Oulanka National Park
Oulanka is a national park in northern Finland, founded in 1956 and covering an area of 270 km2. A river with the same name flows through the park towards the Russian Paanajärvi National Park, which is more than 4 times larger than the Oulanka Nature Reserve. The park is visited by over 150,000 travelers every year.
The park is ideal for hikers. There are routes of varying lengths and difficulty levels throughout the park, allowing you to go hiking for a day, or even for the whole week if you wish. The landscapes of Oulanka Park promote tranquility; lovers of outdoor activities can walk near raging rapids, along hanging bridges over deep stone gorges and rapids. You can go down a calm river in a kayak, but extreme sports enthusiasts should not be discouraged, because in some places the river becomes quite fast and dangerous due to the rapids. In the Oulanka National Park, the most popular route is the 80-kilometer route from the information center to the Ruka resort. Typically the duration of the trek is 4-6 days. Along the entire route there are huts and tent sites that can be used for free. Usually in huts you can already find ready-made firewood and matches. But in the summer there are quite a lot of travelers, so you will have to share an overnight stay with them.
Flora and fauna of Oulanka Park
There are many animals found in Oulanka National Park, some of which are unique. In total, the park contains 30 mammals, more than 7,000 insects and approximately 120 species of birds, some of which can only be seen in this region. Oulanka is good for bird lovers, because here you can often see: sandpipers, wagtails, finches, golden eagles, dippers, and redstarts. And due to the calcium-rich soil, the park has a wide variety of plants. There is a lot of fish in the rivers of the park, so you can combine your holiday with fishing and catch trout on the Oulanka or Kitka rivers. Local tour operators can offer to spend the night in a hut and watch the bears come to feast on the treats left for them next to the hut. In addition to bears, moose are often found in the park.
In Oulanka there is silence and tranquility all around, as well as Finnish grooming. The park is located on deposits of dolomitic limestone, from which nature shows itself in full force. The nature here is unlike any other region of Finland, in the north there is the polar region and tundra, the taiga approaches from the south, the cold Arctic from the east, and the warm Gulf Stream from the west.