Starting Points for Trails

Map of Koli National Park. © Metsähallitus 2015

Scenic Trails

 

Huippujen kierros Trail ("The Trail of The Tops"), 1.4 km Circle Trail

 Access to the nature center WC at the nature center Parking Sightseeing Hotel at Koli Restaurant at Koli Café Campfire place Recycling Program service cabin

When there is no snow on the ground, travel time 0.5h.
Using the trail without stairs, most of the circle trail can be accessed with a pram. 

This trail, which includes three of Koli's most famous and perhaps most beautiful scenery, is a classic! The trail is quite easy to walk and can also be done without using stairs.

View from the top along the trail. Photo: Juha Kaipainen

Starting Point
Address: Koli Nature Centre Ukko Upper Yard, Ylä-Kolintie 39, Koli

Coordinates: WGS84 - lat: 63° 05.5292' lon: 29° 47.9326', ETRS-TM35FIN - P: 6998935 I: 641290

Services
Koli Nature Centre Ukko and other Upper Yard services.

Hiking Structures
The "Prime Minister" campfire site does not keep firewood. You may bring your own firewood or purchase some at the Nature Centre or hotel. 

Please Note
The trail includes several staircases and moderately difficult ascents onto bare rock, which visitors can go around.

Ukko-Koli, back-and-forth trail, length 0.8 km

 Access to the nature center WC at the nature center Parking Sightseeing Hotel at Koli Restaurant at Koli Café Campfire place Program service cabin

When there is no snow on the ground, travel time 0.5h.
Visitors with prams can also walk this trail without using stairs all the way to the scenic lookout.

Ukko-Koli provides visitors with a view of Finland's most famous national landscape, which is spectacular all year round.  The trail without stairs can also be used by visitors with prams and those with physical limitations.

On Ukko-Koli back-and-forth trail. Photo: Tarja Teppo

Starting Point
Address: Koli Nature Centre Ukko Upper Yard, crossroad no. 11 behind the Nature Centre, Ylä-Kolintie 39, Koli

Coordinates: WGS84 - lat: 63° 05.5292' lon: 29° 47.9326', ETRS-TM35FIN - P: 6998935 I: 641290

Sights
Ukko-Koli offers a magnificent view of Finland's national landscape.

Route Description
The trail gently rises up along the spruce-covered slope. From crossroads no. 12 and 13, turn to the left. You can reach the famous Ukko-Koli Hill lookout point by climbing the steps on the southern side. At the foot of the steps, there is a path to the right to Ukko-Koli's easily accessible lookout platform.

  • Alternative return routes: After the summit of Ukko-Koli, visitors may continue along the trail, taking stairs down to Nature Centre Ukko's Upper Yard.

Akka-Koli, back-and-forth trail, length 0.8 km

 Access to the nature center WC at the nature center Parking Sightseeing Hotel at Koli Restaurant at Koli Café Campfire place Recycling Program service cabin

When there is no snow on the ground, travel time 0.5h.
Without stairs and visitors with prams can also walk this trail all the way to the Temple of Silence.

Visitors can see seven lakes from Akka-Koli. The Temple of Silence is a naturally-formed concert hall and wedding venue.

Magnificent scenery from Akka-Koli. Photo: Juha Kaipainen

Starting Point
Address: Koli Nature Centre Ukko Upper Yard, crossroad no. 11 behind the Nature Centre, Ylä-Kolintie 39, Koli

Coordinates: WGS84 - lat: 63° 05.5292' lon: 29° 47.9326', ETRS-TM35FIN - P: 6998935 I: 641290

Services
Koli Nature Centre Ukko and other Upper Yard services.

Hiking Structures
The "Prime Minister" campfire site does not keep firewood. You may bring your own firewood or purchase some at the Nature Centre or hotel. 

Sights
The Temple of Silence and view from Koli to the west. 

Route Description
The trail gently rises up along a spruce-covered slope. From crossroad no. 12, carry on to the right. The route passes across the rocks. Before the lower platform of Akka-Koli and the Temple of silence there is a track branching off to the left and leading all the way to the top of Akka-Koli. There are no steps along the route to lower rocks of Akka-Koli Hill so the route is also accessible with a pram. 

