Introducing Lemmenjoki National Park
At 2855 sq km, Lemmenjoki (Sámi: Leammi) is Finland’s largest national park, covering a remote wilderness area between Inari and Norway. It is prime hiking territory, with desolate wilderness rivers, rough landscapes and the mystique of gold, with solitary prospectors sloshing away with their pans in the middle of nowhere. Boat trips on the river allow more leisurely exploration of the park.
The launch pad for the park is Njurgulahti, an Inari Sámi community by the river; it’s often simply referred to as Lemmenjoki. It’s 11km down a turn-off signposted 34km southwest of Inari on the Kittilä road. The village’s main festival is the last weekend of July, when there’s a gold-panning competition on the Saturday followed by a traditional village dance.