There are about 122 km of marked trails in Syöte National Park. There are trails for day trips as well as for longer wanderings. In addition there are four Nature Trails which are 0,5 - 4 km long. The largest hiking trail network is in Syöte area, where trails have been marked with yellow paint marks on trees. With blue paint marked National Hiking Route, the UKK Trail also runs through the areas of Maaselkä and Syöte.
Note! During winter time snowshoes or skis are essential for moving around the national park due to the thik layer of snow. For equipment rental, see the enterprises in the area.
Starting Points for Trails
- The main starting and crossing point for the trails is Syöte Visitor Centre.
- There are also parking areas on the forest roads on the edges of the park, where you can start hiking (Jaaskamo, Lomaoja, Ukonvaara).
- To Kirkkopolku Trail (“Church Trail”) at Salmitunturi area you can get from the village of Sirniö (in Posio) or the village of Huovinen (in Taivalkoski), or from the forest road to Pyhitys.
- Some of the parking areas can be found in the Excursionmap.fi.
- Ansapolku Nature Trail (The Trappers' Trail), 3,7 km, is a circular trail. It starts at the Visitor Centre and a part of it goes to Iso-Syöte Hiking Area. The trail displays the game animals and their habitats, and the traditions and methods of hunting of the past centuries in the area. It is marked with cone symbols on poles.
- Services: Annintupa Day Trip Hut. The trail has duckboards all the way.
- Sights: Detailed constructions of traps, such as a bear trap, an original fox trap, and sculptures of animals in their natural size.
- NEW! Ansapolku Nature Trail is now available during winter season as well. The trail is available for snowshoers and is marked by stripes with text "Winter trail".
- Salojen Siivekkäät Nature Trail (Wingbeats in the Wilderness), 0,5 km, is a circular trail. It starts at the Visitor Centre leading through the old growth forest of the area. The nature trail reveals the lives of non-migratory birds, and their relationship to their environment and its other inhabitants. The trail is open all year round, and during summertime a pram and a wheelchair (with an assistant) can be used.
- Services: A lean-to shelter.
- Sights: A woodpecker's anvil and an eagle's nest with a wooden eagle sculpture.
- Vattukurun luontopolku (Vattukuru Ravine Nature Trail), 2,1 km, is a circular trail. Its starting point is at the Syöte – Taivalkoski road (no 862), about 3 km north of Syöte. There is a sign to Vattukuru at the roadside. On this trail you get information on the natural features of the area, especially about the old-growth forest and its plants and animals.
- Services: There are a lot of stairs, especially where the trail descends to the lean-to shelter on the bottom of the ravine. There are duckboards at some sections of the path.
- Sights: Vattukuru Ravine, and the diverse natural features of the forest in it. The ravine was formed around the end of Ice Age by the melting waters which burst out that way.
- Geologinen luontopolku (The Geological Nature Trail), 3,0 km, is located in Ahmavaara in Syöte area. There you can find one of the most remarkable deposits of semi-precious stones in Finland. On this nature trail, which is the first 3 km of the trail from Ahmatupa towards north, you will find out about the geology of the area.
- Services: Ahmatupa Open and Reservable Wilderness Hut, where is a stone exhibition in the open side of the hut. There is a scenic lookout tower on Ahmakallio rock.
- Sights: The view over the forests and hills of the National Park from the scenic lookout tower of Ahmakallio.
- Huippupolku (Syöte Summit Trail) 1 km and Kellarilampi Nature Trail 0,9 km are located in the Iso-Syöte Hiking Area.
- Ahman kierros (Ahma's Circular Trail): Visitor Centre - Ahmavaara - Visitor Centre, 17 km
The trail starts at the Visitor Centre and continues along the Ansapolku nature trail (The Trappers Trail). After 1,2 km the trail turns to Annintupa Day Trip Hut. From there the trail continues via Koiratupa Day Trip Hut and Ahmatupa Hut towards Ahmavaara hill and it´s hilltop scenery. If you turn right at the crossroads of Ahmavaara, you will find the panorama tower of Ahmakallio. Otherwise turn left towards Ylpitupa Day Trip Hut and continue to Annintupa Day Trip Hut. From there take the Ansapolku nature trail back to the Visitor Centre.
