Salla National Park
Salla National Park is a national park located in the municipality of Salla in the eastern part of the province of Lapland. The national park was established on January 1, 2022, and its area is 99.83 square kilometers. The national park consists of old forests and very representative small swamps, and the landforms are fells and ridges shaped by the ice age. The western part of the national park borders the Sallatunturi tourism and skiing center, the eastern part borders Finland and Russia. The urban area of Salla is located less than 10 kilometers in the northwest.
Geography and Nature
The area of Salla National Park is especially an area of old forests, very representative aapa plains and wooded swamps, ridges, and landforms shaped by the ice age and erosion. Iso Pyhätunturi and Pieni Pyhätunturi, or Sallatunturi, open up views of the surrounding fell landscape. On Kaunisharju, at an altitude of about 300–400 meters, natural forests of different ages and spruces over 200 years old, partly damaged by cannons, grow. Julmoiva's area, on the other hand, is a more lush grove-like forest with stripes and groups of aspens. Height variations in the area are added by the impressive gorge valley Aatsinghauta, sometimes up to 250 meters deep, with special concentrations of endangered species at its bottom and slopes. In the area, for example, the highly endangered lime and Canadian dwarf moss (Antrodia crassa and Tyromyces canadensis) as well as lime frost and small notch moss (Palustriella commutata and Lophozia ascendens) grow. The dolomite rock outcrops of Könkänmaa, closely related to Aatsinghauta, also have particularly significant, nationally endangered limestone rock moss species. In addition, the habitat directive species Saxifraga hirculus and Lapland buttercup (Coptidium lapponicum) occur in the Sallatunturi area.
Routes and attractions
The national park has several routes suitable for day hiking, and together with the network of routes in the nearby area, it is possible to do a longer hike. The national UKK hiking trail runs through the national park. There are five cabins and two huts in Salla National Park. In addition, there are several cabins, homes and day cabins in the vicinity of the national park. It is planned to renovate the already existing service structures and trail systems after the establishment of the national park, as well as build a new wilderness hut. At the beginning of 2022, Salla National Park did not yet have a management and use plan. The highest point of the national park is the 477-meter high Iso Pyhätunturi in its western part, which together with the Pieni Pyhätunturi to the south, which is not part of the national park, forms Sallatunturi. At the top of Iso Pyhätunturi, there is a lookout tower and good views of the national park, but also of more distant fells such as Rukatunturi of Kuusamo (70 kilometers to the south), Pyhätunturi of Pelkosenniemi (75 kilometers to the northwest), as well as the old Sallatunturi and Rohmoiva located on the Russian side. Pahaojankuru, located in the middle of the national park, is a steep and rocky gorge Along the Pahaoja stream. The gorge has a fire place and a marked trail runs along its edge in the Scots pine forest. At the southern end of the national park is the wild Kolmiloukkonen pond, with shelters on the opposite shores. The place is very suitable for families because it is close to the parking area. In the southern part, there is also the piney Kaunisharju, formed by two successive ridges, Hanhiharju and Kauniinhaudanharju, along regional road 950. There are views to the north from Harju, and there is a covered observation point for natural phenomena and a porch.
On February 26, 2019, the municipality of Salla submitted an initiative to the Ministry of the Environment to find out the conditions for the establishment of the Salla National Park and prepare the establishment. Initiatives had been made to the Ministry of the Environment to establish a national park at four other sites as well. The Ministry of the Environment prepared a national park initiative