What can one do in Iso-Palonen - Maariansärkät Nature Reserve?
Walk on Marked Trails
The area is a popular hiking destination. There is a total of about 30 km of hiking trails, along which you can find several maintained resting places.
Go Wilderness Trekking
The area is traversed by the eastern branch of the UKK Trail, so there are good opportunities for hiking. If you go south, the trail leads to the Elimyssalo Nature Reserve and onwards in the direction of the population centre of Kuhmo. In the north, the trail goes through the Juortanansalo - Lapinsuo Mire Reserve to Suomussalmi, where the trail’s name changes to ‘Itäraja Hiking Trail’.
Go Canoeing and Rowing
Lakes Iso-Palonen and Veräinen as well as smaller nearby lakes are ideal for canoeing and rowing. The lakes are part of the so-called Kalliojoki Canoeing Route and the Viiksimonjoki Route.
Go Motor Boating
Motor boating is allowed only on Lake Veräinen. A boat launch can be found near the Ryti-Palonen cabin. Jet skiing and water skiing are not allowed.
Go Bird Watching
The abundant birdlife of the area consists of species characteristic of heath forests. There are no special observation sites or towers.
See the Visitor Centre or the Nature Information Hut
The Petola Visitor Centre, located near the population centre of Kuhmo, provides additional information about the Iso-Palonen - Maariansärkät Nature Reserve
Ski Cross-country off Trails and Go Ski Trekking
You can ski cross-country in Iso-Palonen - Maariansärkät, but there are no maintained trails in the area. However, snowmobile tracks can be used for skiing.
Cycling is allowed on roads, marked trails and unused forest roads.
’Everyman’s right’ (www.ymparisto.fi) entitles everyone to angle and go ice-fishing freely. For lure fishing, you need to pay the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry fishing management fee (www.mmm.fi) as well as the provincial lure fishing fee (www.mmm.fi) or obtain a national lure fishing licence from Metsähallitus (permit area 1401).
Net fishing is allowed in Iso-Palonen, Pikku-Palonen, Veräinen, Kylmäjärvi and Saksanlampi. For net fishing, you need a licence from Metsähallitus.
Fishing licences can be bought at Petola Visitor Centre and from Metsähallitus netstore (www.eräluvat.fi, in Finnish).
In the Iso-Palonen - Maariansärkät Nature Reserve, hunting on state-owned lands is allowed for local residents in accordance with the hunting regulations and the valid rules and regulations of the area. Out-of-towners are not allowed to hunt in the area.
For potential hunting restrictions, see www.riista.fi (in Finnish)
Go Berry and Mushroom Picking
Berry and mushroom picking is allowed in the area. There are lingonberries, blueberries, bog whortleberries and crowberries, as well as cloudberries and cranberries in mires. The mushrooms are those found in barren pine forests.
Go Snowshoe Walking
The area provides good opportunities for snowshoeing.