- Toraslammen kierros (Lake Toraslampi Trail): Visitor Centre - Toraslampi - Pikku-Jaaskamo - Ahmavaara - Visitor Centre, 27 km
The trail separates from Ahma's Circular Trail to go to Toraslampi Open Wilderness Hut. The national UKK Hiking Trail towards north uses the same path.
- Services: Toraslampi Open Wilderness Hut
- Sights: At the southern end of Lake Toraslampi there are embankments which were built to store the water from melting snow in the spring inside Lake Toraslampi to make log floating easier in the brook.
- Rytivaaran kierros (Rytivaara Trail): Ukonvaara parking area - Rytivaara Crown tenant farm - Ukonvaara parking area, 10 km
The trail start´s from the Ukonvaara parking area about 18 km from Syötekylä village. At the beginning of the trail there is an information board and a 600 m connection path to the circular trail where it continues clockwise to the old smoke sauna and the dam. There's also fen meadows at Latolampi Pond and Latolampi barn. From Latolampi it is only half a kilometre to the Rytivaara Crown tenant farm, built in 1852. After the Rytivaara house the trail continues about 6 km back to the starting point.
- Ruuhensuo - Kaunislampi - Rytivaara Trail, 17 km, starts from the village of Ruuhensuo, and continues through the old-growth forest of Kaunislampi to Rytivaara Crown Forest Croft. From Rytivaara there is a connection path (4 km) to Ukonvaara forest road, where there is a parking area and an information board.
- Services: Parking area and information boards on Ukonvaara forest road and Ruuhensuo local road. Kaunislampi Day Trip Hut (in Finnish). Open Wilderness Huts at Kumpu-Raatevaara, Raatetupa Hut (in Finnish).
- Sights: The old-growth forest area at Lake Kaunislampi and the ravine lake. Rytivaara Crown Forest Croft and the traditional landscape on its grounds. Several hanging bogs and large treeless aapa mires, such as Vatisuo.
- The national hiking route, UKK Trail, has a 34 km section inside Syöte National Park. The eastern branch of the trail comes into the park at the southern edge of Maaselkä area, and goes to Syöte Visitor Centre via the tourist centres of Pikku-Syöte and Iso-Syöte. From there it continues towards north, together with Ahmatupa Hut’s Trail and Toraslampi Trail, and then to Jaaskamonvaara and Rytivaara. After that, it goes through the village of Kouva, and still in the National Park via Lomavaara and Suvantovaara to Posio.
- Kirkkopolku (The Church Trail) goes through traditional agricultural landscapes. It starts from the village of Sirniö in Posio, and goes in the National Park through Salmitunturi Fell area for 30 km to end in the village of Huovinen in Taivalkoski. There are connections from this trail to the village of Loukusa, and via Vaara-Salminen to Pyhitys forest road.
- Services: Vaara-Salminen Open Wilderness Hut (in Finnish) and a lean-to shelter at Salmitunturi Fell. There are a parking area and National Park information boards on Pyhitys forest road at Selkälehto. There are private tourist services in the villages of Sirniö and Loukusa. More information from the municipalities of Posio (www.posio.fi) and Taivalkoski (www.taivalkoski.fi, in Finnish).
- Sights: In the National Park, close to the trail, are forests of Jylkynvaara and Karhuaho in Salmitunturi area, which are dominated by deciduous trees due to the slash-and-burn agriculture in the end of 1800s. The meadows on the shores of Lake Vaara-Salminen, with the ditches for controlling the water level, are a sample of the old meadow culture.
