer of 2022.

From 16.6.2022 on Koli Nature Centre Ukko is open Mon-Sat from 10 am to 7 pm and Sun 10 am to 5 pm. During these times the customer service of Metsähallitus is available:

Information about Koli National Park's services and maps you can find from our websites. Excursionmap.fi offers a free map service that contains all the trails and service structures offered and maintained by Metsähallitus. You can also purchase maps in advance from the Koli.fi online store (koli.fi, in finnish) or after arrival from the reception of Break Sokos Hotel Koli (sokoshotels.fi).

Remember to check the instructions and rules of the area before your trip. Koli National Park is first of all a nature conservation area. To ensure the health of our environment and to avoid erosion we have limited the locations where you can camp, make a fire (only when the forest fire warning is not in force), or park your car inside our national park.

News in Koli

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.