Enjoy the peace and tranquillity of fell huts, with wilderness stretching as far as the eye can see. The area's natural beauty can be experienced on long treks in the park's extensive wilderness areas, or on shorter one-day hiking or skiing trips around Saariselkä Fells. The national parks' marked routes are situated aroud Saariselkä for daytrips and more demanding hiking areas are situated in the middel- and eastern parts of the national park for longer treks.


Hikers walking along a marked trail in a fell landscape with little snow. A sunny fell landscape opens up in the background.

The extensive wilderness areas of Urho Kekkonen National Park can be explored on skis in winter and on foot in other times. Hiking outside marked trails requires wilderness and orienteering skills, and in winter the thick snow adds an additional layer of difficulty. A map and compass are necessary, since GPS devices are not always reliable in the remote wilderness. Nights can be spent at any of the many wilderness and reservation huts in the park, which are stocked with firewood. The huts are located about a day's journey apart from each other.

Although the routes are not marked, hikers have established trails in the park's most popular areas. Most of these trails are in terrain of average difficulty. One of the most popular unmarked routes is the Kiilopää–Suomuruoktu–Tuiskukuru–Luirojärvi–Lankojärvi–Kiilopää route (70–80 km).

A hiker admiring the beautiful autumn colours of the fell. Thick dark clouds can be seen above the fell landscape.

Cross-Country Skiing

Skiers can make day trips within a maintained ski trail network in the vicinity of Saariselkä, Kiilopää, and Kakslauttanen. The total length of maintained ski trails in the area is 200 km, of which 70 km is located in Urho Kekkonen National Park's recreational and nature tourism zone. The length of the ski network varies depending on snowfall level. Snowfall is thickest in the early spring.

The network includes ski trails of various levels of difficulty to amateur skiers and serious skiing enthusiasts. Most of the ski trails are suited for both classic and skating styles. There are day trip huts and lean-tos along the routes, and these are stocked with firewood for snack breaks.

Ski tracks crossing a clearing in the forest. A few skiers can be seen on the track in the sunshine. A small cabin can be seen at the edge of the forest in the background.


The wilderness in Urho Kekkonen National Park can also be enjoyed by hiking along marked routes. The marked hiking network (200 km) in the Saariselkä, Kiilopää, and Kakslauttanen area is good for day trips. Of the network, 70 km is located in Urho Kekkonen National Park's recreational and nature tourism zone. Visitors can pause to rest at day trip huts and lean-tos stocked with firewood along the hiking trails. The difficulty level of the trails varies. Trails that are suitable for everyone regardless of age or level of fitness (1-7 km) are equipped with information boards that introduce local nature and culture. Nature trails are located next to Saariselkä, Kiilopää, and Tankavaara. In winter, nature trails are suitable for snowshoeing.

Two hikers walking across a bridge over a small river. The river is winding through a heath forest. A small esker can be seen in the background.

Marked routes suitable for longer hikes that take several days include the Kemihaara–Korvatunturinmurusta Hiking Trail that leads towards Korvatunturi (40 km back-and-forth trail), Nuortti Hiking Trail that follows the Nuorttijoki canyon (a 40 km circular trail), and historical Ruijanpolku Trail (35 km one way) that passes through the Sompio Strict Nature Reserve in the south. There are wilderness huts, lean-tos, and campfire sites along the trails. These trails are classified as demanding: Kemihaara–Korvatunturinmurusta trail is a remote trail in the wilderness, in Nuortti Hiking Trail the river Nuorttijoki is waded over, and Ruijanpolku Trail has a lot of elevation and rocky parts.

A fell with two sharp peaks in the background. A spruce forest in the foreground.


  • On summertime cycling is permitted on a terrain marked routes only, except on the route to Kiilopää fell.
  • Cycling is permitted also on the following unmarked routes:
    • Kakslauttanen‒Kopsusjärvi
    • Niilanpää‒Suomunruoktu
    • Raja-Jooseppi‒Anterinmukka Hut (about 25 km one way)
    • Kemihaara‒Peskihaara‒Keskipakat
    • Kemihaara‒Mantoselkä (11 km one way)
    • Kemihaara‒Rakitsat
  • Cycling on wintertime is allowed all over, but not on a skiing trakcs.

A cyclist is cycling along a forest trail on a sunny autumn day. A log cabin can be seen in the background.

Other Activities

A fisherman on the shore of a slow-moving river. A few trees are bent over the river, one is in the foreground.

  • Bird-watching: Birds that can be spotted in the national park include the golden eagle, Siberian jay, willow grouse, or golden plover. There are two observation towers along the Tankavaara Nature Trails.

A red-grey bird sitting on a branch.

  • Visitor centre: Urho Kekkonen National park Customer Service Kiehinen provide information on the national park. Ask for hiking tips, make reservations on reservation and rental huts, and purchase fishing, hunting, and cross-country traffic permits. Permanent and temporary exhibitions, AV presentations, a shop.
  • Berry and mushroom picking: Berry and mushroom picking is permitted in the national park.
  • Canoeing: Excellent canoeing spots include Rivers Luirojoki and Kopsusjoki. There are no marked canoeing routes in the national park.
  • Hunting: Only local residents are allowed to hunt in Urho Kekkonen National Park within the area of the municipality of their residence, and are subject to the Hunting Act regulations.
  • Sights and the views: Hike to Lake Luirojärvi in the wilderness of the national park, and to Sokosti, the highest fell in the area, which rises on the eastern side of the park, Paratiisikuru or Vongoivanräystäs. Visit the clear-watered Suomujokilaakso or Korvatunturi in the border zone between Finland and Russia. There are many ways visitors can explore the local cultural heritage, for example by visiting the homesteads of the Skolt Sámi people in the northern part of the national park, the Raja-Jooseppi homestead near the Russian border, and the German defence post in Tankavaara that dates back to the Second World War. Easily reachable observation points include the top of Kiilopää and Kaunispää near the border of the national park in Saariselkä.

A sturdy bench on top of a fell. Two women are sitting on the bench, admiring the view of the fell landscape.

  • Horseback riding: Horseback riding is permitted in the national park on routes: Kemihaara‒Peskihaara-Keskipakat, KemihaaraMantoselkä, Kemihaara‒Rakitsat and Kakslauttanen-Kopsusjärvi lakes' terraintrail shelter (Kopsusjärventien laavu) until.
  • Dog sled or Husky driving is forbidden. 
  • Volunteer activities: Visitors can participate in the park's operations at voluntary workers' camps, Junior Ranger camps, and various events. The park also has international volunteer activities.