The Karhunkierros Trail
Karhunkierros Trail is Finland’s most popular hiking trail. It leads through the unique hill landscape and nature of Oulanka National Park to the most beautiful scenic spots in the municipalities of Kuusamo and Salla. The trail travels through pine dominated forest and along river banks and is suited for beginners, as well as, experienced hikers. The trail for the most part crosses undemanding terrain. The parts of the trail which are the most demanding are in the Juuma area and the slopes of Valtavaara Hill and Ruka Fell. There are many open wilderness huts, campfire sites and other structures along the trail. The trail can also be divided into sections, so you do not have to hike the entire length.
The best time to hike the trail is from 1.6. to 15.10. The trail is marked with orange paint markings on trees. During winter there is also the Oulanka Wilderness Trail for snowshoeing or skiing between Oulanka Visitor Centre and the village of Juuma.
Karhunkierros Trail has been a hiking trail for 50 years. In the 1950s the members of the Kuusamo tourism board made history when they marked the original Karhunkierros Trail from Ristikallio Cliffs via Taivalköngäs Rapids to Kiutaköngäs Rapids and the village of Juuma. At that time there were few structures to help hikers and markings along the trail were scarce.
(Source: www.luontoon.fi – Pho Elina Kolppanen – Metsähallitus)