Aerial view of a boat, canyon lake and forest in Julma-Ölkky, Hossa National Park, Finland; Shutterstock ID 2023369706; purchase_order: 65050; job: ; client: ; other:

Shutterstock / romikatarina

Hossa National Park

Top choice in Central Finland

Founded in 2017 to commemorate Finland's centenary of independence, the country's 40th national park stretches over 11,000 hectares of glittering lakes and dense forests. Highlights include Julma Ölkky, a 3km-long lake-filled canyon that narrows to just 10m wide; Öllön, a 40m-deep lake where scuba-diving will be possible; and Värikallio, a river canyon where 4000-year-old rock paintings can be viewed from a metal platform. Criss-crossing the park are canoeing and cross-country skiing routes, plus mountain-bike and hiking trails.

Throughout the park there are 14 lean-to shelters and 12 wilderness huts, along with three designated campgrounds, including Karhunkainalo. Bears, wolves, elk, wolverines and reindeer roam freely; you can also view reindeer at the reindeer park Hossan Poropuisto. The visitor centre has information as well as nature and cultural exhibitions.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Central Finland attractions

1. Hossa National Park Visitor Centre

The visitor centre at Hossa National Park has a detailed exhibition on the Värikallio Stone Age rock paintings. Only discovered in 1977, the paintings of…

2. Hossan Poropuisto

1.43 MILES

Within Hossa National Park, this reindeer farm offers the opportunity to get to know these gentle, antlered beasts. You can feed the reindeer (€5 per bag)…

3. Kuusamon Suurpetokeskus

18.71 MILES

There’s a great backstory to this bear sanctuary 35km south of Kuusamo on the Kajaani road. Rescued as orphans, the bears were nursed by their ‘father’…