Finland is a country well-known for its beautiful environment, and now there’s a new place for travellers to explore as the country’s 40th national park opens this week.
Hossa National Park will hold an opening ceremony on 17 June. The new park comes in the year Finland marks 100 years of independence, after centuries of struggle for the territory between Russia and Sweden.
With centennial celebrations happening in Finland through the year, it was ranked the third best country to visit in 2017 by Lonely Planet.
The new park covers 11,000 hectares near the Suomussalmi, Kuusamo and Taivalkoski municipalities in the northeast of Finland. Around the park, 1200 hectares of state-owned land and water will be excluded from the park, but used for tourism, fishing and more, according to the Finnish environment ministry.
Hossa is described by the ministry as “a realm of primeval twilight forests with decaying trees lying on the ground and abundant growth of various species of lichen, providing it with a very special nature conservation value”. It is also home to the amazing Julma-Ölkky canyon lake, which is the largest in Finland. There you can also see ancient rock paintings created by the region’s Stone Age settlers, painted in blood and red ochre.
The park will draw in hikers, fishers and canoers who want to explore the forests, lakes and trails. It is located close to the airports of Kuusamo and Kajaani, according to Visit Finland. Public transportation can take visitors as far as the resort area, but getting into the park will require renting a car or a taxi.
Once there, guests can visit the Hossa Nature Centre, which can teach visitors about the history of the park and information on how best to explore. The new park will be marked with an opening ceremony on 17 June, along with a wide variety of activities, like meals, music and midnight bike rides.