Salamajärvi National Park
The main visitor centre is the Koirajärvi information hut in the park, maintained by a local cooperative (inviting regular visitors to join). The visitor centre at Seitseminen National Park (phone +358 205 64 5270, e-mail seitseminen(at)metsa.fi) also serves visitors of Salamajärvi.
Car is the only option to get to the park unless you like walking (or take a taxi ride). Get a good map or a guidebook about Finnish National Parks or you will never find the main office (after driving 10 km on sand roads). There are coach and bus connections some distance from the park.
- Take a coach to the village Möttönen in Perho. Continue by taxi from the TB petrol station either to the park (Koirasalmi) or to Joutenhovi to first walk 10 km by the Peuranpolku trail.
- Peuranpolku, part of the international E6 hiking trail, leads through the park. You can take a coach, transfer at Perho or Kinnula and get off at Salamajärvi (in the school year, weekdays only). The trail, here also called Hirvaan kierros, crosses the road near the bus stop. Walk 1.5 km by the trail to get to the park (or take the full Hirvaan kierrosl, 59 km).
- From Möttönen there is some 7 km to the Joutenhovi entrance board. From there it is 10 km to the park proper, by the Peuranpolku trail.
There are no fees for visiting the park or for hiking. Also parking is free.
There are rental huts, cabins and saunas and some other non-free accommodation options. There is a fee at the caravan area at Koirasalmi, which has electricity.
Equipment, such as rowing boats, canoes, kayaks, backpacks, snow shoes and child carrier backpacks can be rented at Koirasalmi. Checking availability is recommended.
A fishing permit is needed for fishing in lake Koirajärvi. You might also want a general fishing permit.
There are 60 km marked trails in the park. In the central part of the park, and in the Salamanperä Strict Nature Reserve by the park, trails have to be followed (1.3–15.7). Duckboards can be flooded in the spring. Some terrain is rocky, meaning sturdy footwear supporting also the ankles is strongly recommended.
Some of the trails can be used for cross-country skiing in the winter. There are no maintained tracks and markings can be hidden by snow and frost, so some careful use of the map is needed. You can also choose your own routes; skiing on the open mires gives peace to the mind, but keep out of restricted areas in the spring.
Canoeing and rowing is possible, except in the restricted areas.
- Bogs and mires
- Old-growth forests
- Peaceful forest lakes
- Remains of old tar pits (by lake Koirajärvi)
- Old floating dam and remains of old logger’s cabin (Pyydyskoski)
There are two nature trails presenting the nature of the area, both starting by Sysilampi Open Wilderness Hut:
- Lasten luontopolku (“Kids’ Nature Trail”), 1,5 km
- Pakosuon kierros (“Pakosuo Mire Loop”), 4,5 km
- Rent a sauna for 9 Euro/night (no person limit!) with its own pond/lake.
- Fishing. Angling and ice fishing is allowed as elsewhere, except in Koirajärvi (permit needed) and in the restricted areas (1.3–15.7). The peak season for fishing is from mid June until mid August, the most popular sites being the lakes Heikinlampi, Koirajärvet, Ahvenlampi and Kaunislampi.
- Berry picking: cloudberry (Rubus chamaemorus) and cranberry (Vaccinium oxycoccos) on the open fens and blueberry (Vaccinium myrtillus) and lingonberries (Vaccinium vitis-idaea) in the forest. Keep out of the restricted areas.
- Swimming is allowed except in the restriction areas. There is a sandy shore at Koirasalmi, by the campfire shelter. There are swimming platforms at the cabins of Koiralampi and Sysilampi.
- Walk along the educational swamp walk (4 km long)
- Cross-country skiing
- Hiking trips
Nature stuff at the national parks offices.
Sausage fried on a fire (or even better on the sauna oven).
There are quite many fire and cooking places, separate or at huts and shelters. Campfires are not allowed elsewhere. Open fire is not allowed anywhere when there is a forest fire warning in effect.
- There is a well at the open wilderness hut at Lake Sysilampi.
- There is a tap at the wall of the Koirasalmi nature information hut.
- Rent a sauna and cottage/cabin (mökki): Ahvenlampi (22 persons), Kaunislampi (6 persons), Koirasalmi (2+4 persons)
- Rental hut at Sysilampi (2 persons)
- Open wilderness huts: Sysilampi (4 persons) and Pitkälahti (2 persons)
- Lean-to shelter at lake Heikinjärvi
- Caravan area at Koirasalmi nature information hut. Electricity, waste collection station, rental sauna, fireplace etc.
- Trailer site at Heikinlammentie. No service.
- Camping is allowed at Koirasalmi, Pyydyskoski, Sysilampi and Pitkälahti, in the vicinity of campfire sites and shelters.
Camping is allowed outside the park according to the right to access. Be considerate, as trails on private land depend on cooperation with land owners. Where prepared grounds are available, those should be used instead.
There are areas in the park without mobile phone coverage or with interference. Try a more open or higher place. Emergency calls to 112 can be placed without SIM card, which guarantees the best connection available is used.
- Iso-Valvatti bird wetland near the mire reserve of Linjasalmenneva
- Hirvaan kierros (59 km), Peura Trail (77 km) and further by E6 hiking trail