Wilderness areas in Finland provide trekking opportunities for the experienced hikers. There are 12 wilderness areas that cover nearly 15 000 square kilometers in Lapland, the northernmost Finland. The wilderness areas are established in accordance to the Wilderness Act on state lands in Lapland. They are maintained by Metsähallitus, Parks & Wildlife Finland.
The wilderness areas are vast and uninhabited areas with hardly any roads or trails. They are literally far away from everything. They are maintained in natural state and only traditional sources of livelyhood such as reindeer husbandry, hunting and fishing are allowed for the locals. The wilderness areas are amazing nature destinations for everyone to visit, but all visitors need to understand that there are no services available and the conditions might be challenging.
List of wilderness areas in Finland
When to visit the wilderness areas
Hiking in these wilderness areas is possible during summer months from June to October. Mosquitos start bothering the hikers from early July onwards. September is extremely popular time to visit Lapland due to the splendid colors of autumn.
Wilderness skiing or snowshoeing can be done during winter, generally from November to April. In winter the daylight hours are limited and the weather can be really harsh. Spring from March to April is the best time for winter activities due to warmer temperatures and sunshine but still good snow coverage. Northern lights are best spotted during dark winter months, especially during spring or autumn equinoxes in March and September.
General tips for trekking in the wilderness areas
- Everyman’s rights apply in the wilderness areas.
- Respect nature and do not leave any trash behind.
- Remember to check the forest fire warning at the Finnish Meteorological Institute’s website before making any fire.
- For fishing in flowing streams you will always need a permit. Fishing with a rod and worm is generally allowed without permits in lakes, not in streams. But please check that based on your location. Fishing permits can be purchased for example at Eräluvat website.
- There are different kind of wilderness huts in Finland. Some wilderness huts can be booked by reservation only and their keys have to be fetched prior to use. Some wilderness huts are freely available but there are rules that you have to follow.
- In Lapland you can hike for days without running into anyone. It is what most people value, but it is also something that has to be taken into consideration prior to departure. You need to be able to survive on your own.