Vuokatti’s gorgeous outdoors invite you to enjoy the fresh air and picturesque nature. As you head to the trekking area for diverse hiking trails, you will be able to experience Kainuu’s nature in a unique way. There are also several national parks in the vicinity of Vuokatti, which are great for day trips into nature and the joyous experience it offers!
How to get started?
Trekking in Finland is generally easy for anyone: routes are well-marked and both outdoor areas and national parks have good services, such as tent, picnic and campfire sites. The legal concept of “Everyman’s Right” in Finland gives immense freedom to roam but comes with responsibilities; first and foremost the mutual respect for nature, people and property. The outdoor enthusiast’s golden rule requires a desire to preserve and protect the unspoiled beauty and wonder of nature for future generations to enjoy.
Read more about Everyman’s Right
What to wear?
Our weather is fickle and that makes outdoor life interesting! Wear sporty shoes and always have enough warm clothes and something waterproof with you in case you take a break or the rain surprises you mid-trek. Your normal sports and outdoor clothes should be fine, as for a day-hike you don’t need to worry about getting too technical with clothing.
When to go?
All four seasons offer different reasons to enjoy outdoors. Endless summer nights extend the day and offer versatile possibilities – during the winter on the other hand you can strap on a pair of snowshoes and find many suited paths to follow. Autumn is when the nature shows all its colors and the fresh springtime wakes the nature up once again.
How to get around?
Print a proper map from retkikartta.fi or purchase one at a local reseller. Some local entrepreneurs also offer guided tours which can be nice if you are feeling unsure about your trekking skills. Turn to them also to get a local point of view and to learn more about the nature of Vuokatti and Finland.
5 rules of outdoor life in Finland:
Eino Leino and Sapporo are some of Vuokatti’s most beautiful trekking routes. They partially overlap at the top of Vuokatinvaara fell and their level is relatively demanding. But those who take on the challenge, will be rewarded by Vuokatinvaara fell’s gorgeous nature.
Route recommendation: Eino Leino, circle trail 7 km
Eino Leino route offers its visitors great sceneries as well an opportunity to explore the scenic nature of Vuokatti. Climbing up to the Vuokatinvaara fell rewards the traveler with stunning views.
Services and accessibility: Campfire sites at Pöllylampi and at Lehmilampi, trail marks (brown color). There is no winter maintenance, but the trail marks are visible also in winter, helping provide experiences for those on snowshoes.
Route recommendation: Sapporo, circle trail 10 km
Sapporo circle trail is a challenging route that takes the hiker to the most beautiful landscapes of Vuokatti. The highlight of the trail is the fell Keima, where the scenic landscape certainly takes your mind off the hustle and bustle of everyday life.
Services and accessibility: Camping sites at the top of Keima (no fireplace) and at Lehmilampi, trail marks (red color). There is no winter maintenance, but the trail marks are visible also in winter, helping provide experiences for those on snowshoes.
Eino Leino and Sapporo routes are located at the very heart of the Vuokatti travel resort and the starting point for both trails is at the Vuokatti Sports Institute. Vuokattihalli parking area (Opistontie 1, 88610 Vuokatti) offers free parking space. Busses that run routes Kajaani-Vuokatti-Sotkamo-Kuhmo and Kajaani-Vuokatti-Sotkamo-Joensuu will stop next to the parking area.
HIIDENPORTTI NATIONAL PARK
The gorge and the rocky landscape of Hiidenportti National Park are an astonishing sight in the heart of the forest terrain. The gorges’ rock walls drop vertically by up to twenty meters, and its ledges offer spectacular views.
Route recommendation: Hiidenkierros, circle trail 3-5 km
Hiidenkierros rewards the hiker with astonishing sights at Hiidenportti Gorge. From here the trail continues to the Porttilampi lean-to shelter running along the edge of the cliff for almost one kilometer. The trail returns through the Kovasinvaara fell where the meadow, birch forests and heaps of stones give you a glimpse of times gone by. You can continue to the Kintulankierros trail (10,5 km). The trail is demanding in places.
Services and accessibility: Campfire site, a cooking shelter and a rental cabin at Palolampi information point, lean-to shelters at Porttilampi and at Kintulampi. The road Hiidenportintie leading to Palolampi information point is ploughed in winter, but there are no winter trails in the national park.
Distance from Vuokatti circa 53 km. Take the road 76 to Kuhmo and after circa 20 km turn to the road 9005 (Tipasojantie). Follow signposts to the Palolampi information point through the roads Nimisenkankaantie and Hiidenportintie.
TIILIKKAJÄRVI NATIONAL PARK
On the sandy beaches of the Tiilikkajärvi National Park, with esker ridges, fragrant bogs with cotton grass, and the humming of the forest, you can enjoy nature with all your senses. Tiilikanautio tenant farm, with its courtyard, takes you back to a 1920s atmosphere. The most popular beach in this area is the beautiful Venäjänhiekka.
