Instructions and Rules in Ruunaa Hiking Area
Ruunaa hiking area was established for hiking, outdoor activities and other recreational use. It is important to study matters dealing with the area in advance and prepare yourself properly for your trip by reading the instructions, rules and regulations (Pdf 80 Kb, julkaisut.metsa.fi, in Finnish).
Getting Around in Hikign Area
Picking Berries, Mushrooms and Wild Herbs
Other Rules and Instructions
The outdoor activities in the Ruunaa Hiking Area 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 Hiking Area.
Access to the hiking area is permitted under Everyman’s rights, with the exception of the restricted areas.
While camping is permitted under Everyman's rights, we recommend that you use the designated campsites.
- Access to Ruunaa Nature Reserve, an area of 2 to 3 km in width along the border zone, is restricted. The far side of the reserve is marked with yellow paint on trees or posts and signs indicating the border zone. The border zone may only be accessed by special permit.
Lighting a fire is allowed at the maintained campfire sites that have been marked on the map and in the terrain. You are only allowed to use the firewood that has been reserved for the purpose. 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. During the forest and grass fire warning, the use of hobo stoves is not allowed, as sparks may be created.
Lighting any campfires is strictly forhibited if the forest fire warning or the grass fire warning is in effect. Always check the current warnings (en.ilmatieteenlaitos.fi). This prohibition does not apply to cooking shelters or other fireplaces with a flue.
- When a forest fire warning has been issued, fires in Ruunaa hiking area may only be lit in the cooking shelter of Neitikoski parking area, where a roof and flue as well as a fireplace that is not touching the ground prevent the spread of fire and sparks in the forest.
Recycling points can be found in Siikakoski and Neitikoski parking areas in the hiking area. Otherwise hikers must look after their own waste and carry it out of the forest with them for sorting.
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. 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.
Hook-and-line fishing and ice fishing are allowed in Lake Neitijärvi and Lake Kattilalampi.
Lure fishing is permitted in Lake Neitijärvi and Lake Kattilalampi. For lure fishing, persons aged 18 to 64 must pay a fisheries management fee (eraluvat.fi). If you fish with more than one rod on Lake Neitijärvi and Kattilalampi Pond, you also need Metsähallitus' angling permit no 7413 for Southern Finland (eraluvat.fi).
Fishing is restricted as Ruunaa Rapids (no. 7525) is a Metsähallitus recreational fishing area. To fish here, a Metsähallitus fishing permit must be purchased, and the fisheries management fee must be paid (see fishing at Ruunaa rapids). Exceptions to this are Lake Neitijärvi and Kattilampi Pond, where general fishing rights apply, i.e. hook-and-line fishing and ice fishing as well as fishing with a fisheries management fee (eraluvat.fi) and Metsähallitus recreational fishing permit for Southern Finland (eraluvat.fi). The general fishing rights have been removed everywhere except Lake Neitijärvi and Kattilampi Pond. Fishing from a boat is permitted throughout the region. Use of a motor boat for fishing (trolling) and anchoring boats in rapids and running areas are prohibited.
Fishers need to check the restrictions on fishing sites at kalastusrajoitus.fi (In Finnish).
Picking berries and edible mushrooms is allowed.
Taking or damaging trees, bushes, other plants or their parts, or mushrooms other than edible ones is forbidden. Picking wild herbs is therefore forbidden.
Mountain biking is allowed according to everyman's rights. Always stay on clearly visible tracks and pay attention to other hikers.
Snowmobiling is only allowed on snowmobile tracks.
- To ensure the safety of skiers, we do not recommend skiing on snowmobile tracks.
Hunting in Ruunaa hiking area is prohibited between Koskikierros trail and the Lieksanjoki River as well as in the Lieksanjoki River itself, with the exception of trapping small carnivores. These restrictions are based on the management plan for Ruunaa hiking area (Pdf, julkaisut.metsa.fi, in Finnish).
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 Ruunaa Hiking Area 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).
The entire Ruunaa hiking area belongs to the ADIZ border zone, which means that all drone operators must submit a drone flight plan to AIS Finland in advance. You can find instructions to prepare flight plans at AIS Finland’s website (ais.fi). You can also call customer service at the Koli Nature Centre for further information. Read more about regional restrictions and regulations, which can be found at, for example, droneinfo.fi.
In the Ruunaa hiking area, drone flying that disturbs other people or animals is prohibited. You must be especially cautious during the nesting period of birds.
- Driving motor vehicles, except on roads designated for motor vehicles.
- Using jet skis or all-terrain vehicles.
- Fishing from an anchored boat in the rapids and currents.
- Dragging a lure behind a motor boat.
- Water bird hunting.
- Leaving waste in the area, or damaging constructions.
- Catching crabs.
- Because of the crayfish pest, catching crabs is forbidden in the area for now.
Rules and Regulations for Ruunaa
The rules and regulations of Ruunaa Hiking Area (Pdf 80 Kb, julkaisut.metsa.fi, in Finnish), ratified on 21 June 1990.
Ruunaa is one of the most popular hiking destinations in Finland, especially in July and August.
Fishermen usually arrive at Ruunaa in mid-April when the ice on the rapids is melting. For many people, the beginning of the fishing season is the first weekend of May, when fish planting also starts. The actual peak season for fishing is between the Midsummer festival (around the 24th June) and mid-August.
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.
- After the spring floods, the water level usually falls slowly during the summer.
- Snow and ice cover Ruunaa Rapids from November until May.
- During the winter, the ice on the river may be fragile because of currents, which may also move to different places.
- The road to the parking area of Neitikoski is ploughed in the winter. The road 5224 to Ruunaa can be in a bad condition in the spring.
- Sturdy shoes are needed for the terrain of Ruunaa Hiking Area. On the mire and wetland sections, there are duckboards which can be slippery when it is rainy.
- In May and September, a wet suit keeps you warm if you go into the cold water.
- Dress for hiking in colorful clothes and according to the weather. Drinking water and toilet paper are good to have along.
- 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 Ruunaa Hiking Area, except in some areas in the park where cliffs or forest block signals. Read more about mobile phone coverage (112.fi).
- Hiking in Finland
Before your trip see also page What is New.
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.
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.
Game and Fisheries Wardens supervising nature destinations
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.