Finland part 4: Kuusamo

After being attacked by 1 000 0000 mosquitos at Lake Inari, we decided to head a little more back down. As our next destination we chose Kuusamo. This was by far my favourite part of the trip… :-) The nature in this area is so lovely, you just have to go yourself to check it out!

Oulanka national park - Kuusamo.

Oulanka national park – Kuusamo.

The Oulanka National park in Kuusamo has a great campsite. You can put your tent up in the forest and it feels like you are camping out in the wild, but with all the comforts of a campsite: a toilet, warm shower, cooking facilities and a sauna next to the river. Without any doubt this was my favourite camping EVER!
During the night we could hear wolves howl in the area and I managed to see a small pack run in the forest alongside the road we were driving on for about half a minute. We and they were going way to fast to capture them on a picture, but it’s still my greatest wildlife experience up untill today :-)

Our tent at Oulanka camping.

Our tent at Oulanka camping.

River Oulankajoki runs through the campsite.

River Oulankajoki runs through the campsite.

Evening walk alongside Oulankajoki.

Evening walk alongside Oulankajoki.

Evening walk alongside Oulankajoki.

Evening walk alongside Oulankajoki.

Next to multiple swimming sessions in the river, we chose to walk the Pieni Karhunkierros, or “the little bear walk”, along the river Kitkajoki. The trail is about 12km long and starts off at Juuma. During the walk you pass multiple hanging bridges and river rapids. The nature there is extremely beautiful and the walk very comfortable, with wooden stairs on difficult climbs.

The start of our walk: Pieni Karhunkierros.

The start of our walk: Pieni Karhunkierros.

Juuma rapids - Pieni Karhunkierros.

Juuma rapids – Pieni Karhunkierros.

Juuma rapids - Pieni Karhunkierros.

Juuma rapids – Pieni Karhunkierros.

One of many bridges we crossed at Pieni Karhunkierros.

One of many bridges we crossed at Pieni Karhunkierros.

Daiko climbing wooden stairs, making it easier to walk the trail.

Daiko climbing wooden stairs, making it easier to walk the trail.

View from above.

View from above.

We had our picnic there. Not a bad spot for lunch :-)

We had our picnic there. Not a bad spot for lunch :-)

Back down at one of the waterfalls.

Back down at one of the waterfalls.

Spotting the next hanging bridge.

Spotting the next hanging bridge.

Me at the longest hanging bridge that day.

Me at the longest hanging bridge that day.

View from the bridge, at the end of the Pieni Karhunkierros walk.

View from the bridge, at the end of the Pieni Karhunkierros walk.

The more trained hiker could also consider walking the full Karhunkierros trail, which is 80 km long.

We also visited Oulanka Kanjoni, a small canyon with a rapid called Kiutaköngas, causing me to think this is actually the word for rapid in Finnish – which, so I learned recently, it isn’t ;-) It was a rainy day, so our pics are a bit misty – but it’s a great spot nevertheless!

Oulanka Kanjoni. Spot the river below...

Oulanka Kanjoni. Spot the river below…

Oulanka Kanjoni.

Oulanka Kanjoni.

Oulanka Kanjoni.

Oulanka Kanjoni.

Oulanka Kanjoni.

Our total reindeer count at that point was 43. Often we would see them walking along the road, we had to wait to pass some big males on the road or you could see them walking even in town when you would go get a pizza :-) After this point we would see no more: we were heading south to the Lake District of Finland. Funny thing, because the whole country is spotted with lakes of all sizes. But more about that in the next post!

Reindeer on the road, near the campsite.

Reindeer on the road, near the campsite.

Fetching a pizza and spotting reindeer in town.

Fetching a pizza and spotting reindeer in town.

Mother & calf at Oulanka Kanjoni.

Mother & calf at Oulanka Kanjoni.

Reindeer at the parking lot of the campsite.

Reindeer at the parking lot of the campsite.

Reindeer walking alongside the camp kitchen.

Reindeer walking alongside the camp kitchen.

Biggest male we saw!

Biggest male we saw!

Grazing below.

Grazing below.

Another one at the camping.

Another one at the camping.

Our very last one...!

Our very last one…!

-A-

Previous post about this trip: Lake Inari.
Next post: visiting the lake district.

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8 thoughts on “Finland part 4: Kuusamo

  1. Pingback: Finland part 3: lake Inari | Ourworldheritage.be - Travel blog

  2. Pingback: Finland part 5: the lake district | Ourworldheritage.be - Travel blog

  3. Pingback: July 6th, 2014 | Kristiina Juutinen Memorial Fund

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