Instructions and Rules in Päijänne National Park

The Päijänne National Park was established to protect the beautiful and valuable archipelago nature of the great lake of Päijänne. It is important to study matters dealing with the national park in advance and prepare yourself properly for your trip by reading the instructions of the park.

Several boats by the lake shore. There are canoes on the sand.

Respect Nature
Pets
Getting around in National Park 
Camping
Lighting Campfires
Litter-free Hiking
Fishing
Picking Berries, Mushrooms and Wild Herbs
Biking
Drone Flying
Other Rules and Instructions
Forbidden Activities
Peak Seasons
Safety

Respect Nature

The outdoor activities in the Päijänne National Park are guided with the rules and regulations. When getting around in nature, let’s show respect for it. Take a look at the Outdoor Etiquette.

Please don’t share any such contents on the Internet that break the rules of the national park.

Letting pets running at large is forbidden. Dogs and other pets are welcome in the national park but only on a leash.

Getting around in National Park 

In the Päijänne National Park, you may freely walk, ski, row and canoe, except in restricted areas:

Camping

Camping is only permitted at designated sites.

  • Please note that camping is permitted at camping sites and lean-to shelters for a maximum of two nights. Camping in boats at excursion harbours is also limited to a maximum of two nights.

A green tent has been pitched in the woods near the shore of a lake.

Lighting Campfires

Campfires are only permitted at designated sites. Campfires are prohibited at all Päijänne campfire sites when there is a forest fire or grass fire warning in effect. Check the current warnings (en.ilmatieteenlaitos.fi). The person who lights the campfire is always responsible for the fire.

The use of a portable camping stove is allowed in areas where hiking is allowed. 

Campfire by the lake. Behind the campfire are benches and a snow-covered lake. There is snow on the ground.

Litter-free Hiking

There are no waste-bins in the area. Measures should be taken in advance to avoid taking unnecessary waste into the area. Biodegradable waste should be placed in a dry toilet and small amounts of clean paper and cardboard can be used as kindling in a campfire. 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.

Read more about Hiking without littering.

Fishing

The water areas in Päijänne are not part of the national park. Visitors are allowed to fish in water areas in accordance with the Fishing Act: Southern and Central Päijänne fishing area (ekpk.fi, in Finnish), Fishing Ground of Etelä-Päijänne, Southern Päijänne (kalapaikka.net, in Finnish), and kalastusrajoitus.fi (In Finnish).

Picking Berries, Mushrooms and Wild Herbs

Picking berries and edible mushrooms is allowed, except where specific restrictions apply.

Taking or damaging trees, bushes, other plants or their parts, or mushrooms other than edible ones is forbidden. Picking wild herbs is therefore forbidden.

Water lilies with their white petals and green leaves are floating on the flat calm surface of a lake.

Biking

Road 314 from Vääksy to Sysmä, via Pulkkilanharju Ridge, is ideal for cycling. The Päijätsalo campfire site and nature observation tower and Höysniemi campfire site can also be accessed by bike.

Drone Flying

Flying drones is allowed anywhere visitors are allowed to go to, as long as it does not disturb other people or wild animals. You must be especially careful during the nesting period of birds.

Other Rules and Instructions

As a rule, a permit issued by Metsähallitus is required for activities other than those included in everyman's rights, which may include research, organised events and the shooting of films or advertisements in the terrain. Further information on required permits: research and access permits (metsa.fi) and permits and notifications related to events (metsa.fi).

The use of the trails and structures of Päijänne National Park  for business activities is always subject to a fee, and for frequent business use, a contract with Metsähallitus (metsa.fi) is required. The right of use fees for specific days are paid at the Eräluvat webshop (eraluvat.fi).

Other Forbidden Activities in the Päijänne National Park

  • Killing, catching or disturbing animals, or damaging their nests.
  • Catching or collecting invertebrates.
  • Damaging soil or rock, and extraction of earth material or minerals.
  • Driving motor vehicles, except on roads designated for motor vehicles.
  • Leaving waste in the area, or damaging structures.
  • Covering, changing, damaging, removing, violating or excavating in archaeological sites.
  • Activities that disturb other people.

Peak Seasons

The peak times with visitors are the summer weekends, when there are dozens of boats on the lake, especially if the weather is nice. Kelvenne Island is the main destination for many visitors, because of its good anchoring places and the beautiful landscape. During the Midsummer weekend, it might be difficult to find space in the natural harbours. Boaters should note that camping in boats at excursion harbours is limited to a maximum of two nights.

Safety

It is important that you get as much information as possible about your hiking destination in advance and prepare for your trip thoroughly. Knowing your route and sticking to it and knowing what the weather and warnings in effect (en.ilmatieteenlaitos.fi) has in store, will help make your trip a success. 

  • 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 telephones work quite well in Päijänne National Park, except in some areas in the park where cliffs or forest block signals. Download the 112 Finland application (112.fi) to your phone.
  • Dress for hiking in colorful clothes and according to the weather. Some of the islands consist of rocks, but on most islands a visitor can walk in a dry forest. When choosing footwear, it is good to remember that there are also sandy shores.
  • It is good to bring a map if you go to the islands in the national park. The brochure map of the park (pdf, 3,9 Mb, julkaisut.metsa.fi) may also be enough, especially for smaller islands and islands with signage. Most of the islands are small and the biggest one, Kelvenne, is easy to explore as it is long and narrow. 
  • The water areas of Päijänne are not part of the national park. Please pay particular attention to safety as you move along the waters. It is good to bring a nautical chart or the like.
  • The wind is sometimes strong on the lake but in many of the natural harbours, especially on Kelvenne Island, it is possible to find a sheltered side.
  • Because the area of the lake is large, the weather conditions can change suddenly. Sometimes a strong northern wind blows from Tehinselkä, the largest open water area of the lake, and makes big waves on Virmailanselkä open water area east of Kelvenne. From Harmoistenlahti Bay, south of Virmaila, a strong wind sometimes blows through Kellosalmi strait to the northern parts of Padasjoenselkä open water area.
  • There are no cafés, shops or tap water available in the National Park. It makes sense to pack food and drinking water.
  • Please note that there is no paper in the toilets.
  • Outdoor Guide

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 centre 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.

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

Game and Fisheries Wardens supervising nature destinations

Two people standing on top of a high hill, wearing snowmobile clothes. A wide, open view in the background.

Wilderness supervision (eräluvat.fi) offers services and education for the benefit of Finnish nature. A Game and Fisheries Warden is responsible for supervising the legality and authorisation of operations and the use of nature in state-owned areas.

If you witness or suspect a violation, you can report your observations to the warden (eräluvat.fi). Although we would like for you to leave your contact details when filing a report, you may also file a report anonymously.