Hossa charms with its clear waters and unique experiences
Text and photos: Marjaana Tasala
This year 2017 is very special to us Finns, because our beloved home country is turning respectably 100 years old! There have already been all kinds of celebrations going on through Finland, but one major occasion worth mentioning is the newest addition to Finnish National Parks – Hossa. Oh Hossa, a true paradise for anyone keen on pristine northern wilderness. Its clear waters lure you to hop on your kayak and enjoy the peaceful stillness. Its meandering paths through wild green forests and rugged rocks invite you to a nature adventure you will never forget.
Fascinating nature attractions with diverse wildlife
Imagine a mystical landscape full of ridges formed by Ice Age glaciers, and a mosaic dotted by over a hundred crystal clear lakes and ponds. Some of them might be the most clear ones you have ever seen! Like Lake Öllöri, which is situated next to Hossa Visitor Centre. Or narrow Muikkupuro Stream, which campfire site is one of the most attractive places to have a well deserved break between your hiking or paddling trip through Hossa National Park.
Finland’s biggest canyon lake, Julma-Ölkky, and its 50 meters high rocky walls can be found from Hossa, too. This massive natural formation is actually best viewed from the lake, so grab a canoe and paddle in your own pace or hop on a cruise boat, which will take you to a 30 minute long ride from shore to shore.
The wildlife in Hossa is like nowhere else, because the king of Finnish forests lives around there. While you are unlikely to meet a brown bear on the park’s hiking paths, you are almost sure to encounter one on an organized bear safari. Santa’s little helpers, reindeers, also belong to Hossa’s scenery along with the Siberian jay and many other bird and wild animal species.
Unique history telling its stories from the stone age
Finlands former president Urho Kekkonen loved Hossa’s scenery so much, that he was planning to be a permanent resident there after retiring. Unfortunately, he didn’t ever have the chance to move there, but as a passionate fisherman he visited Hossa several times.
But historically the most valuable thing in Hossa might be the famous Värikallio rock paintings. On the surface of the rock wall along an ancient water route are over 60 separate figures illustrating the traditional northern worldview. The paintings are estimated to be even 4500 years old and are a definite must see destination if you are visiting the area.
Activities whole year round (and for families too)
On summer time clear waters and whispering pine forests invite Hossa’s visitors to activities like diving, trekking, canoeing, fishing, supping, berry and mushroom picking – you name it. There are 100 kilometers of marked hiking trails, so all the best natural spots are easily accessible by foot or cross-country bike. If you would like to roam Hossa’s wonders with a canoe, 60 kilometers of water routes will provide you enough canoeing for days.
Or is stillness something you are looking for? You are definitely in a right place. Hossa’s peaceful atmosphere will calm you down and instructed yoga and mindfulness moments are of course available too. Relaxing quietness of the wilderness will charge your batteries like nothing else before.
Hossa is an excellent destination for families with children too! Most of the marked hiking routes are easy and perfect for little feet to lumber. The National Park also provides trails that are suitable for people with reduced mobility, so these routes are accessible by baby carriage or wheelchair.
During the snowy white winter months cross-country skiing, snowmobiling and snow shoeing are one of the most popular activities. But you mustn’t forget a true Finnish winter experience – a refreshing dip in icy water! Because believe it or not, swimming in a hole in the ice leaves you feeling fantastic. And of course you can do it straight from the warmth of a wood heated sauna.
Where to stay and how to get there?
There are several resorts and other accommodation possibilities in the surrounding area. You can choose to lodge in one of the cozy cabins, lean-to shelters or wilderness hut or even hotel and of course camping is possible too. But remember, campfires are only permitted in spots designated for this purpose.
Was that convincing enough for you to pack your bags and travel to north-eastern Finland? Flights from Helsinki to Kuusamo and Kajaani will take you quite near, and from the airport it is easy to reach the park by a rental car.
Accommodation in Hossa: check out the large selection of rental cottages near Hossa National Park