Instructions and Rules in Lemmenjoki National Park

The main purpose of Lemmenjoki National Park is to protect the wilderness of northern Lapland. The traditional Sámi livelihoods, reindeer husbandry, fishing, and hunting, together with the nature types and structures they have created are an essential part of the National Park. The established services of the National Park are close to the Lemmenjoki River, so when you go to the remote zone, you must be carefully equipped.

There are different rules applying to hiking, camping, and lighting fires in different zones of Lemmenjoki National Park: culture, recreation, remote, and restricted zones. The zones can be seen in the Lemmenjoki National Park Regulations (appendix map 1, page 10, pdf, julkaisut.metsa.fi, in Finnish).  

Hiking is restricted in the Ravadasköngäs restriction zone, where hiking is only allowed on marked trails. Read more about the Park's restricted zones on the Maps page and on Excursionmap.fi.

Respect Nature
Pets
Getting Around in National Park
Camping
Lighting Campfires
Litter-free Hiking
Fishing
Berry and Mushroom Picking
Biking and Horseback Riding
Flying
Gold Panning
Other Rules and Instruction
Forbidden Activities
Peak Seasons
Safety

Respect Nature

Hiking in Lemmenjoki National Park is governed by regulations. Local people and residents from nearby villages are subject to their own, slightly broader, specific regulations.

Do not share online content that violates the rules of the national park. Read Outdoor Etiquette.

It is forbidden to allow pets to run freely. Dogs used in hunting and reindeer husbandry may be kept loose when participating in said activities.

Getting Around

You are free to walk, snowshoe, ski, row, and canoe in the National Park, with the exception of the Ravadasköngäs restriction zone.

Camping

Short-term camping is permitted throughout the National Park, with the exception of:

  • The Ravadasköngäs restricted zone, where camping is prohibited.
  • Camping in the Lemmenjokilaakso between Njurkulahti and Kultahamina is only permitted in the immediate vicinity of rest areas and campfire sites marked in the terrain, in the immediate vicinity of huts, and on the campsites marked in the terrain. 

The open wilderness huts are listed on the Services page. All Lemmenjoki huts, lean-to shelters, and campfire sites can be found on Excursionmap.fi.

Lighting Fires 

Lighting a fire in the National Park is only permitted at maintained campfire sites that are marked on the map and in the terrain, using only firewood brought in for that specific purpose. The person lighting a fire is always ultimately responsible for it. The use of a camp stove is permitted wherever hiking is permitted.

In the remote zone of the Park, lighting a fire is also permitted in areas other than maintained campfire sites, but not in a 0.5 km radius from an official campfire site. You can use dry branches, twigs and small root stocks found on the ground to build a fire.

When forest and grass fire warnings are in effect:

  • Lighting a fire is prohibited everywhere. This includes marked campfire sites, if there is a local forest fire warning in effect (ilmatieteenlaitos.fi).
  • Hobo stoves may not be used when a grass or forest fire warning has been issued as sparks flying from them cause a fire risk.

Litter-free Hiking

In Lemmenjoki National Park and on Kultareitti trail, there are no mixed waste containers in the forest. Take away everything you brought along.

  • At the parking area of Njurkulahti, there are bins for mixed waste. There are also bins for mixed waste at all the huts. However, we recommend that you bring back all the waste that accumulates during your trip, because motorised transportation of the waste leaves marks in the forest and makes noise.
  • 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 or a fireplace at a hut. 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.

Fishing

Ice fishing and hook and line fishing are permitted in the National Park's lakes and ponds.
If you wish to fish in Lemmenjoki running waters, in addition to the fisheries management fee (eraluvat.fi), you will need a separate fishing permit for Lemmenjoki 1562 (eraluvat.fi), and for the Park’s bigger rivers also a permit for Juutuanjoki 1578 (zones 4-6, eraluvat.fi, in Finnish). For more information on angling permits, contact the Northern Lapland Nature Centre customer service.
Before you go fishing, you need to check for any fishing restrictions at kalastusrajoitus.fi (in Finnish).

Berry and Mushroom Picking

Picking berries and mushrooms other than those growing on trees is permitted unless otherwise restricted by hiking restrictions.

Biking and Horseback Riding

Biking and horseback riding are only permitted on the marked summer trails.

Flying

Landing an aircraft is allowed on the Finnish Civil Aviation Administration’s former airstrips of Jäkäläpää and Martin-Iiskonpalo at your own risk. Otherwise, landing an aircraft is subject to a permit.

Gold Panning 

Gold panning in the National Park is only permitted in the gold panning areas complying with the Mining Act. Gold panning is subject to a permit (suomi.fi).

Other Rules and Instruction

  • The part of the Park belonging to Inari municipality is part of the Sámi Homeland. As an indigenous people, the Sámi have a right to maintain and develop their own culture and traditional livelihoods, and also the prerequisites for reindeer husbandry will be safeguarded. 
  • Hunting permits are not sold for the Lemmenjoki National Park area, but local residents are allowed to hunt in the National Park.
  • Research activities, organising events or, for example, filming of films or advertisements on location always require a permit from Metsähallitus. Further information on required permits: research and access permits (metsa.fi) and permits and notifications related to events (metsa.fi).
  • Using routes and structures of Lemmenjoki National Park in business activities is always subject to a fee, and repeated business requires a co-operation agreement with Metsähallitus (metsa.fi). Daily usage fees should be paid in Eräluvat online shop (eraluvat.fi).
  • The restrictions concerning access, motor vehicle and aircraft use, camping and lighting fires do not apply to authorities’ actions permitted under the protection provisions.
  • Grazing of reindeer and other reindeer husbandry work related to it are permitted in the National Park in compliance with the Act on Reindeer Husbandry.

Forbidden Activities in Lemmenjoki National Park

The following activities altering the natural surrounding are prohibited in the National Park, excluding the exceptions mentioned in the regulations:

  • Driving a dog sled.
  • Using motor vehicles (including motorboats and jet skis).
  • Drainage and soil extraction.
  • Constructing buildings, roads, or equipment.
  • Capturing, killing, and disturbing animals, and taking or damaging their nests or burrows.
  • Keeping dogs loose.
  • Littering.
  • Any other actions which may have a detrimental impact on the natural conditions and the landscape, or on the preservation of fauna and flora.

Rules and Regulations for Lemmenjoki

The rules and regulations of Lemmenjoki National Park (Pdf 4,2 Mt, julkaisut.metsa.fi, in Finnish), ratified on 18 March 2009.

Peak Seasons 

Most of the approximately 30,000 visitors to Lemmenjoki National Park visit the park during the summer. The peak season lasts from the end of June until the end of September. Ravadasköngäs and the Gold Trail are the most popular among visitors.

Safety 

Get to know the destination before your visit. You should obtain a Lemmenjoki outdoor map for your trip. Staying on the trail and keeping an eye on weather forecasts make for a successful trip. You should also find out about the forest fire warning situation.

  • Wear colourful, weather-appropriate clothing. Find out about the weather and conditions in advance.
  • 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 varies in Lemmenjoki National Park. For example, in the river valley there is no signal at all. You can check your own mobile operator’s coverage map before your trip. Read more about mobile phone coverage (112.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.

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 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.

Information for Companies and Big Groups

Do you plan to organize guided excursions to the Finnish National Parks or other protected areas? It is possible due to partnership agreement with Metsähallitus, Parks & Wildlife Finland.

Overnighting

Many kinds of Huts for the Hiker. Please note, that it is not allowed for big groups or commercial groups to overnight in Open Wilderness Huts and in Day Trip Huts

Outdoor Etiquette

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