The outdoor guide to Koli national park in Finland

Koli National Park is one of Finland’s four main national parks, located in the east of the country in the North Karelia region.

The main feature of the park is the view on the giant lake from its three peaks of the same name—the highest in Southern Finland. This landscape is included in the list of 27 national landscapes of the country. In total, there are 7 named mountains in Koli National Park.

The highest and the most prominent mountain is Ukko-Koli (347 m / 1,138 ft).

Ivan Kuznetsov
Outdoor writer from the Dolomites, Italy, and Karelia, Finland

— The park was founded relatively recently, in 1991, but the name far predates the establishment of the park itself.

The total area of the park is 30 sq km (11.5 sq mi). If you look at its map, you can see that it extends from north-north-west to south-south-east.

The park is named after its highest mountain, Koli, which consists of three peaks. In addition to Ukko-Koli, these are also Akka-Koli (338 m / 1,109 ft) and Paha-Koli (331 m / 1,086 ft).

All three peaks are named after pagan gods worshipped by ancient inhabitants of this place, who lived here before the arrival of the Finno-Ugric tribes from the eastern edges of Europe. The hills were considered holy places, where the gods lived. People made ritual sacrifices to the gods in the hope of successful hunting or fishing.

The name of the park in Finnish is Kolin kansallispuisto.

Read more in my outdoor guide to Koli national park on the website of the PeakVisor app — leading AR (augmented reality) app for mountain peaks identification with tens of other great features for outdoor enthusiasts.


Cover photo: Koli.fi.

Subscribe to weekly newsletter — get my new travel book