November 8, 2014

Oulanka National Park

When Karl, Raylan and I went up to Lapland last month (click here for blog post about the whole trip), we went hiking.  We went hiking in Oulanka National Park which is so close to the Russian border, that is actually borders with Paanajärvi National Park in Russia.  We spent the night in a nearby ski town and headed out relatively early in the morning to start our hike.  

Oulanka National Park is in the middle of nowhere it seems, gravel roads for about thirty minutes with the occasional sighting of a car or reindeer.  Then we got to the park and the had a rather large and nice visitor center (quite unexpectedly due to the remoteness).  We were informed that the longest hike in that area was only 6km, but if you drive all the way back out of the park and then up and around the park and then all the way back in from the top... you could find another hiking place with an 8km hike.  We decided to do both.  The lady looked at us like we were crazy and told us that each one was its own 'day hike'.  

6 km + 9 km = 15 km (9.32 miles)  

We headed off and had a very enjoyable day, and had no problem finishing both hikes.  We didn't quite manage to tire out Raylan but we did get some beautiful pictures. 

The whole hike looked something like this! 
Crystal clear water!
The whole park was so nice!  There were fire pits every few kilometers with hot dog sticks and even wood!  They also provided axes and saws.  Something you would never see back home. 
Interesting walking paths to preserve the vegetation.  Raylan totally stayed on the proper path. 
Used during WWII for Finland to look out down at the river for boats coming through this area of the river. The river flows throughout the park from Russia. 

Karl being Karl. 

Raylan found the muddiest place in all of Finland and decided to bathe in it.
Celebrating the muddiness.
The dirty puppy.
The mud rinsing off.

If you couldn't tell... he is on a cliff. 

Super cool swinging bridge! Raylan did not love it.

xoxo Cacilie

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