Sights in Syöte National Park
Syöte Visitor Centre
Syöte Visitor Centre was opened in the beginning of 2003. It is located at Syöte Tourist Center at the foot of Iso-Syöte Fell. The building of the Visitor Centre is a sight in itself; it has been built of massive logs, made of pines from Lapland. There is an exhibition about the natural features of the National Park and the history of the land use in the area. The Visitor Centre also has guides, auditorium for 60 people, and a café-restaurant. The hiking and cross-country skiing trails of the National Park start at the parking area of the Visitor Centre.
Portinkuru and Vattukuru Ravines
In Maaselkä area there are two ravines: Portinkuru and Vattukuru. They were formed by the melting waters of the Ice Age about 10 000 years ago, when the water, which had been trapped between the hill slope and the ice sheet, burst out in the depression between the hills. The terrain at Portinkuru Ravine is quite difficult. The ravine is 20 metres deep at some places, and in its northern end there is a small lake.
UKK Trail from Syöte towards south goes along the western side of the ravine, on the top of Olkimaa Hill. UKK Trail is a long national hiking route named after a former president of Finland, Urho Kaleva Kekkonen.
Vattukuru Ravine is easier to reach. From Syöte you can drive on the road 862 towards Taivalkoski a couple of kilometres, after which there is a sign where to turn for Vattukuru. In and around Vattukuru there is a 2,1-km-long Nature Trail with duckboards at some places. There is a lean-to shelter by the trail.
Rytivaara Crown Tenant Farm
The Rytivaara Crown Tenant Farm was built in 1852. Many generations have lived there in middle of this wilderness. If you wish to familiarise yourself with the tenant farmers' tough life, you should first take a look at the permanent exhibition of the Syöte Visitor Centre. In addition to the photographs and texts, you can listen to stories recorded by local inhabitants. You can reach the Rytivaara Crown Tenant Farm by following the signposts from Syötekylä village to the Ukonvaara parking area, from which the walking distance to the tenant farm is about 4.5 km. On your way to the tenant farm, you can also visit the old dammed meadow on the Latolampi mire, where you can see an old hay barn, sauna and dam. Both the Latolampi and Crown tenant farm buildings have been renovated and are open to visitors.
Ahmakallio Observation Tower
A tall observation tower stands on Ahmakallio on the northern summit of Ahmavaara Hill. From the observation tower, i.e., at a height of almost 400 metres, you can admire the Syöte National Park’s hill views that open out onto the eastern side of the hill chain. In summer, the panorama is dominated by dark green spruce forests dotted with aapa mires, hanging bogs and small waterways. In autumn the national park’s landscape is dressed in bright yellow and red. In winter, the views are incredible: the snowy forest is covered with crown snow until the snow finally falls away at the end of March and the summer colours gradually return.
The observation tower can be reached all year round. The tower is located by Geologinen polku (the Geological Nature Trail). The distance from the Syöte Visitor Centre to the observation tower along a hiking trail is about 10 kilometres. You can also visit the observation tower when taking the Ahmankierros day trail (17 km), which adds about three kilometres to the hike. The distance from the Ahmatupa hut to the observation tower along a hiking trail is only 2.2 kilometres. In the cross-country skiing season, you may turn off to the observation tower from the demanding Ahmakallio skiing trail, leaving your skis close to the tower by the trail. The distance from the skiing trail to the tower is roughly one hundred metres.
Kaunislampi is a nature reserve (a primeval forest area) located on the western side of the Syöte National Park. You can explore the handsome ravine lake on the 2-km trail around Lake Kaunislampi. The cliff on the lake’s eastern shore was created in a rupture in the bedrock.
Another sight in the area is the rocky raised beach on the western side of Lake Kaunislampi. The raised beach was created when the ice sheet withdrew from the area more than 9,000 years ago. At the time, the melting glaciers formed a sea that covered the Kaunislampi area and only the hill tops were located above sea level.
At the end of your hike, take a break at the day trip hut located on the lake’s southern side. There is a connecting trail from the day trip hut to the Syöte National Park’s hiking trail network. You can reach Kaunislampi by taking a 1.9-km trail from the parking area located by Ruuhensuontie Road.
Iso-Syöte Fell, which is located on the southern side of the Syöte National Park, is considered the southernmost fell in Finland. Many fell plant species, such as the alpine bearberry, whose leaves blaze carmine-red in autumn, grow on the felltop. From the Syöte Visitor Centre, there is a 1.7-km stony trail climbing up the slopes of Iso-Syöte Fell. It joins a 0.9-km nature trail (Huippupolku, Syöte Summit Trail) that showcases the nature, views and geological history of the area. From the lookout points you can explore Syöte’s hill views and the handsome Romesuo mire.
Pyhitys (422 m) is the highest hill in the Syöte National Park, and climbing it is a journey to silence. From the Pyhitys summit you can admire the wilderness views in all directions. This destination is particularly recommended in summer and when the colours of autumn are in full bloom. Pyhitys is located in Taivalkoski, in the Salmitunturi fell area of the Syöte National Park, west of Lake Kostonjärvi.
There is a 1.5-km trail to the top of Pyhitys from the Pyhitysvaara parking area. Halfway through the trail, at the foot of Pyhitys, is the Pyhitys lean-to shelter, with a campfire site and firewood provisions, and a dry toilet.
The Pyhitysvaara parking area (located by the crossroads of Ahmaselkosentie and Siirajärventie Roads) is most easily reached from Taivalkoski by driving along Posiontie Road (863) to the north, then turning for a short while onto Koitilantie Road (8631) and continuing north along Vaarakyläntie Road and further along Siirajärventie Road. If you are coming from Posio, drive to the east along a forest road that starts on the southern side of Sirniö village and the Kuusijoki bridge. If you come from Kuusamo, turn from Kuusamontie Road (20) onto Koitilantie Road (8631) and then onto Ahmaselkosentie Road. Keep a map with you when driving on forest roads.
Puhelin: (08) 823 400
Tapahtumat 05 / 2013
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