Cross-country Skiing Trails
The maintained trail network in the National Park is about 33 km altogether. The main skiing trail starts at the Visitor Centre. During the skiing season (from Febryary to April), Ahmavaara and Ahmakallio circular trails will be opened. On the park’s skiing trails there are long gentle ascents and sometimes steeper descents. The trails are mid-difficult and at some places easy. They are suitable for classical and free style skiing.
The most popular skiing trails in the National Park:
- Visitor Centre - Ahmatupa Hut - Ylpiätupa Hut - Visitor Centre, 17 km. Ylpiäoja trail is a one-way return trail from Ahmatupa hut via Ylpiätupa hut to the Visitor Centre. There are quite steep downhill slopes.
- Visitor Centre - Toraslampi - Visitor Centre, 18 km. The trail goes to Toraslampi Open Wilderness Hut and returns the same way to the Visitor Centre. This trail has a connection trail to Pikku-Syöte.
- Visitor Centre - Toraslampi - Ahmatupa Hut - Ylpiätupa Hut - Visitor Centre, 24 km. From Toraslampi to Ahmatupa Hut this trail follows Päätuore skiing trail. On the way it is possible to turn of to Ahmakallio Scenic Lookout Tower, which is 3 km extra trail. Return to the Visitor Centre via Ylpiätupa Hut.
Through Syöte National Park runs River Pärjänjoki - a popular water activity and fishing destination. Pärjänjoki river is a smallish river and especially in low water a quite rocky one. In flood conditions the river flows fast but is still quite easy to run. Enterprises operating in the area offer guided canoe safaris and transportation for canoes.
- River Pärjänjoki Canoe Route, 22 km
The route is suitable for those who already have some experience in canoeing and for beginners accompanied with more experienced canoeists.The rapids have been classified according to the international I-VI rapids classification as approved by the Finnish Canoe Federation: the rapids of river Pärjänjoki are classified as class I-II. The starting point of the route is by the Kuivakoski bridge, where you will find a small parking area and signposts to the route. The route ends at Harriranta by the bridge at Rytinki road (858). The river can be best explored by kayak or canoe.
There are 150 km of mountain bike and bicycle touring routes in Syöte area. The Syöte mountain bike routes chiefly run along the trails in the varied forest terrain. Syöte´s easy-to-cycle tourin routes chiefly run along public roads and forest roads in the hilly Syöte landscape.
Syöte Mountain Bike Routes
The Syöte mountain bike routes are best suited for those with some experience in cycling. The routes chiefly run along the trails in the varied forest terrain. On the routes there are plenty of altitude differences and diverse terrains from sandy heath forests to aapa mires. All routes have been marked with pink paint marks. At the spots where special attention is required, the arrows show the right cycling direction. In addition, there are signposts at the biking trails´ crossroads displaying the distance to the following destinations. There are several rest spots along the routes.The circle trails are interconnected, and you can set off for all routes from the Syöte Visitor Centre, for example. The routes consist of three circle trails:
- Syötteen kierros Trail 17 km
- Pitämävaaran lenkki Trail 25 km
- Toraslammen taival Trail 36 km
Syöte Bicycle Touring Routes
Syöte´s easy-to-cycle touring routes are suitable for day trips for the whole family. The routes chiefly run along public roads and forest roads in the hilly Syöte landscape. When going uphill, you can realx your muscles at several rest spots alon the routes. The routes, total of 63 km, comprise four circle routes that are interconnected. At the routes´ crossroads you will find brown signposts with numbers that correspond to the circle routes. In addition, the road signposts with white and blue backgrounds guide cyclists moving in public road areas.
- Syöte Biking Routes Guide and Map - available at Syöte Visitor Centre
- Pudasjärvi-Syöte, Taivalkoski-Kylmäluoma Ulkoilukartta 1:50 000 -map
- Excursionmap.fi of Metsähallitus (www.excursionmap.fi)