The word Aihki is believed to be of Sami origin and it means an old pine tree. Aihkimänty, or ancient pine, is the old sage of the forest. The importance of pine trees to the ancient dwellers of this area is also reflected in the names of other places around Salla, such as Petservaara. The word Petser may be derived from an old Sami word for the pine tree.
Imagine the sense of peace and freedom! Only you and your thoughts.
The Aihkipetsi trail takes you through wilderness and traditional hunting grounds. Hunting was always essential for survival in this area. The many hunting pits found in the municipality are evidence of the region’s rich history of deer hunting.
On the Aihkipetsi trail you won’t get a signal on your mobile phone. Imagine the sense of peace and freedom! Being away from everything, in the middle of nowhere. Only you and your thoughts. Are you chasing your thoughts, or are your thoughts chasing you? Chasing you somewhere?
Pause for a moment to rest at the lean-to at the Kolmiloukkonen pond, the Siskelilampi hut or the Aihkipetsi day hut. Let your thoughts drift to a place without time or journeys. How relative it all really is! How large is the mighty ancient pine. And how small. How small are you as one human being in the stream of life?
The timeless pine trees point to the blue sky. Being in the middle of nowhere affords you the great feeling of being small.
Trail difficulty rating
Services on the trail:
The trail is indicated with red square signs and along the Hanhivaara-Paltsarikumpu-Aihkipetsi stretch with blue square signs. There are several resting places along the trail. There are lean-tos at Kolmiloukkonen, Hanhilampi, Hevosoja, Paltsarikumpu and Siskelilampi, and a day hut in Aihkipetsi. The trail crosses a few dikes that provide a source of water. There are also several ponds that can be used as a source of water for boiling.
Trail conditions, related risks and recommended equipment
The trail is narrow and uneven in places. Recommended footwear: in the summer season, waterproof high-cut hiking boots or rubber boots.
Description of the natural environment
There is a more wilderness-like section in the Aihkipetsi and Paltsarikumpu area. The trail also includes commercial forest, bogs and bog ponds.
Description of the cultural environment
There are magnificent old pine forests around the Aihkipetsi day hut.
Located in southern Salla on the UKK Trail between Hautajärvi and Sallatunturi. The trail can be accessed from Salla Reindeer Park, approximately 14 kilometres from Salla towards Kuusamo. The trail can also be accessed from the Aihkipetsi end. From Salla, drive about 20 kilometres towards Kuusamo. Turn right at Kallunkijärvi and drive about seven kilometres on the gravel road. There are signposts for the trail along the road.