Instructions and Rules in Urho Kekkonen National Park
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.
Instructions on Exploring Urho Kekkonen National Park
In Urho Kekkonen National Park, the following are
- Walking, skiing, rowing and canoeing and on wintertime montain biking any where else except at the skiing tracks.
- Picking berries and mushrooms
- The use of the national park is regulated through the Park Regulations.
- The national park has been divided into the following zones to regulate its use and to prevent its wearing down: the recreational and nature tourism zone and remote zone. The zones have different regulations for hiking, lighting fires and camping. See the zonedivision from the Excursionmap.fi.
- Camping is allowed only nearby huts, shelters and fireplaces in recreational and nature tourism zone. In the remote zone you can freely choose a camping location - except for the areas of Paratiisikuru, Lumikuru and the surroundings of ancient structures, where camping is forbidden.
- The park is restricted at east to the boder zone between Finland and Russia and therefore part of the park is situated at the boder zone, in which one need a border zone permit to enter (raja.fi).
- Lighting campfires is allowed only at sites marked for this purpose in recrational and nature tourism zone.
- At summer time mountain biking is allowed on a marked trails, except on the route to Kiilopää fell. It is also allowed to use a few unmarked trails, which are:
- Kakslauttanen - Kopsusjärvi
- Nilanpää - Suomunruoktu
- Rajajooseppi - Anterinmukka
- Kemihaara - Peskihaara - Keskipakat
- Kemihaara - Mantoselkä
- Fishing is allowed with the correct permits.
- Fishers need to check the restrictions on fishing sites at kalastusrajoitus.fi (in Finnish).
- Hook and line fishing and ice-fishing on a lake-waters. Fishers need to check the restrictions on fishing sites at kalastusrajoitus.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 and organised events. Further information on required permits: research and access permits (metsa.fi) and permits and notifications related to events (metsa.fi).
- Please note that lighting campfires is also forbidden at campfire sites if the forest fire warning or the grass fire warning is in effect. Check the current warnings (en.ilmatieteenlaitos.fi).
- This prohibition does not apply to cooking shelters or other fireplaces with a flue.
- Making fire is forbidden in Paratiisi- and Lumikuru and also Raja-Jooseppi homestead and skolt sámi fields at Lutto- and Suomujoki -rivers.
- Driving a dog sled, except with licence at Pieranvaara -hill trail.
- Pets running at large.
- Taking or damaging trees, bushes, other plants or their parts, or mushrooms other than edible ones.
- Damaging soil or rock, and extraction of earth material or minerals.
- Killing, catching or disturbing wild vertebrates, or damaging their nests.
- Catching or collecting invertebrates.
- Driving motor vehicles, except on roads designated for motor vehicles.
- Leaving waste in the area, or damaging constructions.
- Mountain biking at skiing tracks.
- Other people disturbing behavior.
- Take into account the different seasons when packing equipment and food.
- The most important equipment when hiking are a knife, matches, a map and compass. They should be taken along even on the shortest day trips in addition to food and drink. Further information on equipment and hiking can be obtained from camping books.
- A sleeping bag is part of the hiker's basic gear because the huts in the national park do not contain blankets, except for the reservable huts in the Savukoski area.
- Take with you pots and pans for making food and your own cutlery.
- Make use of the good, comprehensive network of huts in the national park when planning a hike. In the off-season there is usually room in the huts, but if you want to guarantee yourself a sleeping place, make a reservation for a reservable hut or turf hut or keep a tent with you.
- Take with you a V9 battery for the fire alarm, because moisture and the cold weaken the functioning of the battery or someone may have removed the battery.
- There are mattresses in the national park's reservable huts and turf huts and in the rental hut.
- There are no mattresses in the open wilderness huts, except for in Anterinmukka Open Wilderness Hut and the open wilderness huts on the Savukoski side of the park.
- The national park's huts have a stove or fireplace and a gas cooker. There is firewood in the woodshed.
- The lean-to shelters, Lapp Pole Tents and huts have a saw and an axe. Especially winter campers should take with them their own equipment, mentioned above. Spare blades for the saw can be found on the woodshed's wall.
- The huts usually have a water bucket and scoop, a waste bucket, guest book, fire alarm. The hut's folder contains e.g. instructions on how to use equipment and how to behave in the hut.
- Make sure you pack a first-aid kit.
The high seasons for hiking in the national park are the skiing season in November–April and the hiking season in the summer and autumn. The open wilderness huts are often full in the high seasons, so make sure to reserve a place in a reservable hut or turf hut and to keep a tent with you, unless you plan to sleep under the stars.
- 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.
- Day trips are a good way to start out if you are a beginner. When going into the park's wilderness zones for longer and more demanding treks, you must always have an experienced hiker in your group.
- Before setting out on a trek explain your exact route to someone reliable. If your route changes tell your contact as soon as possible. Remember to also tell them when you have returned from your trek. You can leave your route information at your place of lodging, Fell Centre Kiilopää or any of the parks Visitor Centres. Mark down your visits in the huts' and tepees' guest books. In emergencies the markings serve as aids to helpers. The area's rescue service has been organised according to statutes and it can be reached through the emergency exchange. Remember to give notice of your arrival so that the searchers are not called out unnecessarily. Remember to call the emergency number 112 first in an emergency situation.
- The weather may change rapidly on the fells. A quickly forming fog or blizzard may cause dangerous situations.
- In winter, trekking is very demanding. Harsh weather and poor light in the middle of winter cause difficulties. The temperature can drop to -40° and during the darkest part of winter there is sunlight for only a couple of hours. The cold is increased significantly by wind chill.
- Orienteering skills are essential. Be prepared for emergencies such as having to camp out in the forest.
- Avoid hiking alone. In emergencies a hiking partner is immeasurably valuable.
- Early spring is a popular time for trekking, but even then proper gear is needed.If you have normal cross-country skis, you should stay on maintained trails.
- When following snowmobile tracks be cautious. Getting lost is especially dangerous during winter. Winter trekking is best suited for those with experience.
- Avalanches may occur in gorges.
- Hiking in Finland:
Mobile Phone Coverage
- Although Finland has a broad network for mobile phones, there are some areas in the park without signal. 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.
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 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.
Information for Companies and Big Groups
Do you plan to organize guided excursions to the Finnish National Parks or other protected areas? It is possible due to partnership agreement with Metsähallitus, Parks & Wildlife Finland.
- Sustainable Tourism in Protected areas in Finland (pdf 3,96 Mt, julkaisut.metsa.fi)
- Please, contact kirjaamo(at)metsa.fi
Tourist entrepreneurs operating in national parks or other areas managed by Metsähallitus need a cooperation agreement. A fee is charged for using the routes and service infrastructure for business activities.