Finland is a country known for its breathtaking natural beauty, pristine wilderness, and vast network of hiking trails.
With over 40 national parks, Finland is a hiker’s paradise, offering a diverse range of landscapes and terrains to explore.
From the rugged fells of Lapland to the lush forests of the south, there is no shortage of stunning scenery to discover on foot.
What to Expect from Hiking In Finland
Whether you’re a seasoned trekker or a casual day hiker, Finland has something for everyone.
The country’s extensive network of hiking trails ranges from easy, family-friendly loops to challenging multi-day treks through remote wilderness areas.
Along the way, hikers can expect to encounter a wide variety of flora and fauna, including reindeer, elk, bears, and wolves, as well as countless species of birds and plants.
One of the most popular hiking destinations in Finland is Lapland, a region located in the northernmost part of the country. Here, hikers can explore the rugged fells and tundra landscapes of Urho Kekkonen National Park, or embark on a multi-day trek along the iconic Hetta-Pallas Trail.
In the south, hikers can explore the lush forests and tranquil lakes of Nuuksio National Park, or hike along the stunning coastal trails of the Archipelago National Park.
Best Hiking Trails in Finland
Finland is a hiker’s paradise with its vast wilderness areas and stunning landscapes. From national parks to coastal trails, there are plenty of hiking trails to explore.
Here are some of the best hiking trails in Finland:
|Karhunkierros Hiking Trail||80 km||Intermediate|
|Hetta-Pallas Hiking Trail||55 km||Intermediate|
|Ruijanpolku Trail||35 km||Intermediate|
The Karhunkierros Hiking Trail in Oulanka National Park is one of the most popular hiking trails in Finland.
The 80-kilometer trail takes you through stunning landscapes of forests, rivers, and waterfalls. The trail is well-marked and has several huts and camping areas along the way.
The Hetta-Pallas Hiking Trail in Pallas-Ylläs National Park is another popular trail. The 55-kilometer trail takes you through beautiful landscapes of fells, forests, and lakes. The trail is well-marked and has several huts and camping areas along the way.
The Ruijanpolku Trail is a 35-kilometer trail that takes you through the wilderness of Lapland. The trail starts at the village of Kivilompolo and takes you through stunning landscapes of fells, forests, and lakes. The trail is well-marked and has several huts and camping areas along the way.
If you’re looking for a coastal hike, the St. Olav Waterway is a great option. The 900-kilometer trail takes you along the coast of Finland and Sweden. The trail is well-marked and has several huts and camping areas along the way.
Whether you’re an experienced hiker or a beginner, Finland has plenty of hiking trails to explore. Just make sure to pack appropriately and follow Leave No Trace principles to preserve the natural beauty of the trails.
When to Go Hiking in Finland
Finland is a country with four distinct seasons, and each season has its own charm. However, the best time to go hiking in Finland is during the summer months of June to September.
During this time, the weather is mild, and the days are long, giving you plenty of daylight hours to explore the trails.
If you prefer cooler temperatures, you can consider hiking in May or October. However, be prepared for shorter days and the possibility of snow in some areas.
Winter hiking is also possible in Finland, but it requires special equipment and experience. The winter months of December to March offer a unique experience of hiking in the snow-covered forests and frozen lakes. However, it’s important to note that many trails may be closed during the winter season due to safety concerns.
It’s also important to check the weather forecast before you go hiking, as the weather can change quickly in Finland. Always dress in layers and bring waterproof clothing, as rain is common in Finland throughout the year.
Also read – Most common winter hiking mistakes
What to Pack for Hiking in Finland
If you’re planning a hiking trip in Finland, it’s important to pack the right gear to ensure you stay comfortable and safe on your journey.
Here are some essential items to consider packing:
- Sturdy hiking boots with good grip
- Moisture-wicking clothing, such as synthetic or wool materials
- Warm layers, including a fleece or down jacket and a waterproof shell
- Sun protection, including sunglasses and sunscreen
- A hat or headband to keep your ears warm
- A backpack to carry all your gear, with a rain cover to keep your belongings dry
- A map and compass, or a GPS device to help navigate the trails
- A first aid kit, including any necessary medications
- A water bottle or hydration system, and snacks to keep you fueled
It’s also important to pack according to the season and the specific trail you’ll be hiking.
In the summer months, the weather can be warm and sunny, but also unpredictable, so it’s important to be prepared for rain and cooler temperatures. In the winter, you’ll need to pack extra layers and gear to stay warm in the snow and ice.
Finally, it’s important to follow Leave No Trace principles and pack out all trash and waste. Finland’s natural beauty is a precious resource that we must all work to protect.
Safety Tips for Hiking in Finland
Finland is a beautiful country with vast forests and stunning landscapes, making it a popular destination for hikers. However, as with any outdoor activity, hiking in Finland comes with risks.
Here are some essential safety tips to keep in mind when hiking in Finland:
- Always wear appropriate footwear. Mires and bogs can be treacherous to cross and are best avoided. Use great caution when wading across rivers. Underwater rocks can be slippery, and the current can be strong.
- Check the weather forecast before heading out. Finland’s weather can be unpredictable, and sudden changes in weather can be dangerous. Be prepared for rain, wind, and even snow, depending on the season.
- Bring enough food and water for your hike, and carry a map and compass or a GPS device. Familiarize yourself with the trail before starting your hike, and stay on marked trails as much as possible.
- Wear appropriate clothing for the weather conditions. In the winter, dress in layers and wear warm, waterproof clothing. In the summer, wear lightweight, breathable clothing and protect yourself from the sun with a hat and sunscreen.
- Be aware of wildlife in the area. Finland is home to bears, wolves, lynx, and other animals. If you encounter a wild animal, keep your distance and do not approach it. Make noise when hiking to alert animals to your presence.
- Carry a first aid kit and know how to use it. In case of an emergency, call the emergency number 112.
By following these safety tips, you can enjoy the beauty of Finland’s nature while staying safe on your hiking trip.
Hiking in Finland is a rewarding experience that offers a unique opportunity to explore the country’s natural beauty. With over 74% of the country covered by forests, there is no shortage of trails to discover. From the Arctic wilderness of Lapland to the rugged coastline of the Baltic Sea, Finland’s diverse landscapes offer something for everyone.
When planning your hiking trip, it’s important to take into account the time of year and the weather conditions. Finland experiences long, dark winters and short, bright summers. The best time to go hiking is during the summer months when the days are long and the weather is mild. However, even in the summer, it’s important to be prepared for sudden changes in weather and to bring appropriate clothing and gear.
One of the best things about hiking in Finland is the country’s unique concept of “Everyman’s Right.” This means that everyone has the right to access and explore the country’s natural areas, including private land, as long as they do so responsibly and with respect for the environment and the landowners. This makes Finland an ideal destination for hikers who want to get off the beaten path and explore remote areas.
Overall, hiking in Finland is an unforgettable experience that offers a chance to connect with nature and discover a different side of the country. Whether you’re a seasoned hiker or a beginner, there is something for everyone in Finland’s vast wilderness. So pack your bags, lace up your boots, and get ready to hit the trails!