The river Nuorttijoki flows through a rugged canyon in the southeast corner of Urho Kekkonen National Park. The river is the area's most spectacular feature formed by the last Ice Age and it lures fishers as well as hikers to its banks. The wilderness-like Nuortti Hiking Trail leads along both sides of the river travelling alternately along high bluffs, to right by the river bank or through forest landscape. The trail can be travelled as a circle trail and its entire length this way is 40 km.
The hiking trail is a summer hiking trail and marked in the terrain along its entire route. There are campfire sites, lean-to shelters and open as well as reservable wilderness huts along the trail. There are also two lookout platforms with breath-taking views. The lush vegetation and grand old-growth forests on the banks of Kummalehdonoja create a captivating wilderness atmosphere.
Level of difficulty
To be able to hike this trail hikers should have strong orienteering and survival skills. Hikers should always have a map suitable for hiking with them. There are ascents and descents along this route and hikers should be in considerably good shape to travel the trail.
The river Nuorttijoki can be crossed easily by a hanging bridge which is located near the Finnish-Russian border zone. At the other end of the trail near Haukijärvenoja parking area there is a wading cable across the river to assist hikers when crossing. When the water level in the river is normal the river can be safely waded across. It is always a good idea to contact Savukoski Visitor Centre Korvatunturi or Saariselkä Customer Service Kiehinen in advance and ask about water levels in the area. The wading cable is removed for the winter.
Nuortti Hiking Trail is located in Urho Kekkonen National Park in the northern part of the municipality of Savukoski close to the Russian border. The trail is on the north side of road 9671 (Savukoski - Tulppio).
- By car you can reach the starting point for Nuortti Hiking Trail at the south-eastern boundary of Urho Kekkonen National Park. The trail's starting point is approximately 93 km from the municipal centre of Savukoski. From Savukoski take road 9671 (Savukoski - Tulppio) for 80 km at which point you will reach Tulppio. From Tulppio turn left onto a forest road. Follow the forest road for 13 km at which point you will reach Haukijärvenoja parking area near the boundary of Urho Kekkonen National Park. The road beetween Tulppio-Haukijärvenoja is not maintained in winter.
By Public Transportation
- When travelling to the river Nuorttijoki, which is in the eastern most part of Urho Kekkonen National Park, the closest visitors can get by coach (www.matkahuolto.fi) is the municipal centre of Savukoski. Always check timetables in advance. From the municipal centre of Savukoski it is still 90 km to the boundary of Urho Kekkonen National Park and the starting point for Nuortti Hiking Trail.
- There are coaches from Rovaniemi, Kemijärvi and Sodankylä to the municipal centre of Savukoski.
- From Savukoski towards Tulppio you can take a taxi. The taxi service is provided by Korvatunturin Taksi, tel. +35840 730 6484. The road beetween Tulppio-Haukijärvenoja is not maintained in winter.
Starting Points for Excursions
Haukijärvenoja parking area, where hikers can leave their vehicles and visit the guide shelter.
- Coordinates: WGS84 lat: 67° 51.5370' lon: 29° 11.2806', ETRS-TM35FIN N: 7528766m E: 592009m and nearby address: Rannisvaarantie (road) 84, Savukoski
Hirvashauta parking area, nearby a reindeer fence which crosses the road. Early on the hiking trail turns away from the old reindeer fence and the small trail which follows the fence.
- Coordinates: WGS84 lat: 67° 52.9142' lon: 29° 17.4282' ETRS-TM35FIN N: 7531479m E: 596222m
The trail is marked with orange paint markings: There are either poles, of which a 30 cm long section is painted orange, or round orange markings on tree trunks.
Nuortti Hiking Trail is a marked circle trail which leads along both sides of the river Nuorttijoki from Haukiniva to Kolsankoski Rapids and back again. The trail is approximately 40 km long.
The trail along the northern bank of the river Nuorttijoki leads from Haukijärvenoja parking area to the Kolsankoski hanging bridge. It is about 24 km long.
The trail leading along the southern bank of the river Nuorttijoki to the hanging bridge at Kolsankoski is about 16 km long.
From Nuortti Hiking Trail connects to an old trail which follows an old reindeer fence from near Hirvashauta parking area all the way to Mantoselkä. Nuortti Hiking Trail also connects to a trail which leads via Vieriharju to Korvatunturinmurusta Peace Pole. The trails mentioned here are not marked in the terrain.
The trail along the southern bank of the river Nuorttijoki, 16 km
A good starting point for hikes is at Haukijärvenoja parking area (about 93 km from Savukoski), where hikers can leave their vehicles and visit a guide shelter. Hikers can get straight from the parking area onto the marked trail. The next rest spot on the trail is Hirvashauta open and reservable wilderness hut from where the trail continues to Saiho open wilderness hut. Near the border zone hikers can cross the river by hanging bridge at Kolsankoski, where the trail turns to head back towards it starting point.
The trail along the northern bank of the river Nuorttijoki, 24 km
On the north side of the river Nuorttijoki the hiking trail leads through forests to Kummalehdonoja campfire site. From the campfire site onward the trail travels closer to the river. Mettopalo open wilderness hut as well as Kärekeoja open and reservable wilderness hut are good places to either rest for a while at or stay at overnight. Karhuoja open and reservable wilderness hut is situated a slight way off the trail. This hut has a sauna.
The river Nuorttijoki can be waded across near Kärekeoja open and reservable wilderness hut at Haukiniva when waters are low. A wading cable has been hung over the river to assist hikers while crossing. It is always a good idea to contact Korvatunturi Visitor Centre or Saariselkä Customer Service Kiehinen in advance and ask about water levels in the area. The wading cable is removed for the winter.
Nuortti Hiking Trail can also be travelled in the opposite direction, meaning that hikers follow the river Nuorttijoki's northern bank first.
Camping and Lean-to Shelters
Visitors should bring their own tents when planning to travel the hiking trail. In the recreational and nature turism zone camping is permitted only at the campfire sites and on the designated tent areas near the huts.
Lean-to shelters and campfire shelters located on the south side of the river Nuorttijoki; listed from south to north
- Haukijärvenoja lean-to shelter is located on the bank of the Rrver Nuorttijoki, near Haukiniva parking area, from where it is 300 metres to the rivers crossing point and wading cable.
- Silpakurunsuu campfire shelter is situated on the bank of the river Nuorttijoki about 1.4 km from the hiking trail.
- Voittinköngäs campfire shelter is situated by the side of the river Nuorttijoki about 300 metres from the hiking trail.
- Saukkosuvannonvaara lean-to shelter is situated about 100 metres southeast of the hiking trail.
Lean-to shelters and Campfire shelters located on the north side of the river Nuorttijoki; listed from south to north
- Liemussuvanto lean-to shelter is on the hiking trail on the west side of the river Nuorttijoki.
- Kurtsinniska lean-to shelter is on Nuortti Hiking Trail and is about 3 km north of Liemussuvanto lean-to shelter.
- The Ylempi Hirvashauta lean-to shelter is situated on the bank of the river Nuorttijoki at the mouth of the river Hirvashaudanoja.
- Kolsankoskenoja lean-to shelter is situated on Nuortti Hiking Trail on the bank of the river Kolsankoskenoja.
Open and Reservable Wilderness Huts
Along Nuortti Hiking Trail there are open and reservable wilderness huts where hikers can stay overnight. The following huts can be found on the trail:
On the south side of the river Nuorttijoki; listed from south to north
On the north side of the river Nuorttijoki; listed from south to north