The Elimyssalo Nature Reserve represents Kainuu's old-growth taiga forest nature at its best.
Located near Finland's eastern border, the reserve forms a central part of the Friendship Park, which consists of five separate nature reserves mainly located in the municipality of Kuhmo
There are several trails of varying lengths to choose from in Elimyssalo. The area has a total of 24 km of hiking trails. The rather easy-to-walk, clearly signposted trails take the hiker through a tapestry of mires and heaths.
There are two unoccupied wilderness farms along the trails, Levävaara and Latvavaara. Wetland areas along the trails have duckboards.
Own drinks and snacks are recommended since there are no cafés or shops in Elimyssalo.
In the summer, hikers should protect themselves from mosquitoes (clothing, insect repellent).
Duckboards crossing mires and wetlands may be slippery in wet weather.
Tips and hints
You are also allowed to walk off-trails, but please remember, that you are not allowed to enter the frontier zone without permission from the Border Guard. The zone is clearly marked on the maps of the area.
Berry and mushroom picking is allowed in Elimyssalo. There are lingonberries (Vaccinium vitis-idaea), bilberries (Vaccinium myrtillus), bog bigberries (Vaccinium uliginosum) and crowberries (Empetrum nigrum) in the area. In mires, you can find cloudberries (Rubus chamaemorus) and cranberries (Vaccinium oxycoccus). There are also raspberries (Rubus idaeus) near the Levävaara and Latvavaara farms
Open flame is not permitted even at a campfire site if a forest fire warning has been issued.
Campfire Sites and Lean-to Shelters:
- Saari-Kiekki: a campfire site and a lean-to shelter
- Eastern end of Lake Elimysjärvi, Saunaniemi: a campfire site and a lean-to shelter
- The waters in the area are natural waters that have not been tested. You may use the water at your own risk.
- It is always advisable to boil surface water such as water from lakes, rivers and streams before drinking it, since water quality varies from one area to another.
- Use of the well on the grounds of Levävaara is not recommended. There is a spring outside the grounds and a signposted path leading to the same.
- It is recommended that you bring your own drinking water.
- There are no waste-bins in the nature reserve. Measures should be taken in advance to avoid taking unnecessary waste into the area.
Biodegradable waste should be placed in a toilet or composter, and small amounts of clean paper and cardboard can be used as kindling in a campfire. Read more about Hiking without littering.
- There are collection points at the Saari-Kiekki and Viiksimo parking areas for recycling plastic, metal, mixed waste and glass.
- There is a dry toilet near every campfire site and lean-to shelter.
- There are dry toilets also at the Saari-Kiekki and Viiksimo parking areas.
- Both Levävaara and Latvavaara have dry toilets behind the cowsheds.
- There is no public accommodation in Elimyssalo.
- Only in special cases, such as camps, it is possible to arrange accommodation in Levävaara. Overnight stays must be agreed with the Kuhmo Visitor Centre Petola.
- In summer there are sheep herders staying at the Levävaara farm. You may cuddle the sheep, but please remember, that the buildings are at the use of the sheep herders only.
Camping and Lean-to Shelters
You are allowed to camp temporarily near lean-to shelters and campfire sites.
- Lean-to shelters by Lake Saari-Kiekki and Lake Elimysjärvi
Campfire sites in Elimyskangas and Heinävaara