Koli National Park

- the National Park of forested hills

With its art-inspiring lookout points, white quartzite cliffs, the shimmering Lake Pielinen, slash-and-burn woodlands and traditional landscapes; and with its excellent hiking trails, skiing trails and versatile services, Koli National Park is a wonderful destination - be it for a day trip or a wilderness trek.

Koli is one of Finland’s best known national landscapes. Although small, the area is a veritable treasure chest when it comes to natural features! There are rare geological features, a versatile array of animal species and plant species in abundance. Koli also has a lot to offer in terms of cultural heritage. It used to be a site of sacrifice. Later, it was used for slash-and-burn agriculture and, in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, it was a pilgrimage destination for Finnish artists. It was the centre of heritage and culture of the region.

Long-standing traditions maintained
In Koli, the traditional agricultural heritage is cherished. A part of the fields are slashed, burnt and re-cultivated and hay is cut each year. Traditional Finnish livestock breeds, cows and sheep, graze the National Park’s meadows. Both tourism and conservation have been considered in the park’s maintenance and management plan. The main purpose of the national park is  to serve as a place of research and nature education.

Sustainable tourism and local participation
In 2007,  Koli National Park was awarded a certificate called the European Charter for Sustainable Tourism in Protected Areas. The charter is issued by the EUROPARC Federation and valid for 5 years.

The aim of the European Charter programme is to promote tourism that is sustainable from the perspectives of nature and the environment, the local population, the regional economy and of tourists. In Koli National Park, the strategy and action plans for sustainable tourism were drawn up by the EUROPARC Federation in co-operation with 26 local businesses and associations. By committing to the programme the national park received the European Charter certificate, which is an indicator that the promotion of sustainable tourism has been observed in the park’s services and functions commendably.

For more information about Koli National Park, please visit our webpage.  

Koli National Park in brief
Established in 1991
Area 30 km2
Located in the province of Eastern Finland, North Karelia Region.
The area belongs to the towns of Lieksa (webpage in Finnish) and Joensuu and to the municipality of Kontiolahti.
The national park is managed by Metsähallitus.

Title by Photographer