If you love hiking then a trip to Finland needs to be at the top of your list. If there is a country on earth made for hiking and connecting to nature, it’s this one.
Finland runs ‘Everyman’s Right’ which means wild camping is allowed anywhere in their 40 national parks and there are hundreds of lean-to shelters and wilderness huts dotted around the countryside that are open to hikers to camp in too.
The Finish landscape is known as a land of a thousand lakes, and it’s quite obvious if you take a look on google maps. There is almost more blue shading than green within the country. But it’s not all a watery wilderness in Finland. You also have mountains, forests, fells, rivers, fjords and of course the beautiful coastline.
On almost all the hikes in Finland, you’re likely to see elk and reindeer wandering the wilderness, wolves and bears still wander it too. In the summer you’ll be blessed with the midnight sun while the winter holds a chance for hiking under the northern lights – the only question is where do you start? Here, with the best hikes in Finland.
The Small Karhunkierros hike in Finland is one of the most popular day hikes in the country.
The hike takes you through the Oulanka National Park in Lapland, past stunning rivers, rapids, around lakes, and you walk through a stunning forest as you go.
It’s quite an easy hike with a very limited elevation change and is suitable for all fitness levels.
Being just 12km long, it’s a great day hike and it’s highly recommended you take a picnic and some swimming gear during the summer and stop at some of the lakes or rivers for lunch and a swim, weather permitting.
There is also so much to do in the national park from canoeing to white water rafting, fishing, and loads more.
The hike is best done from May to October during the summer but it’s also a great snowshoeing trail in winter so you can go all year round.
There isn’t a single moment during this hike when you’re not next to water and some of the funnest bits are crossing the bridges over the rivers. It is a classing hike in Finland.
Kaakkurin Kierros is a loop trail that takes you through the Repovesi National Park which sits just a few hour’s drive northeast of Helsinki. The hike takes you through the stunning Finish wilderness and during the summer the ground is awash with wildflowers and you have a chance of seeing elk and reindeer while you walk.
The hike is quite long at 26 km and will take you at least a day. It’s not particularly challenging terrain during the summer, the trail is well managed and marked, but it’s the length that requires some fitness to complete.
The hike will have you walking past rivers, through forests, and around 13 lakes or more. It couldn’t be a better example of a hike in Finland. The air is fresh and the surroundings are stunning.
Along the trail are numerous campsites and I’d highly recommend taking a tent and making it a 2-day adventure over the weekend. If camping isn’t your style, you can rent a log cabin with a campfire and do it a bit more luxuriously.
There is a lot to do in the national park too including canoeing, swimming, and fishing in the lakes and rivers. There is also excellent climbing, some great sights to see, and there are also plenty of other hiking and cycling trails to explore too.
Lake Sääksjärvi is less than an hour out of Helsinki and is one of the best hikes in Finland if you’re looking to spend a day walking around a beautiful area without the usual weekend traffic. The Fins tend to be outdoors all the time, but Lake Sääksjärvi is a well-kept secret for now.
The hike is a loop trail around the lake and is just 12 km long. The ground is mostly flat, the path is well looked after and it can be done by anyone, kids and even dogs are allowed on a leash. It’ll probably take you around 3-4 hours to complete but it’s worth taking the day and enjoying the surroundings.
While hiking, you’ll be next to the lake 90% of the time bar a few sections which take you behind lakeside houses. There is a beautiful white sand beach in one corner of the lake which is a great place for a picnic and a refreshing swim in the summer.
The hike can also be done in the wintertime, but you might need some snowshoes depending on how much snow has fallen.
Along the way you’ll see wildflowers in summer, pass through forests, and the views across the lake are absolutely beautiful.
Image Courtesy of Wikimedia
The Könkään Keino in Finland is a great hike for the whole family. It’s a loop hike in northeastern Finland that’s close to the Russian border and inside the Oulanka National Park. The wilderness there is quite spectacular with amazing views of lakes, rivers, and mountains around almost every turn.
The Könkään Keino hike is easy and can be done by anyone no matter their fitness. The elevation change is extremely low and the paths are well maintained which makes for easy walking.
The hike starts next to the Oulankajoki river and takes you along the river before heading inland and up a hill where you’ll get great views and stumble upon two mountain lakes that you’ll wander around.