Paha-Koli, back-and-forth trail, length 1.2 km

 Access to the nature center WC at the nature center Parking Sightseeing Hotel at Koli Restaurant at Koli Café Campfire place Recycling Program service cabin

When there is no snow on the ground, travel time 0.5h.
The trail is relatively easy and without stairs. 

Even though Paha-Koli is the subject of many terrifying tales, this enigmatic promontory is a favourite of many.  

From the rocks of Paha-Koli, a beautiful scenery opens up towards Ukko-Koli. Photo: Juha Kaipainen

Starting Point
Address: Koli Nature Centre Ukko Upper Yard, crossroad no. 11 behind the Nature Centre, Ylä-Kolintie 39, Koli

Coordinates: WGS84 - lat: 63° 05.5292' lon: 29° 47.9326', ETRS-TM35FIN - P: 6998935 I: 641290

Services
Koli Nature Centre Ukko and other Upper Yard services.

Hiking Structures
The "Prime Minister" campfire site does not keep firewood. You may bring your own firewood or purchase some at the Nature Centre or hotel. 

Route Description
The trail rises gently up the spruce-covered slope. From crossroad no. 12, carry on to the left, follow the easy trail to crossroad no. 13 and then take a right toward Paha-Koli. 

  • Alternative return routes: Past Akka-Koli or crossroad no. 13 directly back to the trailhead or over Ukko-Koli, taking the stairs back to Nature Centre Ukko's Upper Yard.
Please Note
The trail includes moderately difficult ascents onto bare rock, which visitors can go around.
 

Sataman polku ("Harbour trail"), back-and-forth trail, length 4.2 km

 Access to the nature center WC at the nature center Parking Sightseeing Hotel at Koli Restaurant at Koli Café Campfire place Recycling Program service cabin Guest harbour Boat ramp Ferry

When there is no snow on the ground, travel time 2h.
The steep slopes make this trail challenging. The ascent from the other side of Ipatti via Vaaralanaho is a bit easier. 

The Satama (harbour) trail is said to be the oldest nature trail in Finland. Savour the atmosphere of an old-growth forest and listen to the whispering aspen. This steep, old nature trail leads from Satama through old-growth forest and across the ski area pistes to Nature Centre Ukko's Upper Yard. 

The slopes of Ipatti Hill along the Sataman polku nature trail are home to the oldest forests in Koli National Park. Photo: Heidi Kilpeläinen

Starting Point
Address: Koli harbour, Rantatie 12, Koli

Coordinates: WGS84 - lat: 63° 06.6886' lon: 29° 48.4940', ETRS-TM35FIN - P: 7001107 I: 641668

Services 
Koli harbour's Alamaja (www.koliactiv.fi), Koli Nature Centre Ukko and other Upper Yard services.

Hiking Structures
There are benches set at scenic lookouts and along the trail for resting. Vaaralanaho campfire site and dry toilets. Please bring your own toilet paper.

Sights
The remains of the old Alamaja, a herb-rich slope forest, an old-growth forest on the slope of Ipatti, slash-and-burn land birch forests, sceneries and Uhrihalkeama.

Route Description

  • Alternative starting points and return routes:  The trail can also be accessed from Nature Centre Ukko's Upper Yard on the flank of Uhrihalkeama or from Satama on the other side of Ipatti via Vaaralanaho.

Nature Trails

 

Kasken Kierros Nature Trail, 2.5-5 km

Sightseeing Campfire place Tent site Dry toilet Well Café Guest harbour Boat ramp Ferry Parking

When there is no snow on the ground, this relatively easy basic trail (2.5 km) takes 1-2 hours to walk.

Along the Kasken Kierros Nature Trail, you'll experience Koli history at its most vibrant. The landscape is maintained by slash-and-burn and grazing hardy cattle.

A rural landscape opens up from Turula above the village of Koli. Photo: Juha Kaipainen 

Starting Points
The main trail is just over 2 km long, with up to an additional 2.5 km depending on the starting point. The shortest trail is when starting from Koli harbour (Rantatie 12, 200 m longer); the longest is from the Upper Yard (Ylä-Kolintie 39, tot. 2.4 km longer). In addition to this, visitors can start at Koli village, walking first to, for example, Mattila (approx. 2 km longer) or from the Ollilla parking area (Ylä-Kolintie 12, 800 m longer).