Route recommendation: Uiton kierto, circle trail 7 km
Trails in Tiilikkajärvi National Park are considerably undemanding, and the mires are easy to cross with duckboards. From the Uiton kierto trail it is worth getting off for 400 m and visit the beautiful beach of Venäjänhiekka. From the Uiton kämppä hut head to the Tiilikanautio tenant farm 1 kilometer away. You can also connect the trail to the Autiokierros Circle Trail (3,4 km).
Services and accessibility: A campfire site at Venäjänhiekka and a well and a campfire site at the Uiton kämppä hut. During winter cars have access only to Sammakkotammi parking area.
Distance from Vuokatti circa 78 km. Take the road 6 to Joensuu direction. After 53 km follow the signposts through the Röplöväntie and the Koppelontie to Sammakkotammi parking area.
Hepoköngäs is one of Finland’s highest natural waterfalls. It is 24 meters high and at its most magnificent during the spring and early summer, when melt waters cause the river to swell. Hepoköngäs is a popular year-round sight and is also accessible for those with physical disabilities
Route recommendation: The trail leading to the Hepoköngäs waterfall, 600 m
From the parking area it is 300 meters to the top lookout platform and another 300 meters to the lower one. It is also worth taking the Geological Nature Trail (1,5 km) that leads down to the shore of river Heinijoki and circles back to the parking area. A theme of the nature trail is geology and other natural wonders in the area.
Services and accessibility: Lookout spots at the waterfall (trail suitable also for disabled). In the parking area there is an information board and a toilet for the disabled. A café situated on the road leading to Waterfall offers information and brochures about the surrounding area (open from June through August). There is a Lappish Kota Hut on the waterfall and a campfire site on the grounds of the café. During winter the road leading to parking area is kept clear of snow.
Distance from Vuokatti circa 100 km. Follow main road 5 (E63) to the north circa 3,5 km and turn to the left to the road 22 (Kajaanintie). At Paltamo take the road 78 towards Puolanka. After circa 55 km turn to the right to the road 891 (Hyrynsalmentie) and follow the signposts to the destination.
ELIMYSSALO (FRIENDSHIPS PARK)
Elimyssalo offers a mosaic of old spruce forests draped with beard lichens, mires, lush stream banks and small lakes and ponds. Here you will experience the wilderness and may even meet the Finnish forest reindeer.
Route recommendation: Saari-Kiekki – Levävaara, 1,5 km
In summer there are sheep herding the fields of Levävaara – and they love some cuddling. The farm and its farmyard tell a tale of the quiet life on the wooded fells of Kainuu. You can continue to the Latvavaara farm (2,5 km) or to the trail round Lake Elimysjärvi (13 km). The trails are relatively easy to walk.
Services and accessibility: A lean-to shelter at Saari-Kiekki, Levävaara farm, a lean-to shelter Saunaniemi by the lake Elimysjärvi. The road is not ploughed during the winter.
Distance from Vuokatti circa 124 km. Drive to Kuhmo (road 76). Then take the road 9121 (Kuhmo-Hukkajärvi road) to the east. After circa 42 km turn to the left to the Juntintie. After 13 km turn to the right and follow the signposts to the Elimyssalo Nature Reserve. The parking area is at the end of the forest road.
HOSSA NATIONAL PARK
Hossa National Park is a versatile destination for a day trek, offering a breathtaking scenery and plenty of routes with well-maintained rest areas. There are also accessible routes in the area with services.
Route recommendation: Värikallion Kaarros Trail, circle trail 8 km
Thanks to the walking platform, you will be able to explore Värikallio’s historical, stone-age rock paintings from a distance of only a few meters. The Trail is intermediate–demanding.
Accessibility: Trail is available year-round.
From the Hossa Visitor Center follow the Jatkonsalmentie to the left circa 3 km and then turn to the right to Pistolehdontie. After circa 6 km turn to the right from the point Pistonlehdontie 194. The Trail begins from the end of the road, next from the guidepost in the back-parking area.
Route recommendation: Ölökyn ylitys Trail (Julma-Ölkky), circle trail 5 km
The Julma-Ölkky Canyon lake is 3 kilometers long and as its narrowest only 10 meter wide. The rock walls drop vertically up to 50 meters. The lake is crossed by a hanging bridge. The trail is demanding.
Services and accessibility: A summer café and boat trips to the Julma-Ölkky (summer time). Available when the ground is unfrozen. No winter maintenance.
From the Hossa Visitor Center follow the Jatkonsalmentie to the right circa 700 m turn to the left. Follow the Hossantie / Kurvisentie 6 km and turn to the left to the road Julma-Ölkyntie. Follow the road for 4,5 km and then turn to the left. After 4 km you arrive to the parking area (Julma-Ölkyntie 86, Kuusamo). The Trail begins under the wooden gate.
Services at Hossa Visitor Center: an information point, a café-restaurant, souvenirs, ra eception desk for camping ground, permits for fishing, rental services.
Distance from Vuokatti 209 km. Follow the main road 5 (E63) to the north. At the village of Peranka turn onto the road 9190 (Selkoskyläntie) and drive east for 25 km. Turn to the north on the road 843 (Hossantie). After 8 km drive, follow the signposts to the Hossa Visitor Center (Jatkonsalmentie 6).