From there it’s back down the hill where you’ll meet the Oulankajoki river downstream from where you started. The path then follows the river all the way to the starting point.
If you’re a fisherman, you can fish in the lakes and the river, just be sure to buy a license and get permission first. The lakes and the river are also great for a refreshing swim if the weather permits.
The hike can be done all year round and is great for snowshoeing in the winter. You can also camp, canoe, and mountain bike, and more in the national park.
The Saana hike in northern Finland is about as far north in Finland as you can go. The hike starts just next to the town of Kilpisjärvi which sits right next to both the Norwegian and Swedish borders.
The hike is an out-and-back type hike meaning you’ll go back the way you came once you have climbed the stunning fell that sits next to the beautiful lake Kilpisjärvi which the Swedish border actually runs through.
It’s quite a tough hike mainly due to the steep climb up and down the mountainside but stairs have recently been added to the well-maintained trail which makes it a lot easier.
This is not a hike for everyone and does require a moderate level of fitness but the views from the top are certainly worth it. This hike is very popular so bear in mind that you’ll have others on the trail too.
The views from the top of the path are quite incredible. All you can see are the never-ending mountains and lakes that surrounded the entire area.
Since the hike is located so far north, you’re not going to go there for a day trip from Helsinki. But, exploring the northern region of Finland is a must and you can always hop the border and see the northern Fjords of Norway at the same time.
The Ukko Luosto hike is based in the far north of Finland, in the heart of Lapland, in Pyha-Luosto National Park. It takes some getting to but it’s quite a spectacular place to explore as you’re in reindeer country, the place of the midnight sun in summer, and a northern lights area in winter.
The hike starts just outside of the ski town of Luosto and the loop trail takes you up a mountain, around the top of it, and back down the other side. Pretty much circumnavigating the ski area.
It’s not the easiest hike and does require some fitness as the climb up the mountain is pretty steep. You’ll start the hike in the forest and slowly climb above the treeline and onto the top of the small mountain.
The views from the top can stretch for miles across the Pyha-Luosto National Park depending on the weather so pick your timings well. If you get it right you can see way into the distance over the rolling forests, rivers, and lakes. Make sure to bring a camera or you’ll be disappointed you didn’t.
You can hike the trail all year round, it can be particularly impressive during the winter but you might need snowshoes to complete it.
Since you’re up in the Pyha-Luosto National Park, you may as well enjoy everything it has to offer. There is a lot to do, like canoeing, fishing, skiing, mountain biking plus a lot of wildlife and sights to see.
If you’re staying in Helsinki and looking for a quick hike to do on the weekend or in the evenings then the Hauklampi Loop is a great option.
The hike is just outside of Helsinki, next to the town of Luukki in the Luukin nature reserve. It doesn’t take long to get to and the hike is lovely.
It’s a very easy hike, suitable for all fitness levels that runs just 5 km with a very minimal 600ft climb over the trail. The paths are well maintained and you’ll be walking through beautiful forest along the way and, being a hike in Finland, past a few lakes too.
The trail starts at a cafe which is a great place to enjoy some food and coffee afterward. As you walk along the trail you can pick blueberries and loganberries, find some stunning views across the regions and there are quite a few connecting trails if you wanted to extend the hike.
It’s also a great area for camping, mountain biking, fishing, cross country skiing, bird watching, and seeing wildlife too. If you’re looking for an easy camping weekend from Helsinki, this is a great option but it does get a little busy.
The Lankkerin Vaellusreitti hike is a loop that is located in amongst the Finish fjord-land of the west coast. It’s not an easy hike to find and it starts along route 12099 that connects the town of Pernio to the coastal village of Matilda. Getting there by public transport isn’t possible and you’ll need your own car.
The Lankkerin Vaellusreitti is a loop hike that is rated as medium, so it’s not for everyone but anyone with ok fitness levels will be fine. The trail begins next to route 12099 in a gravel car park and takes you through the forest most of the way until you arrive at the beautiful lake Puolakkajarvi and then back to the car park.
The path is well maintained and very easy to follow. The forest is fantastic for bird watching, wildflowers in summer and it’s always a good idea to enjoy a picnic and a swim in the lake before walking back to your car.
The area is never busy and it’s a great place to get away from it all and camping by the lake is also a good option. Bring a fishing rod, catch dinner, and cook it over an open fire as you watch the midnight sun – you won’t regret it.