Nuuksio National Park – Wilderness at Helsinki’s Doorsteps
First of all, you don’t need to travel even far from the Finnish Capital Helsinki to go for hiking. Wonderful Nuuksio National Park is just a half an hours bus ride away from Helsinki city center.
Karhunkierros – Finland’s Most Famous Hiking Route
Finland’s most famous hiking route is Karhunkierros in Oulanka National Park in the eastern Finland. Even if the name Karhunkierros translates to Bear’s Circle, you don’t need to be afraid of meeting the bears on the route. Bears do live in this huge forest area, but the sightings are very rare, since bears prefer to keep out of the hikers’ way.
Routes are well marked in Karhunkierros, and you can either choose a shorter day hike or a longer multiday-trekking route. Both take you to some of the best sceneries Finland has to offer.
As Karhunkierros is very famous, it’s far from being very isolated. This is good for hikers who feel safer when meeting other hikers on the way, but if you want to get away from everybody else, please consider our next recommendation the Lemmenjoki National Park.
Lemmenjoki National Park – as Wild and Isolate as Europe Gets
Lapland’s Lemmenjoki is Finland’s vastest wilderness area and one of the largest roadless and uninhabited areas in Europe. Here you can get as far from the civilization as it gets in Europe.
You might meet some gold diggers though, since Lemmenjoki (Love River in English) is one of Europe’s richest rivers in gold deposits. Small scale gold HUUHDONTA is allowed for those who have acquired permits.
UKK – Urho Kekkonen National Park
UKK National Park is a wonderful wilderness in Lapland. It’s less touristy than Karhunkierros and less isolated than Lemmenjoki. For many UKK National Park is just the perfect hiking playground in wonderful sceneries.
Urho Kekkonen was Finland’s president for long 25 years during the cold war era, when Finland had to do the balancing act of being the small and fragile capitalist neighbor or USSR.
For Finns Kekkonen was their political super hero who managed to navigate in the tricky waters of Finland’s place in the world. Beside doing often vodka induced politics in sauna with his Russian colleagues, he was an keen skier and fisher, who always wanted to catch the biggest fish – was it in the nature or in the negotiation table.