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Hiking and camping, Saimaa archipelago, Finland

Get familiar with the archipelago of Saimaa through hiking and camping!

Finland’s beautiful natural surroundings offer clean shores and various types of trails for recreation. The point of attraction in our area is Finland’s largest and Europe’s fourth largest lake, Saimaa, whose environs provide a splendid milieu for hiking and camping. You can set off on foot, on a bicycle or in a canoe, for example.

Walking in the wilds is allowed in Finland if no damage is caused to the environment. The region of Lappeenranta and Imatra offers the possibility to hike for a couple of hours in the immediate terrain or leave along with a tent on a weekend trek.

The Lappeenranta and Imatra region belong to the province of South Karelia, whose most important natural elements are the First and Second Salpausselkä, extending from one end of the province to the other, including Suur-Saimaa, which is located between them. The two Salpausselkä sites are ridge formations formed during the Ice Age, and they are also quite high in places. The heathland of the Salpausselkä ridge system offers smooth and reliable routes for nature excursions. If you wish, you can climb to higher areas to enjoy the views opening up between the open reaches of the lakes. There are also fascinating hiking routes of various lengths in the area's municipalities, which provide access to your starting point by car.

Saimaa is a favoured area for migratory birds – so don’t forget to gaze at the sky!

Finland is one of the best places to spot the northern lights. In southern Finland they are visible on about 10-20 nights a year. Read more about northern lights, a unique natural phenomenon.

Get familiar with the hiking and camping routes of the Lappeenranta and Imatra region as well as hiker and camper etiquette.

Everyman’s rights in Finland

Walking in the wild and picking berries and mushrooms is allowed in Finland if no damage is caused to the environment. However, the freedom to roam is restricted near residential buildings, for example.

It is allowed to

  • Walk, ski or cycle in the nature, except for other people’s yards, fields or plantation that might get damaged.
  • Stay and camp in areas where crossing is allowed.
  • Pick wild berries, mushroom, and flowers.
  • Angle and ice-fish.
  • Swim, go boating, wash in the waters, and walk on ice.

It is forbidden to

  • Cause harm or hindrance to others – injure or otherwise harm birds and game.
  • Cut down or cause damage to live trees, and take dried or fallen wood, twigs, moss etc. from other people’s land.
  • Make open fire on someone else’s land, with the exception of pressing need.
  • Disturb the domestic peace by camping too close to property or making loud noise.
  • Litter waste.
  • Drive a motor vehicle on the grounds without the permission of the land owner.
  • Go fishing without the required permits.

Permits needed for a fishing trip

Angling and ice fishing are generally allowed in Finland without a fishing permit, but depending on your age and the fishing grounds, you will need a permit for other forms of fishing. For more information, contact the local tourist information office or an outdoor activity company.