Karhunkierros Trail runs mainly within Oulanka National Park. Services such as kiosks and cafés are situated at 2-day-hike intervals. The cafés and kiosks sell foodstuff and hiking supplies. This means that you do not have to carry everything with you.
The maintenance of Karhunkierros Trail and customer service along the trail are managed by Metsähallitus and the town of Kuusamo. Metsähallitus manages the portion of the trail which is within Oulanka National Park and the town of Kuusamo manages the remaining portion running from the village of Juuma to Konttainen.
- The areas ground waters - in lakes and rivers - should be filtered or boiled before drinking, as the water's quality changes from place to place.
- We recommend that visitors fill water bottles at customer service points. Drinking water from rivers and lakes is at your own risk.
In Oulanka National Park and on Karhunkierros Trail each visitor is responsible for the waste that accumulates during his/her stay. Biodegradable waste should be placed in a toilet or composter, and small amounts of clean paper and cardboard can be used as kindling in a campfire. Read more about Hiking without littering.
- Karhunkierros Hiking Trail has three recycling points. Visitors can recycle for example glass and metal at these points as well as hazardous waste such as batteries.
- How to make sure you leave no trace.
Firewood is transported during winter to open wilderness hut and campfire sites by snowmobile. They are trunks which must be sawed or chopped before they can be used to get s proper fire. During summer firewood supplies are restocked if need be.
Oulanka National Park is a very popular destination and therefore a large amount of firewood gets used each year on Karhunkierros Trail. Please use firewood moderately.
There are 10 wilderness huts on the trail and all have a dry toilet by them. Biodegradable waste can be put into dry toilets. The toilets are emptied regularly when the container fills up.
There is no toilet paper in dry toilets so take enough toilet paper with you.
Management of Firewood and Waste
A majority of Karhunkierros Trail is maintained by Metsähallitus. There are couple of service calls in week in the area. From Juuma village to the north of Konttainen the Karhunkierros Trail is maintained by Kuusamo Town.
- In the area of Oulanka National Park the trail is maintained by Metsähallitus, Natural Heritage Services, Ostrobothnia-Kainuu. Address: Torangintaival 2, 93600 Kuusamo, Finland.For more information contact Oulanka Visitor Centre, tel. int. + 358 206 39 6850.
- Kuusamo Town maintains the services along the portion of Karhunkierros Trail outside of Oulanka National Park. For more information contact Kuusamo Info (www.ruka.fi), tel. int. +358 40 860 8365.
The section of the UKK Trail from Hossa via Kuusamo to Sallatunturi Fell follows the route of Karhunkierros Trail from Ruka to Hautajärvi.
Other Services in the Surrounding Area
- There are rental cabins near the Karhunkierros Trail in the municipality of Salla (www.salla.fi).
- For information on lodging, shops, transport, equipment rental and other services in the Kuusamo area contact Kuusamo Info (www.ruka.fi), tel. int. +358 40 860 8365. Information on services in Kuusamo and at Ruka is available on the Ruka and Kuusamo summer travel website (www.ruka.fi).
- More information about services in Salla area from Salla Tourist Info tel. int. 358 400 269 838 or from Salla website (www.salla.fi)
Oulanka National Park is one of Finland's most popular National Parks. The area receives over 200,000 visits yearly. This large amount of visitors wears the hiking trails and causes them to be quite crowded especially during peak seasons.
We ask that hikers only use marked trails, so that the surrounding nature will remain intact and so that new paths would not form in the area.
Open Wilderness Huts
There are 10 open wilderness huts (owh) or day trip huts (dth) on Karhunkierros Trail. Eight of these are within Oulanka National Park.
Karhunkierros is a pleasant trail to hike if you have basic knowledge of hiking and survival skills. The most important things you will need are a good map (Rukatunturi - Oulanka Outdoor map 1:50,000) and good advance information about the area.
The open wilderness huts along the trail are often full during peak season, so a tent and sleeping bag are good to have with.