Instructions and Rules in Sompio Strict Nature Reserve

Sompio Strict Nature Reserve has been established for scientific purposes and it is mainly used for nature protection and research as well as teaching within limits allowed by protection endeavours. Moving around the nature reserve area is prohibited outside of marked trails in all seasons.

Respect Nature
Getting Around in Strict Nature Reserve
Lighting Campfires
Litter-free Hiking
Picking Berries, Mushrooms and Wild Herbs
Horseback Riding
Other Rules and Instructions
Forbidden Activities

Respect Nature

Hiking in the Sompio Strict Nature Reserve is governed by reserve's regulations (, in finnish).
When getting around in nature, let’s show respect for it. Take a look at Outdoor Etiquette.

Do not share online content that violates the rules of the strict Nature Reserve.


It is forbidden to allow pets to run freely, dogs must be kept on a leash all the time. 

Getting around in Nature

In all seasons, roaming in the Sompio Strict Nature Reserve is only allowed along the hiking trails marked in the terrain. See thouse trails on the website. The Sompiojärvi forest road, which runs across the southern edge of the Sompio Strict Nature Reserve, is drivable in summer.


Camping is only allowed on the camping sites of Lake Sompiojärvi, and you may stay there for a maximum of three days at one time.

Lighting Campfires

Campfire sites are in two places:

  • The Nalijoki lean-to shelter, at the trail Pyhä-Nattanen.
  • Lake Sompiojärvi a lean-to shelter and a campfire shelter, at the starting point of trail Ruijanpolku. 

Lighting campfires is forbidden everywhere when a wildfire warning is in effect, this includes the designated campfire sites and the fireplaces at the open lean-to shelters. 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 wildfire warning, the use of twig stoves is not allowed, as sparks may be created.

Litter-free Hiking

In the Sompio Strict Nature Reserve you must take care of waste disposal yourself. Take away everything you brought along.
You can put leftovers and other biowaste in a dry toilet at rest spots (Nalijoki and Pyhä-Nattanen). Sompiojärvi has a suction toilet. It is prohibited to put food scraps or rubbish into the toilet due to the risk of blocking the drainpipe. 

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.

There is a waste bin point by Lake Sompiojärvi. Read more about Hiking without littering. 


Fishing is permitted only on the Lake Sompiojärvi:

Before you go fishing, you need to check for any fishing restrictions at (in Finnish).

Berry and Mushroom Picking

Only allowed for people whose domicile is in the municipality of Sodankylä and those who also live there permanently.


Biking is allowed along the marked trails and along the Sompiojärvi forest road. 


Allowed along the Sompiojärvi forest road only. 

Other Rules and Instructions

The local inhabitants and the reindeer herders of the Lapin paliskunta reindeer herding cooperative have certain special rights in the Sompio Strict Nature Reserve.
Work in accordance with the Act on Reindeer Husbandry is permitted in the Nature Reserve. Read about hiking in a reindeer herding area.

As a rule, a permit issued by Metsähallitus is required for activities other than those included in everyman's rights, which may include research and organised events. Further information on required permits: research and access permits ( and permits and notifications related to events (

Forbidden Activities

  • Dog sledding
  • Letting pets run free
  • Driving a motor vehicle
  • Littering or damaging any structures 
  • All activities causing any change to nature: It is forbidden 
    • Build buildings, structures or roads
    • Taking extraction of earth material  or minerals or damaging soil or rock
    • Taking or damaging mushrooms, trees, bushes, other plants or their parts
    • Killing, catching or disturbing wild vertebrates, or damaging their nests nor catching or collecting invertebrates.
    • Other activities that may have an adverse effect on the local natural conditions, the landscape, or the preservation of animal or plant species.


Get to know the destination before your visit. Staying on the trail and keeping an eye on weather forecasts ( make for a successful trip.

  • Take the different seasons into account when considering equipment and food.
  • Hiking in winter is demanding. In midwinter the weather and light conditions are difficult, as it may be –40 C and there are only a few hours of daylight during the polar night. Windy conditions significantly increase the bitterness of the cold weather.
  • The most important pieces of equipment on a hike are a sheath knife, matches, a map and a compass. You should take them with you even on the shortest day trips in addition to packed meals and drinks. Remember to inform your friends, close relatives, your place of accommodation about yourself, your schedule and your route plans. Also inform them, as far as possible, of any changes to your route and schedule. Write your name in the guestbooks at huts and lean-to shelters, as that facilitates the helpers' work in an emergency. The area's rescue service has been statutorily organised and it can be reached via the Emergency Response Centre (ERC). Remember to inform others about your arrival at the destination in order to avoid any unnecessary search alarms.
  • 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.
  • Dress for hiking in colorful clothes and according to the weather. Toilet paper and water are good to have along
  • Make sure you pack a first-aid kit.
  • Avoid hiking alone. In an emergency a fellow hiker is indispensable.

Careful trip planning and obtaining about local conditions help in achieving the best nature experience.

Peak Seasons

Summer and the period of autumn colours (ruska) are popular times for hiking. The period of autumn colours usually takes place in the early part of September.



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 ( 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

A cartoon picture of a family walking on a summer path.

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