The municipality was founded in 1873. Today it has some 14,600 inhabitants. The population growth has continued at the same rate since 1978 and is estimated to continue at about 100 people per year. The population breakdown by age shows an unusually high percentage of youth and children. This is indicative of a vibrant, continuously developing and growing community.
Long-distance buses terminate at the central bus station in Joensuu, adjacent to Mannerheimintie and within easy walking distance of the Central Railway Station.
The Koli National Park lies in the municipalities of Eno, Lieksa and Kontiolahti, on the western shore of Lake Pielinen and covers 3000 hectares.
- Visit Kolvananuuro Nature Reserve. Drive to the parking area and walk a demanding 5 km nature trail through the area, including a gorge, old-growth forest and brooks. Walk clockwise. In the gorge there are traces of an ice age 2500 million years (sic!) ago. There is a campfire site by the trail. You could also come hiking by the UKK route/Kolinpolku/E10 or the Patvinpolku route (these come from far away but are not well maintained, so check the route carefully).
In general, Finland is a fairly safe country, and Kontiolahti is no exception. There are no exceptional crime problems or health hazards.