Coordinates of the Koli harbour: WGS84 - lat: 63° 06.6886' lon: 29° 48.4940', ETRS-TM35FIN - P: 7001107 I: 641668

Coordinates of the Koli Nature Centre Ukko Upper Yard: WGS84 - lat: 63° 05.5292' lon: 29° 47.9326', ETRS-TM35FIN - P: 6998935 I: 641290

Coordinates of the village of Koli: WGS84 - lat: 63° 06.8180' lon: 29° 46.7406', ETRS-TM35FIN - P: 7001283 I: 640184

Coordinates of the Ollila parking area: WGS84 - lat: 63° 06.2752' lon: 29° 46.9956', ETRS-TM35FIN - P: 7000285 I: 640442

Services
Village of Koli, Mattila (kolinkeidas.com) and Koli harbour's Alamaja (www.koliactiv.fi) services.

Hiking Structures
Campfire site and dry toilets at Vaaranlanaho and Turula, Ollila well and tent site at Turula. Please bring your own toilet paper.

Sights
Mattila heritage farm, Ollila and Turula heritage farms, Vaarala cultural environment, slash-and-burn and pasture lands. 

Route Description
A guide on the Kasken Kierros Trail. Photo: Tuuli JanssonThe nature trail features the slash-and-burn landscape of the hills. The shortest stretch of the Kasken Kierros Nature Trail starts from the harbour. The trail from the harbour rises quite steeply, following the signposts to Mattila. Visitors will pass several slash-and-burn areas of different ages along the trail. From the yard of the Mattila heritage farm, the trail continues to the left along the Ollila maintenance road. From the yard of the Ollila heritage farm, the trail climbs the hill to the left and passes along the pasture lane of the Turula heritage farm. From Turula, the trail climbs the hill on the left and across the gravel road to crossroad no. 6, from the the trail goes to the left. After the field clearing at Vaaralanaho, the trail dips into the forest, following a brook. At crossroad no. 46, the trail passes over the brook and continues 100 m to crossroad no. 45, from which the trail runs 300 m to the right toward Koli harbour.

Please Note
The trail can also be done in shorter sections by making a detour past Vaaranaho and going directly to Mattila - this route avoids the steeper climbs on the section from the harbour to Mattila.

Paimenen polku Trail ("Shepard´s Trail"), 2.6 km Circle Trail

Campfire place Dry toilet Parking

When there is no snow on the ground, travel time over 1h.
The trail is challenging due to major variations in elevation.

Paimenen polku ("Shepherd's Trail) leads to verdant slope forests and barren rocks. 

Paimenenpolku trail takes hikers also through tall spruce thickets. Photo: Juha Kaipainen

Starting Point
Address: Paimenenvaara parking area on Kotaniementie road.

Coordinates: WGS84 - lat: 63° 04.8521' lon: 29° 47.9460', ETRS-TM35FIN - P: 6997679 I: 641356

Hiking Structures
Paimenvaara campfire site and dry toilet. Please bring your own toilet paper.

Sights
Herb-rich slope forests.

Route Description

From the Paimenvaara parking area, the trail leads to the left into a lush, green slope forest and then up a hill to an old roadbed, which continues all the way to the Paimenvaara campfire site. From the campfire site, the trail turns to the west. The trail then goes downhill on steep stairs, passing through a slightly downhill section of forest and ending at the parking area.

Please notice that some of the duckboards and stairs on the trail are in bad condition.

The Kolinuuron Kierros Nature Trail, 3.5 km Circle Trail

 Access to the nature center WC at the nature center Parking Sightseeing Hotel at Koli Restaurant at Koli Café Campfire place Recycling Program service cabin

When there is no snow on the ground, travel time over 1h.
This trail is somewhat demanding due to major variations in elevation.

The Kolinuuron Kierros Nature Trail takes the visitor back to Koli's earliest history, where they will see the traces of ancient deserts, seas, fjords and ice sheets. The bedrock beneath your feet is among the oldest in all of Finland. 

