Oulanka National Park is nature’s own amusement park without the need for any rides. Visitors, enchanted by the majestic Oulankajoki and Kiutaköngäs Rapids, stop by the river to listen to and admire its rage. You can feel the roar rumble through your body when standing by the bank of the rapids. Steps towards Oulanka!
Established in 1956, Oulanka National Park has an area of 290 km². It is located in Kuusamo and Salla in the Koillismaa uplands. To the east, Oulanka National Park has borders with Russia and Paanajärvi National Park, which was established in 1992. The national parks cooperate on a continuous basis. As a measure of its valuable nature and high-quality hiking services, Oulanka National Park was granted a PAN Parks certificate in 2002. The certificate was renewed in 2007.
Oulanka National Park is the most popular summer destination in the Ruka-Kuusamo tourist area. The area boasts the most valuable natural sights in Kuusamo: the swift flowing rivers, the canyons, the waterfalls and the wilderness landscape. The national park is visited annually by about 180,000 people. The famous Karhunkierros Trail runs through the park and there are several shorter day-trip trails, such as the popular Pieni Karhunkierros Trail and the Oulanka Canyon and Kiutaköngäs Day-trip Trails.
Oulanka National Park is a unique and versatile combination of northern, southern and eastern natural features. The area is home to a large variety of bird species and rare plants. Among Oulanka’s specialities are the calypso (the park’s floral emblem), the Tartar catchfly and the lady’s slipper, which visitors can admire on hiking and canoeing excursions.
The River Oulankajoki, which runs through Oulanka National Park, floods every spring. This dramatic event causes changes to the riverside and brings nutrients to the meadows, thus maintaining living conditions for several species. The spring flood usually takes place in mid-May.
You are welcome to admire the surging rapids of Oulanka!