Finland offers many opportunities for cycling in natural scenery, including touring routes in beautiful rural regions, as well as mountain biking routes in some of the country's most spectacular national parks and other wild areas.
Two-wheeled Ups and Downs
Finland is not a very mountainous country, so mountain bikers should not expect alpine thrills and vertiginous slopes, but instead you can enjoy taking your time to explore beautiful landscapes and truly wild places.
Certain national parks and popular recreational areas have special trails designated for mountain biking, with routes of various lengths and degrees of difficulty. Check the web pages of each destination for details of routes, facilities and opportunities to rent bikes.
Lapland and Northern Finland:
Forest Roads to Explore in and Around Parks
In other Finnish national parks off-road cycling is generally not permitted, to prevent harmful erosion. But in many regions extensive networks of forest roads in and around national parks make enjoyable and challenging biking routes. Many of these roads are gravel or dirt roads, suitable for adventurous biking. Popular parks for such trips include:
Mountain Biking Etiquette
Wherever you go mountain biking, please follow the "Rules of the Trail" guidelines issued by the International Mountain Biking Association, to make sure you avoid disturbing nature and other visitors.
A set of national guidelines for responsible mountain biking has additionally been issued by the Outdoor Association of Finland:
- Nature and trails through natural areas belong to everyone.
- Give due consideration to other visitors.
- Take care with your speed for the sake of everyone's safety.
- Since you as a cyclist are travelling faster, it is your responsibility to avoid collisions with walkers.
- Ride responsibly to prevent erosion.
- Stay on the trails and routes designated for biking.
- Avoid sudden heavy braking, and stay away from any natural areas sensitive to erosion.
- Follow local rules and regulations in natural areas, and leave no trace of your visit.
- Consider the rights and needs of local residents, landowners, and the people who look after trails.
- Enjoy the chance to explore Finland's natural areas under Everyman's Right, but do not forget the responsibilities that come with these rights. https://www.imba.com/about/rules-trail
Roads to Freedom
Finland is a sparsely populated country but it has an excellent nationwide network of well-maintained and uncrowded roads highly suitable for bicycle touring.
One of the most popular routes tours the unique Turku Archipelago off Southwest Finland using ferries to hop between some of the region's best known islands. Read more (www.visitfinland.com).
The Kvarken Archipelago UNESCO World Heritage Site also offers enjoyable island-hopping routes.
Other popular areas among adventurous cyclists include Lake Saimaa (www.visitfinland.com), and rural backroads along the coast between Helsinki, Ekenäs and Hanko.
For more ideas see Visit Finland's Cycling in Finland pages (www.pyoraillensuomessa.fi).