Winter Trails in Urho Kekkonen National Park

Starting Points

  • Saariselkä starting point, Lutontie 10–12, Saariselkä (Inari). Coordinates: WGS84 lat:68° 25.0989' ja lon: 27° 25.6173'
    • Cross-country Skiing Trails
    • Winter Trails
    • Snowshoeing Trails
  • Kiilopää starting point, Kiilopääntie 620, 99830 Saariselkä (Inari). Coordinates: WGS84 lat: 68° 20.7882' lon: 27° 27.7299'
    • Cross-country Skiing Trails
    • Winter Trails
    • Snowshoeing Trails
  • Laanila, Viskitie 1 (road), 99830 Saariselkä (Inari), (excursionmap.fi). Coordinates: WGS84 lat: 68° 23.4392' lon: 27° 23.8153', ETRS-TM35FIN: N: 7586471 m E: 516313 m
    • Cross-country Skiing Trails
    • Winter Trails
    • Snowshoeing Trails
  • Kakslauttanen, Kiilopääntie (road), 99830 Saariselkä (Sodankylä), (excursionmap.fi) or Laanila, Viskitie 1 (road), 99830 Saariselkä (Inari), (excursionmap.fi).
    • Cross-country Skiing Trails
    • Winter Trails
    • Snowshoeing Trails
  • Tankavaara Parking Area, Tankavaarantie 11 B, 99695 Tankavaara (Sodankylä). Coordinates: WGS84 lat: 68° 10.6613' lon: 27° 05.8279'
    • Snowshoeing Trails

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 ski tracks are maintained by the Saariselkä management cooperative consisting of tourism entrepreneurs (saariselkanordicski.com). 
•     Follow the real-time map. (infogis.fi/saariselka). 
 
Winter Trails
What could be better than cycling or walking along maintained winter trails in snowy forests? When heading out in the winter, make sure you have good equipment. You can cover a lot of distance quickly when riding a bike and mobile network coverage is not always guaranteed. So, pack suitably warm clothing, a fully charged phone, a map, food and drink.
There are over 50 km of marked and maintained winter paths in the Saariselkä and Kiilopää areas, of which about 40 km are multiple-use routes. You can walk, snowshoe, ski, bike and walk a dog on multi-use routes. Some winter trails are intended for cycling only. Cycling and walking on ski tracks is prohibited.
•    Multi-use Trails
    Saariselkä-Laanila area.
    Trail Laanila–Latvakuru-Kiilopää. 
    Trail Kiilopää (the north side of Kiilopääntie road) -Sivakka.
    Trail Kiilopää (the north side of Kiilopääntie road) -Sivakkaoja-Wilderness Hotel Muotka-Kiilopääntie road-Kiilopää
•    Winter Biking Trails
    All winter trails
Winter trails are maintained by snowmobiles and a drag. Check if the winter trails have been cleared on the website of the party responsible for their maintenance.
•    Saariselkä-Laanila and multi-use trail to Kiilopää: infogis.fi/saariselka (Saariselän latuhuolto).
Winter trails also include the Aurorapolku Trail near Saariselkä. The trail is 2.1 km long and is maintained by ploughing. Aurorapolku Trail description (PDF, 2 Mt, julkaisut.metsa.fi). Read the story: In Aurora, observing the nature of the north.

