Kuhmo is a city of 10 300 inhabitants streching across to the Russian border. The Vartius international border crossing station is located in the northern part of the area.
There is a cultural event in Kuhmo every July with the international Kuhmo Chamber Music Festival and Ethno Music Festival Sommelo. Kuhmo Arts Centre provides a memorable setting for their concerts, but also for conferences, theatre and dance. The history of the Finnish national epic can be discovered in the national Information Centre for Kalevala and Karelian culture.
Among the fabulous scenery, the land of lakes, wolves, bears and wolverines, Kuhmo is the home of enterprising, hospitable and skilled people who invite tourists to enjoy the fishing in the solitude of the rapids, listen to the wolves howl, see the bears and simply relax.
Petola Visitor Centre provides an opportunity to study the life and habits of large carnivores without actually entering the forests. But we highly recommend you participate on the wildlife watching programme which gives you the chance to observe the animals in their natural environment. In addition to the magnificent experiences, the memories will stay with you forever.
More information about Kuhmo: www.kuhmo.fi
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 5879 km 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
Hossa - Combination of nature and attractions
Hossa is a little village in the northern part of Suomussalmi municipality, but it is also something else – something ancient. The beautiful eskers and crystal-clear waters have attracted people thousands of years. Therefore, it is not a surprise that Hossa became the commemorative national park for Finland’s 100th year of independence in 2017.
The magnificent wilderness of Hossa is an excellent combination of nature and attractions. The hiking and biking trails running along pine heaths invite you to relax by clear waters. The unique canyon lake Julma-Ölkky and its surroundings give an impression of the rougher beauty of the northern part of the national park.
Open stretches of lakes, gently flowing rivers and roaring rapids make Hossa an ideal destination for canoeing and fishing. In winter you are welcome to ski, ride a fat bike or go snowshoeing on the on the maintained tracks or in the unbeaten snow.
Hossa is known for its nature, but it is rich in culture as well. The rock paintings at Värikallio Cliffs and Julma-Ölkky give a glimpse to the ancient beliefs and myths. The traces of former loggings and log rafting as well as meadow culture, tar burning and reindeer husbandry tell their history about the way of life in the old days.
In Hossa area you can stay overnight in a cottage, in an apartment or an open wilderness hut. There are also camping grounds for caravans and tents. Meals and program services are organized according to your wishes, and there is also rental equipment available.
More information about Hossa: www.nationalparks.fi/hossa and www.hossa.fi