Here, amidst the eskers, the wild forest reindeer has found a sheltered feeding and breeding ground. In this same environment, hikers can also find a place where they can break loose from their everyday routines, let their minds rest and enjoy the offerings of nature.
The esker formation crossing the reserve has been an important area for the migration of the wild forest reindeer (Rangifer tarandus fennicus) as well as providing it with a grazing ground.
Friendship Park Nature Reserve consists of five separate nature reserves mainly located in the municipality of Kuhmo. The area is a popular hiking destination. There is a total of about 30 km of hiking trails, along which you can find several maintained resting places.
Sights: You can see hunting pits, bases of tar-burning pits and remains of trenches dug during the Second World War along the trail.
Iso-Palonen is also a good winter hiking destination for skiing and snowshoeing, but the trails are not maintained.
Rest stopsSaunaniemi campfire site and a lean-to shelter, Iso-Palonen Kuhmo Finland
Tammalammenpuro campfire site and a lean-to shelter, Iso-Palonen Kuhmo Finland
Papinsalmi campfire site, Iso-Palonen Kuhmo Finland
Own drinks and snacks are recommended, since there are no cafés or shops in Iso-Palonen - Maariansärkkä.
In the summer, hikers should protect themselves from mosquitoes (clothing, insect repellent).
Duckboards crossing mires and wetlands may be slippery when wet.
Tips and hints
Open flame is not permitted even at a campfire site if a forest fire warning has been issued.
Berry and mushroom picking is allowed in the area. There are lingonberries (Vaccinium vitis-idaea), bilberries (Vaccinium myrtillus), bog bilberries (Vaccinium uliginosum) and crowberries (Empetrum nigrum) in the area. In mires, you can find cloudberries (Rubus chamaemorus) and cranberries (Vaccinium oxycoccus).
Fishing is allowed with a rod and line.
Walking outside the routes is permitted, but it is advised to stay on paths.
Campfire Sites and Lean-to Shelters:
- Tammalammenpuro: a campfire site and a lean-to shelter
- Saunaniemi: a campfire site and a lean-to shelter
- Papinsalmi: a campfire site
- It is recommended that you bring your own drinking water.
- The waters in the area are natural waters. You may use the water at your own risk. Boiling the water before drinking it is recommended since water quality varies from one area to another.
There are no waste-bins in the nature reserve. Avoid taking unnecessary waste into the area.
Biodegradable waste should be placed in a toilet or composter, and small amounts of clean paper and cardboard can be used as kindling in a campfire. Read more about Hiking without littering.
There is a dry toilet near every campfire site and lean-to shelter.
Camping and Lean-to Shelters
You are allowed to camp temporarily near lean-to shelters and campfire sites.
From Kuhmo: take the Kuhmo - Suomussalmi road (No. 912) and drive along 35 km's. Turn right (to the east) to a forest road leading to Iso-Palonen. Drive for about 8 km and you will find signposts to the parking areas of the hiking trails. The parking areas are the Matokangas parking area on the western side of Lake Iso-Palonen and the Valkeiskangas parking area on the northeastern side of Lake Iso-Palonen.
The forest road leading to Iso-Palonen is not snowploughed in winter.
The paths are mostly easy terrain. Trekking does not require special equipment. At the wet mires there are duckboards. There are bridges over the small rivers and in the ridge areas there are stairs. In dry weather, you can even walk along with jogging shoes. Nevertheless, proper hiking shoes are recommended.
- 3 Waypoints
- 3 Waypoints