Hiker's etiquette and Responsible Travel Tips
Respecting nature, getting around, camping, lighting fires and litter-free hiking – once you have mastered these, you are ready to head outdoors.
1. Respect nature - leave no trace in it
Pets are welcome in the park, but they need be on a leash at all times. You can pick berries and mushrooms, but not rocks or plants. Angling and ice fishing are possible for everyone. The fisheries management fee is however required if you are 18-64 years of age and will be fishing with lures or traps or crayfishing. A permit is issued by Metsähallitus. More information about fishing permits (https://www.eraluvat.fi/en/fishing.html).
All types of fishing are prohibited in Kuikkalampi, Pieni Kuikkalampi, Savulampi and Mustalampi waters.
2. Prefer marked trails
Although you can hike or move freely in the nature, it is still worth favouring the ready routes and distinct paths. This way, you help us protect the undergrowth from unnecessary wear. Cycling is allowed as part of Everyman’s Rights. Stay on distinct paths and consider other users along the paths.
The use of a motorboat is only allowed on lakes Petkeljärvi and Valkiajärvi.
Sturdy shoes are a necessity when hiking the ridge terrain of Petkeljärvi National Park. There is no winter maintenance on the routes.
More information on the trails in the area can be found from
Petkeljärvi National Park's webiste: https://www.nationalparks.fi/petkeljarvinp/trails
Vaellus.info -website: http://www.vaellus.info/reitit.php (in Finnish)
3. Camp only where it is allowed.
Camping in Petkeljärvi National Park is only allowed in the Petkeljärvi camping area in Petraniemi. There, one will find toilets, a camp kitchen and campfire sites for hikers. There are other accommodation options close to the National Park.
On Taitajan taival trail (31 km), that starts goes from Petkeljärvi National Park to Mekrijärvi, camping is allowed in Keltasilmä, Tetrijärvi, Hiislampi and Linnalampi. Map of the trail and camping sites can be found in Finnish website: https://www.luontoon.fi/taitajantaival/kartatjakulkuyhteydet.
Do not wash dishes or wash yourself directly in water.
4. Light your campfire only where it is allowed an use the camping stove where possible.
Fire should only be made at designated fire sites. In the Petkeljärvi National Park the only allowed place for open fire is in Petraniemi. There is also Petkeljärvi Center's Tulistelutupa camp kitchen that is free of charge for those accommodating in the area, and day travellers can rent it. There is also a designated fire site in Keltasilmä along the Taitajan taival trail close to the Petkeljärvi National Park.
Check the local warnings for your intended time (https://en.ilmatieteenlaitos.fi/warnings)!
Do not light a fire when a forest or grass fire warning is in effect. During forest and grass fire warnings, open fires in Petkeljärvi National Park are only permitted at the Tulistelutupa camp kitchen in Petraniemi and special care must always be observed.
5. Don't litter.
Everything you can carry on the terrain; you are able to bring back with you!
The Petkeljärvi National Park’s recycling point is located at the Petkeljärvi camping area. The mixed waste point can only be found in Petraniemi, that also has a recycling point where you can bring small quantities of glass, bottles and cans, small metal. Biowaste can be composted in the Petraniemi compost or dry toilet (note! Not for toilets using suction emptying) and small amounts of clean paper and cardboard can be used to light fire at the campfire site.
The only mixed waste point for travellers in the area is in Petraniemi. Recycling point for glass and metal can be found in Möhkö and other sorting points are also in Ilomantsi (Rinki-ekopiste in Kauppatie 9: cardboard, paper, glass, small metal, textiles and plastic (https://www.kierratys.info/Kauppatie-9-Ilomantsi-Rinki-ekopiste#)).
Pack your lunches in durable and reusable boxes, bottles, and bags. This keeps the amount of incoming packaging waste with you as little as possible.
Hazardous waste, such as batteries, belong to hazardous waste collection, not mixed waste container.
Try to sort your waste into the right containers! If you are unsure, it is best to ask or put in mixed waste.
Also check the guidelines for litter by Metsähallitus https://www.nationalparks.fi/hikinginfinland/visitorguidelines/litter
More information on Hiker's etiquette can be found in
More information on Petkeljärvi National Park and maps of the park:
The legal concept of “Everyman’s Right” in Finland extends immense freedom to roam but comes with some serious responsibilities. Remember these rights and resposibilities when hiking in the area!
The need for nature conservation can require certain restrictions on these rights. In national parks and many nature reserves, special regulations can additionally limit activities such as camping, hunting, using motor vehicles, and moving through sensitive areas during the nesting season. Such restrictions are listed separately for each area. Be sure to check online or ask at visitor centres (Koli Nature Centre Ukko: https://www.nationalparks.fi/kolinaturecentre) before venturing into national parks or other nature reserves.
Everyone is allowed to
- walk, ski or cycle in areas outside private gardens and land set aside for specific use (for example cultivated fields and plantations)
- stay temporarily in areas where movement is also allowed (for example, in tents but not close to dwellings or people’s homes)
- pick wild berries, mushrooms and flowers
- enjoy angling and ice fishing
- walk on ice and navigate waterways when snow/ ice melts
It is NOT allowed to
- cause disturbance or harm to others or the environment
- disturb the nesting birds and game
- cut down or damage trees
- take moss, lichen, soil or wood
- disturb peace or privacy for dwellings or homes
- drive a motor vehicle off-road without the permission of the landowner
- fish and hunt without the appropriate permits
More information on the Everyman’s Rights can be found in https://www.nationalparks.fi/everymansright
Quidance for sustainable and litter free travelling can be found in the infoboards in the area. Info boards can be found in Petkeljärvi National Park and in Möhkö village.
Both the information boards and this webpage is done in CBC SUPER project (Sustainability Under Pressure: Environmental Resilience in natural and cultural heritage areas with intensive recreation (KA5033)). The project is part of the ENI Karelia CBC -programme that is funded by the European Union, the Russian Federation and the Republic of Finland.