The Suomussalmi municipality is a reindeer herding area located north from Kuhmo bordering Russia to the east. The population is circa 10 000 people. Suomussalmi is a large county covering 5879km of which 602 km are covered by over 3000 lakes and ponds. The varied, pure and rich natural surroundings provide many possibilities for enjoying one´s free time: including hiking, fishing, hunting, skiing, nature and wildlife photography and picking up forest berries and mushrooms on crispy autumn days.
Suomussalmi has a long and varied history. The oldest borderline in Europe between two nations, Finland and Russia, has existed here since 1595. One of the world famous wars, The Finnish Winter War (1939-1940) took place in these same taiga forests in arctic conditions. Today there are restored dugouts, trenches, fortifications, memorials and large exhibitions telling visitors and future generations about the Raate battles.
There are two Viena Karelian villages, Kuivajärvi and Hietajärvi, which are situated in the southeast part of Suomussalmi. You can visit the Domna House, a log house built in the Karelian style to honour the memory of the rune singers.
Environmental art can be seen along the side of the E-5 highway, where a startling army of strawheads – The Silent People, stops the travellers in their tracks. The unique Soiva Metsä “Musical Forest” is a forest filled with musical instruments which not only can be played but can be admired as true pieces of art. The instruments are scattered around inviting visitors to find them.
Suomussalmi is also proud of its traditions in the area of the crafts. Local artists display and sell their high quality wood, birchbark, ceramic and textile products at the Oilola handicraft display centre.
More information about Suomussalmi: www.suomussalmi.fi