Stately view seen from the Kolinuuron Kierros Nature Trail. Photo: Juha Kaipainen

Starting Point
Address: Koli Nature Centre Ukko Upper Yard, Ylä-Kolintie 39, Koli

Coordinates: WGS84 - lat: 63° 05.5292' lon: 29° 47.9326', ETRS-TM35FIN - P: 6998935 I: 641290

Services
Koli Nature Centre Ukko and other Upper Yard services.

Hiking Structures
The "Prime Minister" campfire site does not keep firewood. You may bring your own firewood or purchase some at the Nature Centre or hotel. 

Sights
Candle spruce stands, Mäkränaho meadow, scenic vistas from Paha-Koli, Ukko-Koli and Pieni-Koli. Slope forests.

The Kolinuuron Kierros Nature Trail passes through enchanting forests. Photo: Juha Kaipainen

Route Description
The trailhead for the circle trail is at the Koli Nature Centre Ukko's Upper Yard, from which the trail leads down to Kolinuuro by stairs. The Nature Trail signs are in Finnish, English and Russian. The trail climbs gradually up to the summit of Pieni-Koli, where visitors can enjoy the finest views over the gorge toward Paha-Koli and Ukko-Koli. From Pieni-Koli, the trail leads down the stairs to the base of the gorge and then continues along the edge of a bog to Mäkränaho. From Mäkränaho, the trail turns back toward Ukko-Koli.

Other Circle Trails

 

Koli Cultural Environments, 3 km Circle Trail

Sightseeing Hotel at Koli Café Well Campfire place Dry toilet Program service cabin Parking

When there is no snow on the ground, travel time over 1h.
This trail is quite easy to walk and certain sections are also accessible to prams.

For summer visitors, hardy grazing cattle and old heritage farms are a hiking trip highlight for the whole family. 

Waiting cows. Photo: Arto Saari / Metsähallitus

Starting Point
Address: The village of Koli, Kulmakivi (tourist info), Ylä-Kolintie 1, Koli 

Coordinates: WGS84 - lat: 63° 06.8180' lon: 29° 46.7406', ETRS-TM35FIN - P: 7001283 I: 640184

Alternative Starting Point: Ollila parking area, Ylä-Kolintie 12, Koli

Coordinates: WGS84 - lat: 63° 06.2752' lon: 29° 46.9956', ETRS-TM35FIN - P: 7000285 I: 640442

Services
Village of Koli and Mattila (kolinkeidas.com) services.

Hiking Structures
Turula campfire site and dry toilet, as well as Ollila well. Please bring your own toilet paper.

Sights
The Mattila and Ollila heritage farmyards are themselves interesting sights. The trail runs adjacent to the Kasken Kierros Nature Trail and slash-and-burn lands. In the summer, native cattle graze in the pastures surrounding the Ollila and Turula heritage farms, where a wide range of nature management work is done.

Turula cattle path. Photo: Heidi Kilpeläinen

Route Description
From the Koli village, the trail passes behind tourist info and through a stand of spruce, down stairs and across a bridge over the brook. After approximately 100 metres, the trail turns to the left and climbs gradually up to the Mattila farmyard. From Mattila, the trail continues on a maintenance road, first stopping at Ollila and then continuing down a steep hill to a bike path. The trail turns to the right, leading back to Koli village along the bike path.

Please Note
The back-and-forth route from Koli village along the bike path to Ollila and Mattila is accessible to visitors with prams. At the Koli school, the trail leaves the bike path to the left and runs to Mattila. The trail is very easy to walk. 

Koli Summer Café Tour, 6.8 km Circle Trail

 Access to the nature center WC at the nature center Parking Sightseeing Hotel at Koli Restaurant at Koli Café Campfire place Recycling Program service cabin Guest harbour Boat ramp Ferry    

When there is no snow on the ground. Walking time: one day.
Most of the trail sections are wide and in good condition, but the altitude differences are considerable.

Set aside a day and spend it on Koli's trails, hiking from one café to the next. You can conveniently eat breakfast, lunch, afternoon coffee and dinner on the same trail!

Starting Points
You can start the café tour from any café.

