Lapland
In My Heart

Come and Experience the Wilderness and Solitude
of the Finnish National Parks of Lapland


All the Finnish national parks in Lapland and all of Finland are maintained by Metsähallitus.

Inside the official national park sites you'll find excellent discriptions about the parks - what you can do and see there.

One of the Finnish National Parks Is Named After Its Famous President

In Finnish it's called Urho Kekkosen kansallispuisto. It was established in 1983 and covers 2,550 km². It is one of Finland's largest protected areas. It is named after Urho Kekkonen, who was former President and Prime Minister of Finland for many periods.

The Suomujoki river flows through the northern parts of the park with its varied nature. The marked paths in its western part are an easy destination even for the inexperienced backpackers. The wilderness of the park is good for long and demanding trips.

Most trips to Urho Kekkonen National Park are started from the Kiilopää fell center, the Aittajärvi lake along the Suomujoki river, or Raja-Jooseppi on the Russian border. Backpackers usually end up nearby the Saariselkä mountains. Remember that the border zone is not accessible without a special permission.

Reindeer herding is still a common livelihood in the area.

Read more about this national park which is one of the largest of the Finnish National Parks

And take a look at the map just to see that this park really is the Finnish National Park in the middle of nowhere, Europe's last wilderness, if you like.

Pyhä-Luosto National Park

The Finnish name of the park is Pyhä-Luoston kansallispuisto. At that time the oldest of the Finnish national parks, the Pyhätunturi National Park was joined with Luosto. This makes Pyhä-Luosto Finland's oldest national park. But the same time it's also the newest. The combined parks covers 142 square kilometres.

The mountains (tunturit) of the park are remnants of Alp-like mountains of 2 billion years of age. Very old pine tree forests grow on the hillsides. The highest mountains are Noitatunturi (540 m / 1770 ft) and Ukko-Luosto (514 m / 1690 ft). Read more about the Pyhä-Luosto National Park

And here's a map to give you a hint of the whereabouts of this park.

Riisitunturi National Park

In Finnish the park is called Riisitunturin kansallispuisto. It was established in 1982 and covers 77 square kilometres. The park is in a mountainous area, and there are also many swamps, especially hillside swamps. There is one wilderness hut in the park. It is located near the twin-peak Riisitunturi (465.3 m).

Read more about theRiisitunturi National Park

Take a look at the map

Bay of Bothnia National Park

It is called "Perämeren kansallispuisto" in Finnish. The Swedish name is "Bottenvikens nationalpark". Both of these mean "Bay of Bothnia National Park".

The park was established in 1991. It covers 157 km². Around 2.5 km² is on the mainland. The islands in the area have been formed by post-glacial rebound. There are also many traditional fishing bases in the park area. The national park can be reached by boat. But it is only recommended for experienced boaters. Read more about the Perämeri National Park

Pallas-Yllästunturi National Park

The Finnish name is Pallas-Yllästunturin kansallispuisto. It was formally established in 2005, when Pallas-Ounastunturi National Park was joined with Ylläs-Aakenus protected area. It is the third largest national park in Finland, and it covers 1,020 square kilometres (394 mi²). Most of the park has primeval forests and various types of muskeg.

Read more about Pallas-Yllästunturi National Park

Look it up in the map.

Lemmenjoki National Park

In Finnish it's called "Lemmenjoen kansallispuisto". The Northern Sami name is "Leammi álbmotmeahcci". The park is the municipalities of Inari and Kittilä. It was founded in 1956. Since then it been expanded twice. Its total area is 2,850 km² (1,100 mi²). Thus it is the biggest national park of Finnish Lapland and Finland and one of the largest in Europe.

The park is named after the river Lemmenjoki which is 80 kilometers (50 miles) long.

The park is partly bordered by the Upper Anarjohka National Park in Norway.

In the wilderness of the Lemmenjoki National Park there can be as much as a 100 people digging gold in the summer. Altogether there are 40 claims in the park. There are about 60 kilometres (40 miles) marked paths in the park. You'll even find some bridges crossing rivers. Even boats are there to help the hikers.

There are around than ten wilderness cottages in the park that you can use without paying anything. Additionalle there are 3 cottages which you have to pay a small fee to stay in.

In the gold-digging area there are two small airports, Martiniiskonpalo (467 m or 1860 ft) and Keurulainen (about 500 m or 1600 ft). They can be used for landing or take-off with small propeller planes.

See what you can do at the Lemmenjoki National Park

Oulanka National Park

The Finnish name for this park is "Oulangan kansallispuisto". It covers 270 km². Oulanka National Park is a unique combination of northern, southern and eastern nature.

There are pine forests, river valleys with sandy banks and rapids. In the north there are of vast swamps. The area has many animal and plant species. Some of them are endangered.

Oulanka National Parka is one of the most popular national parks in Finland. In this park there is a famous trekking route, called Karhunkierros ("The Bear Circuit").

Oulanka National Park was established in 1956. Since then it was expanded in 1982 and 1989. The area has been reknowned for its scenery from the late 19th century. At that time it was a popular stop for artists and naturalists.

Find more about Oulanka National Park



See the map here.

Where the Reindeer Roam


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