The largest national park in Finland, Lemmenjoki has plenty to see, both for daytrippers and for hikers who plan to spend several days in the tranquil wilderness. No visitor can fail to be impressed by what Lemmenjoki has to offer: the fascinating gold-digging area, the Sámi culture, and the unforgettable landscapes.
Daily river boat lines on Lemmenjoki River take you comfortably to the heart of the national park. Along the route, forests of pine and lush herbs, and far-off fells offer a rich and beautiful variety of landscapes. Visitors can disembark at Ravadasköngäs waterfall, one of Lemmenjoki's most enthralling destinations, or stay aboard all the way to the gold-digging area. The summer hiking trail can be easily accessed from Ravadasköngäs, as well as from Kultahamina, the final stop of the boat line.
The Lemmenjoki river valley and the nearby gold-digging area are the national park's best-known destinations. Marked trails (60 km), wilderness and reservation huts, and various campfire sites serve the hikers. Here visitors can learn about gold-digging of both the past and present, and enjoy the diverse natural world of Lemmenjoki along marked trails.
Most of Lemmenjoki National Park is real wilderness, where one can hike for days without seeing a soul. Ancient pine forests are dotted by vast mires and crossed by various river valleys, fells, and rugged hills. Keen-eyed and lucky visitors may spot the tracks of a wolverine – an endangered species still found in small numbers in the area. Please note: hiking in the wilderness of the national park requires excellent hiking skills, as there are no hiking structures and only a few wilderness huts in the area.
Seeing the Sights and the Views
The breath-taking scenery of Lemmenjoki can be enjoyed from the park's various fells. When hiking among the ancient shield bark-covered pine trees in the primeval forests in the lower areas, you will feel the majesty of nature and the calming wind in the trees. The scent of Labrador tea and the singing of a jack snipe or wood sandpiper carries from the bogs that dot the wilderness.
In addition to the incom-parable landscapes, the area's Sámi culture and gold-digging also exert a powerful draw to the area. Old housing and hunting grounds of the Sámi people within the park illustrate the Sámi culture of bygone days. Not only can you learn of the history of gold-digging, you can also see modern-day gold-diggers at work near Lemmenjoki valley. The huts and digging spots of the legendary gold rush years have their own stories to tell. Visitors can also try their hand at gold-panning on the guided tours.
- Fishing: A fishing permit for the area is mandatory, and can be purchased online at eraluvat.fi (www.eraluvat.fi), from local businesses, or at Metsähallitus customer service points. The potential catch includes whitefish, trout, and grayling. If you are interested in angling, you need to pay a fisheries management fee. Hook and line fishing and ice fishing is permitted on lakes under public rights of access. Fishers need to check the restrictions on fishing sites at kalastusrajoitus.fi (www.kalastusrajoitus.fi, In Finnish).
- Lemmenjoki nationalparks fishing area (1562) The permit area contains both running waters and small lakes. The area includes tributaries of Lemmenjoki, including Máttit Ravadas and Searitjoki, and the headwaters of the Rivers Vaskojoki and Postijoki, among other destinations.
- Lemmenjoki river (1578) Zone 6. Ala Menesjoki - Lemmenjoki.
- Vaskojoki river (1578) Zone 5. Vaskojoki: Kutusuvanto - Vaskojärvi.
- Visitor centre: The Sámi Museum and Northern Lapland Nature Centre Siida's exhibitions introduce the nature and Sámi culture of the North. Hiking and tourism information and nature-themed products, maps, and permits for sale.
- Nature Trail: The beginning of the Lemmenjoki Nature Trail (4.5 km) follows the river, and zigzags back to Njurgulahti through beautiful pine growing terrain. Try to spot deer hunting pits along the trail, and stop for a snack at the Muurahaislampi campfire site.
- Cycling: Accordin to the rules of conduct, mountain biking is allowed only on marked summerroutes.
- Canoeing and rowing: The calm Lemmenjoki River is perfect for all canoeists, regardless of experience level. The distance between Njurgulahti and Kultahamina is around 20 km. Alternatively, start towards Lake Paadarjärvi from Njurgulahti and continue all the way to Lake Solojärvi. Various businesses in the Lemmenjoki area have canoes for hire. Suggestion for canoeing in Lemmenjoki.