In the flooded valley of Pyhäjoki

On the second week of our volunteering period in Pallas-Yllästunturi National Park we were accommodated  in the Pakasmaa residence, a house maintained by Metsähallitus and where President Urho Kekkonen himself had visited several times as a friend of Viljo and Esteri Pakasmaa. A stone’s throw away from the house lies the lovely yet fairly well hidden Pyhäjoki (Holy River) Nature Trail. I recommend walking it counter-clockwise so all the good stuff takes place in the end.

It starts off as a common footpath through the woods, something you’d expect from a Finnish Nature Trail. You got your informational sign posts and trees to lure you into walking forward and maybe learn a thing or two. The first info sign tells you about the research going on in the area: big funnels collecting falling seeds and numbered trees all around. A small creek runs next to the trail. A large valley of ferns arouses your interest. It’s not so common after all. It’s a rare sight in Lapland but the flooding river nourishes the ground enough for the ferns to flourish.

Once you start hearing the roar of the rapids, prepare yourself. It will be impressive. First you’ll see smaller creeks and streams and other miniature waterfalls and then larger and larger masses of coursing water. The almost intimidating sound made our ears ring but it was so damn pretty to look at. Pyhäjoki descends into a calm pond and returns into its more violent form as it starts again under a bridge.

After the thunderous water show the trail goes uphill and into a rocky field and then to a marsh. Local National Park guide trainees have replaced the old boardwalks earlier this Summer so crossing the marsh is easy.

This place was by far one of our absolute favorites in the Pallas area, do not miss it!



In August through September of 2016 we were volunteering at Pallas-Ylläs National Park. We applied a new coat of paint to several huts and other buildings, first in Hetta’s Pyhäkero and later around the vicinity of Pallaskota. Everything involving this particular experience can be found under the tag National Park Volunteers. That and The earlier adventure aka our first Lapland hike can be found here.

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