Kuhmo & Suomussalmi - Wild Taiga Region
photo © Idän Taiga ry www.wildtaiga.fi
Wild Taiga region, Kuhmo & Suomussalmi – Tourism Guide
The area on Finland’s eastern border around Kainuu, Kuhmo and Suomussalmi is called Wild Taiga. Wild refers to the area’s unspoilt wilderness nature, offering a unique opportunity to see large carnivores like bears, wolves, and wolverines in their natural habitat. Taiga refers to the evergreen coniferous forest zone of the north, which continues from Finland to the east to Russia and all the way to Asia.
Untamed nature and cultural riches of Wild Taiga’s summer
In summer in Kuhmo and Suomussalmi, you can get to know large carnivores, go hiking and trekking in Hossa National Park to the north of Suomussalmi, or fish the rapids and many lakes in the region. Summer is the best time for big predator viewing and photography trips as there is enough light throughout the night. From the Wild Taiga area you can spot three of our big beasts, bears, wolves, and wolverines, in their own habitat. With luck you might see a bear and a wolf fighting each other for the same prey! Hossa National Park offers excellent trails for hiking and cycling, and their rivers and lakes are ideal for kayaking and river rafting.
Lovers of culture and history can dive into the fascinating world of the Kalevala, high-quality musical experiences, sights in the authentic battlefields of the Winter War, or relax among The Silent People, an art installation produced by Reijo Kela. The Kalevala cultural centre Juminkeko is open all year round, as is the magnificent Kuhmo House. The Kuhmo Winter War Museum and the Raate Gate are interesting places to visit for people of all ages interested in Finnish history. Kuhmo Chamber Music and Sommelo are among the pearls of the Finnish summer music festival calendar, in a relaxed atmosphere for everyone.
Wild Taiga’s wonderful winter
Wild Taiga is full of life even in winter. Fascinating predatory tours are organized throughout the year. In winter, when the bears are sleeping, you can watch and photograph wolves, wolverines and birds of prey in the winter wilderness in heated viewing huts. There are several companies in the area that offer viewing and photography trips to the Finnish-Russian border zone, where packs of wolves roam freely.
You can go skiing and snowshoeing on the varied winter trails. Hossa offers wonderful winter trails for hikers, snowshoers and winter cyclists. Other winter favorites include excursions to reindeer farms, snowshoe trips in the wilderness, Icelandic Horse trekking, snowmobile trips, and cross-country skiing.
The rich cultural life of Kuhmo and Suomussalmi continues during the winter. In The Silent People café you can relax while viewing Reijo Kela’s iconic art installation through the window and at the same time enjoy coffee and pancakes. Those fascinated by history can also get to know the authentic battlefields of the Winter War. The Kuhmo Winter War Museum, Raate Gate, Kalevala Cultural Centre Juminkeko, and Kuhmo House are open all year round