Finnish National Parks

What’s so special about national parks in Finland? Find out which you may want to take a trip to. Here is a description of the parks, starting from Northern Finland, which has Finland's largest parks, working our way down to the South.

National parks in Finland locations from North to South of Finland

Lemmenjoki - uppermost North

Urho-Kekkonen - uppermost North-East

Pallas-Yllästunturi - uppermost North-West

Pyhä-Luosto - North-East of Rovaniemi.

Oulanka - near Kuusamo/Russian border.

Riisitunturi - close to Kuusamo.

Syöte - South-East of Rovaniemi.

Bothnian Bay National Park - Perämeren Kansallispuisto - North-Western coast near Kemi.

Rokua - in the center of Finland.

Hiidenportti center, east of Kajaani.

Tiilikkajärvi - 2-hr drive South of Kajaani.

Salamajärvi - South-Central Finland.

Patvinsuo - South-East of the center of Finland.

Koli – a 6-hr drive North-East of Tampere.

Pyhä-Häkki - 1,5 hr drive North of Jyväskylä.

Petkeljärvi - 1,5 hrs east of Joensuu.

Kolovesi - 3 hrs East of Jyväskylä.

Kauhaneva - 3,5 hrs North of Helsinki.

Helvetinjärvi - 1,5 hrs North of Tampere.

Leivonmäki - 1-hr drive South of Jyväskylä.

Linnansaari - 45 mins North-West of Savonlinna.

Seitseminen - 1.5 hrs North of Tampere.

Lauhanvuori - 3 hrs North-West of Tampere.

Isojärvi - 1,5 hrs East of Tampere.

Puurijärvi - 1 hr 20 mins South-West of Tampere.

Päijänne - 1,5 hrs North-East of Hämeenlinna.

Repovesi - 1,5 hrs East of Lahti.

Kurjenrahka - 45 mins North-East of Turku.

Torronsuo - 1 hr South-West of Hämeenlinna.

Valkmusa - near Kotka.

Liesjärvi - 2-hr drive South of Tampere.

Nuuksio - near Helsinki.

Itäinen - Suomenlahti out on an island, not too far from Kotka.

Tammisaari Ekenäs - the South coast.

Saaristomeri - South of Turku.

General information

Most of the parks which I have listed have long and short trails. Here I mention the shorter trails and the approximate time you may need to walk the trail.

Overnight accommodation is free when you take your own sleeping bag and are willing to overnight in a wooden shelter in which there is no running water or standard plumbing, and no mosquito netting. Otherwise, many of the parks have shelter for rent.

Wet things you will find at national parks in Finland. In Finland. The word suo is directly translated into English as "bog" or "swamp." You will notice some Finnish words ending in suo. For example: Patvinsuo (it's the name of one of the national parks in Finland), or Suomi (Finland), swamp-land has the word suo in the beginning.

A swamp is basically a flooded forest - it is a wet area, but you can walk on it. However, most of the time you will notice wooden walking platforms (duck boards) built as a walkway over wet areas, so you will not sink in. A bog or mire: usually wet and spongy to walk on. I would not recommend even trying to explore it, because it could be a very wet area containing shrubs and grass. It even contains splotches of forest in the middle of the mire.

Find out if the Visitor Center is open. Leave no room for chance!

Most parks have visitor centers from which you may want to get information upon arrival to the park. I recommend to first to obtain most recent opening hours for visitor centers by copying and pasting the name of the center found in this text into your favorite search engine.

Save time and money planning your trip

Though I have personally driven to a handful of these parks myself,  getting to the final destination might be a miserable task, if you have not planned out the route (if you are a spontaneous soul like me). I cannot stress the amount of wasted time and fuel! So, that is why I have provided directions links where I use Google maps/Via Michelin to give you driving directions all the way to a hiking trail or visitor center. You can use these links for a number of functions like...

  • Calculate the time/fuel your trip will take to the park.
  • Enter your own starting point address.
  • Get an idea of where the park is on a map.
  • Enter the information for you navigational GPS device.
  • Find out what cities/towns are closest to a park.

Example of use: You can use the directions links to trace out the final two or three roads of your journey onto your hard copy map, or just print out directly from Google/Via Michelin. Why only the last few roads? Because those are the trickiest.

Tip: If in doubt, use Google street view to see where your final destination is. Always check that the street you are turning onto is actually a street one can drive on. If you have a navigational device, the municipality of each park is listed, so please use the information provided to get you there. Otherwise for more detailed information go to www.luontoon.fi.

Note: Some park websites include video links about the park.