Hiking in Finland

Finland’s unspoilt forests and thousands of islands and lakes offer plenty of opportunities for visitors to enjoy beautiful natural surroundings. Hikers a can roam the endless forests and wide-open northern fells, while the lakes and rivers of central and eastern Finland are ideal for canoeists, and the labyrinthine archipelagos of the Baltic are a sailor’s paradise.

In the southern parts where Kliffa will be held, forests are often owned by local people and managed to produce timber, but they still resemble natural forests. Finland’s liberal laws of public access give everyone the right to roam the forests and countryside freely, no matter who owns the land. The laws of public access, or everyman’s rights state that

You may

  • walk, ski or cycle freely, except very near people’s homes, or in fields and plantations which could easily be damaged.
  • camp out temporarily, a reasonable distance from homes
  • pick wild berries, mushrooms and flowers, as long as they are not protected species
  • fish with a rod and line
  • use boats, swim or bathe in inland waters and the sea
  • walk, ski, or drive a motor vehicle or fish on frozen lakes, rivers and the sea…

…, but you may not

  • disturb people or damage property
  • disturb reindeer, game, breeding birds, their nests or young
  • let pets off leash
  • cut down or damage trees
  • collect moss, lichen or fallen trees from other people’s property
  • light open campfireswithout permission, except in an emergency
  • disturb people’s privacy by camping too near them or making too much noise
  • leave litter
  • drive motor vehicles off road without the landowner’s permission
  • hunt without the relevant permits
  • fish with nets, traps, or a reel and lure without the relevant permits.

Thanks to these possibilities, many Finnish citizens living in the bigger cities go camping with their friend or families during the weekends to enjoy some quality time in our clean and welcoming forests. There is little fauna that poses an actual threat for humans, and incidents involving them during hikes or camping are really rare.

Picture by Aapo Rainio 

There are also many possibilities for staying in uninhabited huts while hiking, plenty of which are free!

More information about Finnish nature and hiking in Finland can be found www.outdoors.fi