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Bare fells climb towards the skies in the Kätkävaara region. Rivers with crystal clear waters, vast string bogs and dense forests lie in the valleys between the fells. A nature-lover feels right at home here. There are numerous different kinds of nature reserves in the Kätkävaara region. The biggest of these is the Pisavaara Strict Nature Reserve, which is the highest fell in Southern Lapland and the most strictly protected national park in Europe.
The forests are diverse. The fauna in the region consists of both arctic Lapland animals and animals of coniferous forests. The lynx, wood grouse, willow grouse, golden eagle, moose and bear inhabit the area. Indeed, it’s fairly easy to spot wild animals in the Kätkävaara region. There’s also plenty of reindeer.
The Kätkävaara region is also famous for its berries. Blueberries, lingonberries, cloudberries, cranberries and various mushrooms can be collected in the late summer and early fall.
There are also plenty of lakes, bonds, creeks and rivers for fishing. The bonds and lakes in the area offer great places for ice-fishing and regular fishing. The grayling and the trout can be caught in the Louejoki and Vaajoki rivers. Louejoki and Vaajoki rivers also provide canoeing guides.
The most popular attraction in the area is the Kätkävaara nature trail, which travels along the shores of ancient seas. The 7 km trail includes 19 separate destinations. Halfway through the trail, on top of the Kätkävaara fell, hikers will find a log hut where they can warm themselves by the fire and rest for a while. The breathtaking view from the top of the fell covers the entire Southern Lapland. The trail can be accessed from many different directions, although the best starting point is by the Kätkäjärvi Lake.
Signs of the oldest habitation in Northern Finland, thousands of years old, have been found in the Kätkävaara region. Archeologists are now eagerly studying the ancient remains.
The Kätkävaara deciduous forest reserve allows you to study various extremely rare plants. Walking in the reserve is only allowed along the duckboards. The flora in the area includes, for example, the Cypripedium calceolus and the rattlesnake fern.
The Kilsi-Ristivuoma bog reserve is a piece of fantastic wilderness west of Kätkävaara. The Kilsi region is famous for its big cloudberry yield and vast string bogs. The area is also a part of the European Union Life project because of its bird population. Kilsi is known to have a vast pine marten population. The golden eagle, bean goose, whooper swan and the common crane inhabit the area. The region has a few deserted cabins, and the Vaajärvi Lake at the heart of the reserve is filled with fish.
The Pisavaara Strict Nature Reserve was founded in 1938. It is approximately 50 square kilometers in area, and it includes the highest point of Southern Lapland, the Liljalaki of Pisavaara. Extremely rare species of mushroom, polyporaceae and insects have been found in the reserve. Pisavaara is cut off by the Vähäloma canyon. Kätkävaara’s Nature Center organizes short trips and guided tours in the area. The nature reserve may not be accessed without separate permission.
During the winter, ski tracks are made in the Kätkävaara region. Kemi and Rovaniemi can be reached via snowmobile routes. The northern slope of Kätkävaara fell creates a natural ski slope with a log hut on top.
Over the past few years, several mining companies have claimed areas in the Kätkävaara region. For example gold and copper have been found in the soil. The locals can still remember a gold quarry shut down in the 1960s. Gold was panned in the 19th century in the creeks of Pisavaara. Some launder structures still remain to remind us of those times.
Kätkävaara also offers versatile hunting opportunities. The moose, gamefowl and rabbit populations in the area are very dense. Hunting permits and guide services can be obtained from the Nature Center. The hunting areas of Metsähallitus are also available. Moose hunting trips are organized in cooperation with local hunting clubs.
Tourism in the Kätkävaara region has remained fairly small-scale, so you can still find genuine nature and peace in the area. More information on Kätkävaara and the nature in the area can be obtained from Kätkävaara’s Nature Center via e-mail. You can book a room or cabin at the same time.