Lumikenkäilyreitit
Snowshoe trails marked on the terrain make for safe and rewarding excursions. Snowshoeing is usually done at a leisurely pace, slower than skiing. It is also a good way to quietly sharpen your senses to observe the winter environment. Winter nature is not dead. Tracks and droppings on the snow tell the story of the events of a winter’s day. By studying them, hikers can draw their own conclusions on what or who has been moving, eating or sleeping there at any given time.
On Tankavaara nature trails, Saariselkä's Iisakkipää trail and Kiilopää's Poropolku, Kiirunapolku and Vasapolku trails, information boards explain local nature and culture following specific themes. Snowshoe trails follow the summer trails.
Urpiaislenkki, 1 km, Circle Trail
No foundation has been laid for the Urpiaislenkki Trail, and after snowfall, it might be completely untouched. Occasionally the trail is driven by snowmobile. Walking in soft snow might be challenging in snowshoes. The trail is not suitable for snow cycling due to thick snow cover.
The trail has no official difficulty rating but there are no major elevation differences on the route.
Travel time: 1 hour. 
Recommended direction of travel: anti-clockwise.
Starting point
Tankavaara Parking Area, Tankavaarantie 11 B, 99695 Tankavaara (Sodankylä). 
Coordinates: WGS84 lat: 68° 10.6613' lon: 27° 05.8279', ETRS-TM35FIN N: 7562678m E: 504029m
Hiking Structures
There are no hiking structures on the trail.
Sights
In crown snow, the Urpiaislenkki Trail charms with its beauty. 
Even in the coldest and darkest times of the year, there is life in the spruce forest of the Tankavaara Hill. After snowfall, traversing the trail may be slow, but pristine snow helps spot fresh traces and animal droppings. The wood grouse (Tetrao urogallus) or the willow grouse (Lagopus lagopus) may leave their imprint on the snow. Perhaps you will spot some tits or the Siberian jay (Perisoreus infaustus). The three-toed woodpecker (Picoides tridactylus) likes living in spruce forests, so you can also hear its tapping on the Urpiaislenkki Trail in Tankavaara.
Route Description
Route markings: With green cone -symbol in green wooden poles.
 Excursionmap.fi
In the beginning of the path there is three other paths in the same trakc, and markings are in a different colours. Urpiaislenkki is easy to walk and little variations in altitudes 
Please Note
No foundation has been laid for the trail so it may be soft in places. If you would like to extend your excursion, you can combine other snowshoeing trails with the Urpiaislenkki Trail.
Koppelolenkki 3 km, Circle Trail
No foundation has been laid for the Koppelolenkki Trail, and after snowfall, it might be completely untouched. Walking in soft snow might be challenging in snowshoes. The trail is not suitable for snow cycling due to thick snow cover.
The trail rises gently, visiting the lower slope of the Pikku-Tankavaara Hill.
Travel time 2-3 hours.
Recommended direction of travel: anti-clockwise.
Starting point
Tankavaara Parking Area, Tankavaarantie 11 B, 99695 Tankavaara (Sodankylä). 
Coordinates: WGS84 lat: 68° 10.6613' lon: 27° 05.8279', ETRS-TM35FIN N: 7562678m E: 504029m
Hiking Structures
Hopiaoja campfire hut, dry toilet, and woodshed.
Sights
The Trail takes you further into the quiet spruce forest. The trail runs in fresh woodforest at beginning. Spot the tracks of the bird that gives the trail its name (koppelo, Engl. female wood grouse). If you’re lucky, you might even meet one prancing on top of the snow cover. The willow grouse lives around the ditch banks. Even if you can't hear its drumming laughter, you might see its imprints leading from birch to birch, from willow to willow. Other possible animal sightings could include tracks and dropping of squirrels, foxes, reindeer and tiny mammals, i.e. moles.
Route Description
Route markings: With blue cone -symbols in wooden poles.
Excursionmap.fi 
In beginning of the trail three different trails are in the same track After one kilometers Koppelolenkki trail turns towards Pikku-Tankavaara -fell. From there, the trail gently descends towards a rest site where you can enjoy a cup of coffee sheltered from the elements.
Please Note
The trail is not maintained during the winter.
Kuukkelilenkki, 6 km, Circle Trail
You can hike the Kuukkelilenkki Trail on snowshoes, but it is not maintained in the winter. In thin snow cover, snowshoeing works well, but hiking in snowshoes can be hard / demanding in thicker snow. 
Travel time:  3-4 h
Recommended direction of travel: anti-clockwise.
Starting point
Tankavaara Parking Area, Tankavaarantie 11 B, 99695 Tankavaara (Sodankylä). 
Coordinates: WGS84 lat: 68° 10.6613' lon: 27° 05.8279', ETRS-TM35FIN N: 7562678 m E: 504029 m
Hiking Structures
There is an observation tower at the top of the Pikku-Tankavaara Hill, which does not have winter maintenance. There is a hut, campfire site, dry toilet and shed at the end of the Kuukkelilenkki Trail along the Hopiaoja River. Information boards along the trail talk about the nature of the area. The guide boards also present the history of the Second World War during the first 1.5 km of the trail.
Sights
From the top of Pikku-Tankavaara, you'll find magnificent views of the Nattanen Fells in the Sompio Strict Nature Reserve and the extensive fell area of Urho Kekkonen National Park. The information boards along the trail explain the local nature and the history of the Second World War. At the beginning of the trail, there are remnants of the German Schutzwall defence station from World War II. The replica of a World War II dugout has been built on the ground surface and can be seen at least partially also in the winter.
Route Description
Route markings: With orange cone -symbols in wooden poles. 
Excursionmap.fi 
Kuukkelilenkki kuljettaa retkeilijän Tankavaaran alueen luonnonpiirteiden lävitse. Reitin alkuosa on yhteinen kahden lyhyemmän luontopolun kanssa ja se kulkee kuusivaltaisessa sekametsässä. Erottuaan Koppelolenkistä Kuukkelilenkki aloittaa noin 1,5 kilometrin loivahkon nousun kohden Pikku-Tankavaaran huipulle. It awards magnificent views of Urho Kekkonen National Park, Nattanen Fells and Hammastunturi wilderness.  When descending from the Pikku-Tankavaara Hill, follow the edge of the mire area to the Hopiaoja campfire hut.
Please Note
The Kuukkelilenkki Trail is not suitable for winter cycling.


Geological Trail, 7 km, Circle Trail
Available all year round. In Summertime hiking and in winter with snowshoes. The trail has no official difficulty rating, but it is easy because there are no major elevation differences. Geological Trail is driven regularly on snowmobiles, but it is not suitable for cycling.
Travel time:  3-4 hours
Recommended direction of travel: clockwise.
Starting point
Tankavaara Parking Area, Tankavaarantie 11 B, 99695 Tankavaara (Sodankylä). 
Coordinates: WGS84 lat: 68° 10.6613' lon: 27° 05.8279', ETRS-TM35FIN N: 7562678 m E: 504029 m.
Hiking Structures
About a halfway trail is a campfire shelter, woodshed, and a dry toilet at Koiranjuomalampi -pond. At Hopiaoja -river there is Hopiaoja campfire hut, dry toilet, and woodshed.  
Sights
Information boards about areas' geology. 
Route Description
Route markings: Grey cone -symbols in wooden poles. 
Excursionmap.fi 
Start from the Tankavaara parking area to the entrance gate leading to the trail, which is located in the yard of Tankavaara Wild - adventure and conference centre (tankavaara.fi; previous nature centre).  Geological Trail begins at the gate where Tankavaara's other nature trails end. In fact, the start of the trail follows the path of other nature trails "in the wrong direction" until the Geological Trail deviates from the others and turns left.
Geological Trail, you’ll find a charming rest site with a lean-to shelter on the shores of the clear-water Koiranjuomalampi Pond.
After the lean-to shelter, the trail runs towards the Jorpulipää slope until it turns right and descends to mire landscapes.  The rest of the trail is shared with the Kuukkelilenkki Trail.
Please Note
The Kuukkelilenkki Trail is not suitable for winter cycling.