Services
Koli Nature Centre Ukko and services provided by the Koli partnership businesses: Kolin Ryynänen Café, Mattila heritage farm, Break Sokos Hotel Koli and Alamaja.

Sights
Kolin Ryynänen CaféMattila heritage farm, the yards of the Ollila and Turula heritage farmsKoli Nature Centre UkkoKoli harbour and Alamaja.

Route Description

Kolin Ryynänen is also a good starting point for a café tour. Photo: Heidi Kilpeläinen

You can start the café tour from any café, from Kolin Ryynänen Café, for example, which is located in the village of Koli. 

From Ryynänen, cross the road by the pedestrian crossing and walk past the right-hand end of the Koli tourist information building and then continue onto the route following the signpost to Mattila. In a stretch of one kilometre, the route runs from behind the church, across the bridge and then up the gentle slope to the yard of the Mattila heritage farm.

The Mattila café is located in an old log house. Fresh pastries and coffee as well as tasty soup lunches are served in the main room of this old inn.

From Mattila, continue towards Ukko-Koli Hill. Trek the 2-km-long ascent either by following the first Ukko-Koli signpost from the corner of the Mattila heritage farm or by taking a small detour along the dirt road via the yards of the Ollila and Turula heritage farms. Having arrived at the Ukko Visitor Centre's Upper Yard, you can relax at the visitor centre's café providing organic, home-made pastries, or sit down and admire Lake Pielinen at Break Sokos Hotel Koli's Vaarakahvila café.

The journey from the hill summits to Alamaja in the harbour runs along the oldest marked trail in Finland. From the hotel, trek first towards Mattila. After the first steep downhill section, turn onto the route leading to the harbour. First the route will take you across the slopes of Ipatti Hill and then to the ancient spruce forests.

Alamaja is located on the shore of Lake Pielinen and serves coffee, pastries, soups and sturdier lunch dishes. The restaurant is licensed to serve alcohol. On the glass terrace, you can enjoy the views over Lake Pielinen even in poor weather.

The 2-km-long return route from the harbour to the village of Koli follows the signposts to Mattila; it runs up the slope, passes the former slash-and-burn lands, arrives at the yard of the Mattila heritage farm and finally follows the familiar route to the starting point.

Mäkrän polku Trail, 7.2 km Circle Trail

 Access to the nature center WC at the nature center Parking Sightseeing Ikolanaho Rental Hut available on reservation all year. Hotel at Koli Restaurant at Koli Café Campfire place Recycling Program service cabin  

When there is no snow on the ground, travel time 3-4 h.
The trail is challenging due to major variations in elevation.

Numerous scenic lookouts and the iconic Järnefelt pine are the reward for the sweaty climb to Mäkrävaara. Visitors can stop for a bite to eat and sit around a campfire at the idyllic Ikolanaho.

The view from the top of Mäkrävaara Hill has inspired also the Finnish painter Eero Järnefelt. Photo: Juha Kaipainen

Starting Point
Address: Koli Nature Centre Ukko Upper Yard, Ylä-Kolintie 39, Koli

Coordinates: WGS84 - lat: 63° 05.5292' lon: 29° 47.9326', ETRS-TM35FIN - P: 6998935 I: 641290

Services
Koli Nature Centre Ukko and other Upper Yard services.

Hiking Structures
Ikolanaho rental hut and campfire site and dry toilet. Please bring your own toilet paper.

Route Description
The trail runs over the Koli peaks and descends to Mäkränaho and Purolanaho. 

Hiking Trails

 

The Herajärvi Trail (30 to 61 km)

Hiking

When there is no snow on the ground. Visitors are recommended to reserve three days (of which the first and last are not full hiking days) for the trail around the northern end of Lake Herajärvi, and four days for the entire 60 km trail.
The Herajärvi trail is a demanding hiking trail, as it is slow to walk and there are variations in elevation.  

The Herajärvi Trail's pages

The Herajärvi Trail (30 to 61 km) passing through the national park offers you the chance to set off on a hike that will take several days. You will see herb-rich forests, rippling brooks, rocky lookout points and forested hills. 

The Lake Herajärvi trail takes visitors through the landscape of Koli fells, Lake Pielinen and Lake Herajärvi. Photo: Juha Kaipainen

Starting Points
Several starting points.

