Officially opened on June 11, 2022, Sarah National Park is Finland’s 41st national park. Located in the Arctic Circle, it covers an area of ​​100 square kilometers in northeastern Finland.

The name comes from the area around Sarah, which covers 5,800 square kilometers (2240 ​​square miles) and has a population of only 3,400. This results in a population density of 0.6 people per square kilometer, making it one of the least populated areas in Europe.

Just west of the park is a ski resort called Saratunturi. Further down the road, there is also a village called Sarah.

Enjoy the great outdoors in all seasons

In Lapland, Finland, you can find not only exciting outdoor activities, but also peace and tranquility at the same time.Photo: Daniel Taiparet / Sara

Here in the far north, summer is the season of the midnight sun, and the sun never sets for about two months. Long daylight hours mean that you can participate in many outdoor activities such as hiking, biking, canoeing and kayaking.

In winter, Sara turns into a breathtaking snow scene. Auroras can be visible from late August to early April, but they are notorious for being difficult to predict exactly when they will appear.

Skiing is the highlight of a winter trip to Sarah. Whether it’s downhill in Saratunturi or cross-country on a vast network of trails weaving landscapes inside and outside the boundaries of the national park. Ski-related trivia: The oldest ski ever discovered in Finland, about 5,000 years old, was discovered in 1938 at Särkiaapa, about 30 km (18 miles) north of the village of Sarah.

Cross-country skiing is a great way to enjoy the forest air and beautiful scenery. There are winter walking trails and winter cycling trails as well as snowshoe trails. Some visitors even embark on a reindeer safari and even try to guide the reindeer’s sled on snow-covered terrain.

A place for adventurers and thinkers

The two and the dog go down the wooden stairs and the top of the mountain is visible in the background.

Certain areas of the hiking trail include stairs. Stairs serve the dual purpose of increasing safety and protecting sensitive terrain from people’s boots.Photo: Maija Savolainen / Salla

The dramatic ridges and canyons that accentuate the landscape of the region were carved during the last ice age, which ended about 11,000 years ago. This is geologically very recent. Spruce and pine forests are hundreds of years old and maintain a rich ecosystem.

Visitors can explore the remains of the former glacial lake Sarah, which began to melt at the end of the last ice age. The rocky coast of Sarah Ice Lake remains in the Puma Tovara area of ​​the park, which is now 240 meters (785 feet) above sea level.

The park and surrounding areas have more than 300 km (185 miles) of hiking trails. From the park’s highest peak, Iso Pyhätunturi, “you can see the entire national park and across the border into the wilderness on the Russian side,” said Paula Aspholm, Tourism and Marketing Manager at Salla.

Both artists and writers are inspired by Sarah’s tranquility. In addition to all the fast-paced outdoor activities available, it is still easy for visitors to find peace and tranquility in the vast landscape.

Save problem

Watch the video for the Save Salla campaign. In this video, Salla points out climate change by announcing a “candidate” to host the Summer Olympics.
Video: Save Salla

“Sara is one of the last real wilderness areas in Europe,” says Aspholm. It is important to preserve as much of this area as possible. Sarah National Park forms an important carbon sink in the Nordic region.Species containing xestia Syncera Moths and the American three-toed woodpecker rely on venerable trees in Sara’s primeval forest.

Today’s travelers want to make sure they travel in a responsible and sustainable way. If you’re lucky, there are online guides for responsible sightseeing in Lapland, Finland. Recommendations include keeping nature found. Stay on marked trails; choose local products and services. Respect local traditions and culture. Get proper fishing and hunting permits.

Mayor Erkki Parkkinen of Salla helped launch the Save Salla Climate Campaign. This campaign, which often uses humor to convey a message, focuses on the devastating ways climate change is affecting Sarah. One video that caught the eye on social media announced Sarah’s “candidate” to host the Olympics, the Summer Olympics, showing that climate change is shortening Sarah’s winter and changing the planet as a whole. The Save Salla website offers realistic suggestions on what individuals and businesses can do to combat climate change.

There is no admission fee Sarah National Park.. The closest transportation is Kuusamo Airport and Kemijärvi Railway Station. Visitors can choose from a variety of accommodation options, from wooden cabins to hotel rooms.

Emma de Carvalho, June 2022

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