Koli National Park
The Koli National Park lies in North Karelia, Eastern Finland, on the western shore of Lake Pielinen and covers 3000 hectares. Established in 1991, the uncommonly beautiful national park and diversifield winter tourist centre is administered by the Finnish Forest Research Institute (Metla). In size it covers over 3000 hectares.
People have toured Koli for over 100 years. The first tourist cottage was built on the slopes of Koli in the summer of 1896. The landscapes of Koli have become known as a Finnish national landmark due to the influences of such Finnish artists as Juhani Aho, Eero Järnefelt, I.K. Inha and Pekka Halonen.
The landscape of Koli is grand and unique, and will remain so even for future generations because of its status as a National Park. Meandering through the Koli National Park are marked trails which provide hikers and backpackers, both amateur and professional alike, excellent opportunies for wandering about through a natural landscape that is diverse enough that everyone is sure to find something to their liking.
Hikers and backpackers can experience the natural delights of the park by wandering along the numerous trails networked throughout the Koli National Park, which lead down to the sandy beaches of the Pielinen Lake and provide a view of the hundreds of islands in the area.
There are 90 km of well-marked trails throughout the park, providing trails for every kind of group. There are routes suitable for families with children such as the Kaski Nature Circle or , for the more experienced an demanding hikers, the popular Herajärvi Circle, which is a winding wilderness trail.
Visitors can enjoy a cruise along the Pielinen Lake on the Pielinen ferry or on the passenger ship Vinkerill, which makes runs to the towns of Lieksa or Nurmes. The Pielinen Lake and Lake Herajärvi offer unforgettable experiences for canoeing as well.
Koli has provided the landscape for the Kalevala epic and was a place of pagan sacrifices. During the turn of the century, when Finland was seeking its own national identity through the Karelianism movement, the most notable artists and musicians, such as Eero Järnefelt, Juhani Aho, Venny Soldan-Brofelt, Jean Sibelius, I.K.Inha and Pekka Halonen, took their motifs and themes from Koli.
It is a powerful, evocative and inspiring site for modern art, culture and architecture even for this day and age.
Winter Sport Centre
During the winter, Ukko-Koli is a busy winter sport centre. Ukko-Koli boasts the highest FIS slopes with 230 metres of height difference and 800-15000 metre-long slopes. Joint tickets allow visitors use of both the Ukko-Koli and Loma-Koli slopes, which together offer 10 ski slopes, a snowboard street and half pipe.
In addition to the slopes, there are 3 km, 5 km and 8 km scenic and hilly ski trails and a lighted track of 24 km that operates after the first snowfall in the beginning of November. Visitors can best explore the hilly landscape by joining the popular trips on snowshoes.
Hotel and Holiday Apartments
All rooms have parquet floors, a mini-bar, TV, Pay-TV and a clothes dryer. Most rooms provide a beautiful view of the Pielinen Lake. 52 of the rooms are "non-smoking"rooms and two rooms are specially equipped to accommodate the disabled. Extra beds are available upon request.
The 18 Fully furnished apartments include: A hotplate for cooking, microwave oven , toaster, coffee maker, dishwasher, TV, video cassette player, washing machine, clothes dryer, bed linen, fireplace, firewood, and a sauna.
Contact the Koli National Park Heritage Center Ukko Tel +358 13 6887 300 Fax +358 13 688 8401 E-mail: [email protected]