Julma-Ölkky is the name of the biggest canyon lake in Finland. Ölökyn ähkäsy trail is a demanding hike around the lake with plenty of ascents and descents and spectacular views to the rugged nature.
Ölökyn ähkäsy trail, together with shorter (5 km) Ölkyn ylitys trail around canyon lake Julma-Ölkky are the most demanding circle trails in Hossa National Park, but really worth a little sweating.
Along the trail there are Ölkynperä lean-to shelter and the Ölökyn ärjä lookout point, where you can admire the blue waters of the lake and steep cliffs of the canyon.
Julma-Ölkky canyon is a fracture valley that is several kilometres long. Julma-Ölkky canyon lake was formed in it. The lake is about three kilometres long and, at its narrowest, only ten metres wide, and it is about 50 metres deep. From the surface of the lake, the rock wall rises to the heights of 50 metres. After a narrow neck of land, the canyon fracture continues for one more kilometre, taking the shape of lake Pikku-Ölkky and Ölkynlampi pond.
See detailed instructions and rules for Hossa National Park from nationalparks.fi.
There's also a possibility for a boat ride around the lake
The starting and end point of Ölkyn ähkäsy trail is at Julma-Ölkky parking area, address: Julma-Ölkyntie 86, Kuusamo. See location in Google Maps.
The distance from Ruka to Julma-Ölkky is 100 km, from Kuusamo city 77 km.
Driving from Ruka: Follow road E63 towards Kuusamo, and continue E63 towards Kajaani from the roundabout in Kuusamo. Follow road E36 from Kuusamo 29,8 km, then turn left onto Kerontie/Route 843. Drive 37,5 km and then turn right onto Julma-Ölkyntie. After driving 4,4 km, keep left to stay on Julma-Ölkyntie road. Drive 4 km and destination is on the right side of the road.
Spacious, free parking area in the starting point of the trail.