Services
Services and t
rail route description.

Route Description
The hiking trail runs through herb-rich forests, rippling brooks, rocky lookout points and forested hills. The Herajärvi Trail was the Trekking Destination for 2007. 

 

Boating Routes

Boating Campfire place Dry toilet Tent site

At Lake Pielinen, services for boaters are available for example at the Koli harbour. Photo: Kaarne Karjalainen

Services
Alamaja and services of the Koli harbour.

Hiking Structures
There are dry toilets adjacent to campfire sites.

Canoeing Routes

Canoeing

There are also challenges in Koli National Park for those who wish to canoe or rowboat.

A paddler on Lake Pielinen. Photo: Tiina Hakkarainen

  • Services: There are private tourist services in the area, which rent out canoes and row boats.
  • The boating route on the line Ahmolampi-Savijärvi-Ylemmäinen is over 10 km long and passes just outside the National Park's boundaries. Camping is allowed along the boating route.

Biking Trails

 

Finnish National Biking Route 6

Biking

Finnish National Biking Route 6 is unpaved and passes the National Park near Koli Village.

Photo: Markku Penttinen

Starting Point
You can get onto it from main road 6, which runs between Joensuu and Kajaani. From main road 6 turn onto road 515 in the direction of Ahveninen and then turn left onto the biking route.

Services
Many of Koli tourist services are along the biking route (lodging, shop, café).

Sights
The scenery is versatile and typical of North Karelia - hills, fields and vast bodies of water.

Map
Koli Biking Trails (www.vaellus.info, in Finnish).

Riding Trails

Riding

Farmhouse Paimentupa (www.paimentupa.fi) arranges cross-country riding excursions along small roads in Koli National Park.

You can see the Icelandic horses of Paimentupa Farm also in the traditional landscape of the National Park. Photo: Johanna Kokkola

Customer Service

Koli Nature Centre Ukko
Tel. int. +358 206 39 5654
ukko(at)metsa.fi

Services Offered by Partners in Koli National Park

Partners in Koli provide accommodation, café, restaurant and programme services all year for individual travellers and tourist groups.

Parking Areas

Ukko-Koli P1 and P2

  • Ylä-Kolintie 31, Lieksa

Other parking areas

ilmatieteenlaitos.fiCheck for Warnings

When forest and grass fire warnings are in effect, fire is only allowed at covered campfire sites that have a flue. A fire can be also lit in fireplaces at wilderness and other huts. Always use extreme caution when handling fire. The one who lights a fire is always responsible for its safe use. Please note, that making fire at these campfire sites can be banned locally. 

Check the current warnings (en.ilmatieteenlaitos.fi).

Destination Brochure

Pdf-file 1884 kb (julkaisut.metsa.fi)

Destinations Accessible by a Pram, Wheelchair and Senior's Walker

The trails on the Koli peaks (the sections that have no steps) are partly accessible with a pram.

There is a lookout platform for the disabled below the Ukko-Koli lookout point which can be reached from crossroad no. 11. From there, turn to the left from crossroads no. 12 and 13 and to the right from the foot of the Ukko-Koli steps.

The railcar operating between the parking areas and Koli Nature Centre Ukko's Upper Yard is accessible to all. Break Sokos Hotel Koli's entrance, accessible to all, is located opposite the railcar's upper station. Koli Nature Centre Ukko is also accessible to all.

The campfire sites at Likolahti, and the so-called prime minister's campfire site in the vicinity of Nature Centre Ukko's Upper Yard, are suitable for the disabled and those with a pram. As well, the campfire sites by Koli Harbour's Alamaja, Kolin Ryynänen Café, Vaaralanaho and Turula are also partly accessible.

The only special toilet for the disabled in the National Park is at the Nature Centre.

Those with a pram can do the circular trail Ollila - the village of Koli - Mattila - Ollila. From the Ollila parking area (Ylä-Kolintie Road 12), walk along the pedestrian and bicycle way towards the village of Koli. By the fire station, turn to the right onto the nature trail leading to Mattila. From Mattila, carry on along the maintenance road to Ollila and continue further to the Ollila parking area.

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