Finland is known to have spectacular landscapes, lush forests, serene lakes, and excellent outdoor activities. These are great places to enjoy and commune with nature to refresh yourself if you have busy weeks.
Just located near the Arctic Circle and Europe’s wilderness, Finnish parks are home to remote areas and, of course, the northern lights. The country is home to more than 40 national parks with stunning landscapes. Real places that expose their natural beauty are protected and sustained for everyone who wants to visit.
Almost any outdoor activity can be done in Finland’s pristine national parks. Local and foreign visitors are coming back for active exploration.
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1. Pallas-Yllastunturi National Park
Located in the area of Lapland, this national park offers breathtaking views for both experienced and inexperienced hikers. Pallas-Yllastunturi is the third-largest national park in the country, sharing the spaces of Northern Finland, Fell, and Forest Lapland.
Researchers frequently visit it to look for ways how to improve air quality. Why? Because it has the freshest air in European territory. The park can be visited in any season, but going during winter welcomes you to a 50-km snowshoeing track. Its slopes are also good for skiing in winter and cycling in summer.
The northern lights can also be seen from Pallas-Yllastunturi. If you’re lucky, you can also sight some arctic animals in the park.
2. Nuuksio National Park
People who have a lot on their plate can visit Nuuksio National Park. The stunning lake landscapes can be enjoyed on a day trip. In addition, with close proximity to Helsinki, visitors can enjoy the border area of oak forest and boreal forest.
Because it is home to more than 80 lakes, its name came from the word “nuuksio” which means “swan” in Sami. As a result, visitors can expect to see flying squirrels, birds, swans, and many others.
You can try different outdoor activities in Nuuksio. For example, tourists can try cycling, horseback riding, and walking on the trails, which are beginner-friendly. Even children and those in a wheelchair may also enjoy the national park.
Visitors may also access the serene lakes by kayaking, renting a boat, or fishing in the local lakes.
3. Koli National Park
The national park shares its name with the Koli Mountains. With an area of 32 kilometers, people can enjoy sightseeing above the quartzite rocks and boulder fields. In addition, because of the tectonic processes, visitors can see the surrounding lush forests of the lakes within the national park.
Aside from boulders and lakes, Koli is one of the favorite locations for cabin rentals during summer. Visitors can walk through the woods during summer. Fishing and boating are also available. It boasts a good amount of snow during winter, making the national park another area for skiing.
Though the trails are quite steep, it has rewarding views at the top. With overlooking views of Lake Pielinen, visitors can ski downhill during winter. One of the most demanding vertical drops in skiing can also be found in Koli National Park.
4. National Park Urho Kekkonen
The Urho Kekkonen is situated just next to Russia and in Northeastern Finland. Different natural landscapes of Lapland can be seen from Urho Kekkonen. There are mountains, lush forests, and swamps. It is also home to mosses, ferns, and mushrooms. You can also spot winter animals in the national park; some may even pet a reindeer.
Urko Kekkonen is a remote park, making it a top spot for viewing the northern lights. During winter, the park is suitable for cross-country skiing. While in summer, it is a good place for cycling and hiking.
There are well-maintained trails and marked routes for beginners. The off-marked trail is only for the use of experienced hikers. Its wilderness is truly a haven for nature lovers.
5. Hossa National Park
Hossa was just recognized as a national park in 2017. The 11,000-hectare park offers beautiful landscapes of deep lakes, lush forests, and stunning rivers. Visitors can enjoy canoeing, fishing, hiking, and skiing during different times of the year.
It is one of the most accessible national parks in Finland. The majority of its trails are wheelchair-accessible, and campsites are available for those who want to experience the wilderness at night and welcome the day within a dense forest.
Visitors can rent boat jetties for those who want to go fishing on some of the lakes within the national park. Also, there’s a visitor center available for those who need to recharge their wheelchair batteries. Plus, people who can’t walk for long can rent available electronic scooters.
6. Patvinsuo National Park
If you are into birdwatching, you need a wetland area to observe different kinds of birds. Fortunately, Finland’s Patvinsuo National Park is one of the areas where birds breed during spring.
Its wetland location and easy trails make it a good spot for birdwatchers. Along its 20-kilometer boardwalk is a hiking route with a birdwatching tower and platform. Watching the avian life from here makes life away from the city truly rewarding.