Instructions and Rules in Syöte National Park

Syöte National Park was established to protect the hill, forest and mire landscape and the small water bodies in northern Finland that have been preserved in a natural state of wilderness. The park also serves as a public nature destination. The national park offers opportunities for hiking, education and research.

The rules concerning camping at Syöte vary between the different zones of the park: the hiking and nature tourism zones and the other parts of the park. The zones are marked on map no. 1 appended to the rules and regulations for Syöte National Park (in Finnish; page 6, pdf 1.4 Mb, julkaisut.metsa.fi), ratified on 20 April 2020.

Respect Nature 
Pets
Getting Around in Nature
Camping 
Lighting Campfires 
Litter-free Hiking 
Fishing
Berry and Mushroom Picking 
Biking 
Horse Riding 
Other Rules and Instructions
Forbidden Activities 
Safety
Different Seasons
Other Tips

Respect Nature

The outdoor activities in the Syöte 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.

Pets

  • Dog sledging at Syöte National Park is currently possible only on arranged safaris.
  • Cross-country skiing with a dog is allowed on all of the national park’s skiing tracks.
  • Dogs are also allowed in all of the park’s wilderness huts.

Getting around in nature

You may walk, snowshoe, ski, row and canoe freely in the national park.

Camping

In the hiking and nature tourism zones of the national park, temporary camping is allowed only at the maintained rest spots. In other parts of the park, you are free to choose your own camping site. Lighting a campfire is allowed only at designated campfire sites. Wilderness huts are listed on the Services page. All of the huts, lean-to shelters and campfire sites at Syöte can be found at Excursionmap.fi.

Lighting campfires

Lighting an open fire in the Syöte National Park 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:

  • Lighting an open fire is forbidden everywhere, including at the marked campfire sites, when a forest fire warning (ilmatieteenlaitos.fi) is in effect.
  • The ban does not concern fireplaces with a chimney, which can be found in wilderness huts, day-use huts and rental huts.
  • During the forest and grass fire warning, the use of twig stoves is not allowed, as sparks may be created.

Litter-free hiking

There are no mixed garbage bins in the Syöte National Park. Take away everything you brought along.

Small amounts of clean paper and cardboard may be used as kindling at a campfire site or a fireplace at a wilderness 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 angling are allowed at the lakes and ponds of the Syöte National Park.

Fishers need to check the restrictions on fishing sites at kalastusrajoitus.fi (in Finnish).

Berry and mushroom picking

Picking berries and edible mushrooms is allowed.

Biking

When there is no snow on the ground, biking is allowed only on designated routes.

Horse riding

Horse riding is not possible in the Syöte National Park.

Other rules and instructions

  • Research activities, organised events and the shooting of films or advertisements in the terrain always require a permit from Metsähallitus. Additional information: permits for research and getting around in nature (metsa.fi), a well as the permits and notifications regarding events (metsa.fi).
  • The use of the trails and structures of the Syöte 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).
  • Hunting permits are not sold to the Syöte National Park, but locals have the right to hunt in certain parts of the national park.
  • Small-scale collecting of gemstones is allowed in the area designated for the purpose at Ahmavaara. Small-scale collecting means an amount of stone that you can collect and carry away yourself without additional equipment. The collecting and transport of gemstones for the production of jewellery requires a permit from Metsähallitus.

Forbidden activity

  • Constructing buildings, structures and roads. 
  • Extracting earth material or minerals, as well as damaging the soil or bedrock.
  • Drainage of land areas.
  • Extracting or damaging trees, shrubs or other plants, or parts of them.
  • Killing, catching or disturbing wild vertebrates, or destroying their nests, as well as catching or collecting invertebrates.
  • Any activities that may have an unfavourable effect on the natural conditions and landscape or the preservation of organisms in the area. 
  • Littering.
  • Damaging archaeological sites and other cultural heritage sites.
  • Activities that disturb other people.

Safety

  • Dress for hiking in colorful clothes and according to the weather. Find out about the weather and conditions in advance.
  • Register your arrival at parking places, campfire sites and other facilities around the park in the notebooks or guest books provided, as this can help in cases of emergency. Comments and suggestions for improvements are also welcome.
  • 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.
  • Make sure you pack a first-aid kit.
  • Hiking in Finland:

Mobile Phone Coverage

  • Although Finland has a broad network for mobile phones, there are some areas in the park where cliffs or forest block signals. There may also be some smaller spots where there is interference. If this happens try to climb to a higher place or go into an open area. It may be worth removing the SIM card from your phone and then trying again to make emergency call. Different phones also differ in their coverage.
  • We recommend that you keep your mobile phone warm at all times and take along food and drink. Certain phone models do not work when the temperature falls below zero. You should therefore let someone know your planned route. To keep your mobile phone charged, bring along a spare power source, a spare battery or an old phone with a working battery.

Different Seasons

  • Winter: First snow that stays on the ground usually comes in the end of October. The skiing season begins in mid November or beginning of December, and ends around Mayday (1st of May). The last snow usually melts before mid May.
  • "Ruska" -season: The best time to see the autumn colours is from mid September to the beginning of October..
  • Peak seasons: The peak time for tourism in Syöte region and in the National Park is during the skiing season, from February to April. Most popular trails with cross-country skiers in the National Park are Ahmatupa and Toraslampi skiing trails. In summer there are most visitors during the summer holidays (June - August), and in the autumn during "ruska" time. The most popular hiking destinations in summer are Syöte Visitor Centre - Ahmatupa - Jaaskamonvaara areas, and the nature trails of the surroundings.

Other Tips

  • The mire sections of the trails mostly have duckboards, but typically moist forest is always damp.
  • The water in the springs and running water in the brooks of the National Park is usually good for drinking. However, the quality of the water cannot be monitored, so the use of natural water is at your own risk.
  • When hiking outside the marked trails, it is necessary to bear in mind that the spruce forests typical for the area are quite dense, so you cannot see very far.
  • See also Hiking in Finland.

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.

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.

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