The nature surrounding Aalistunturi

The Aalistunturi region encompasses the pristine natural terrain spanning the municipalities of Kolar and Pello. With its picturesque valleys and captivating scenery, it provides nature enthusiasts with unforgettable hiking adventures and remarkable outdoor experiences.

On a clear day, the summit of Aalistunturi offers breathtaking panoramic views that extend as far as Yllästunturi in Kolar and Pallastunturi in Muonio, creating an awe-inspiring sight. However, it’s important to note that hiking in the Aalistunturi region requires proper preparation and experience. Make sure to familiarize yourself with the trail conditions, weather forecasts, and safety guidelines before setting off on your adventure. Additionally, packing essential supplies, wearing appropriate clothing and footwear, and staying hydrated are crucial for a successful and enjoyable hike in this stunning wilderness.

"I see dead trees standing and fallen, and finally the landscape. It is breathtaking. A row of majestic fells stretching far into the horizon, lakes, and swamplands tinged yellow in the heat."

Naturally developed

In the Aalistunturi area, there are abundant naturally developed forests that have emerged after forest fires or logging activities. These areas, designated as commercial forests, are rich in biodiversity and play a crucial role in improving the conservation status of the region.

To the north of Aalistunturi begins the Aapa-Lappi region, while the Peräpohjola ridge extends southwards. Many consider the area to represent central and southern boreal peatlands in terms of its wetland vegetation.

Significant portions of the proposed national park area in Aalistunturi have never undergone intensive land cultivation, as most clear-cuttings occurred between the 1950s and 2010s. A considerable portion of the area is either outside the scope of forestry or subject to specific restrictions and guidelines.

It could be beneficial to implement selective logging in the even-aged and thinned commercial forests within the region.

Untouched lakes and flowing waters

In the Aalistunturi region, you’ll find the majority of Kolari’s pristine lakes and ponds with rugged shorelines, untouched by development. These bodies of water offer a serene and untouched environment. While some of the flowing waters in the area were once modified for log floating, they have managed to maintain their natural channels and gradually evolved towards a more authentic state over the years.

Furthermore, voluntary efforts in collaboration with the Metsähallitus (Finnish Forest Administration) have led to small-scale restoration projects in the flowing waters, contributing to their natural rejuvenation.

The strategic location of the Aalistunturi area makes it an essential destination for outdoor enthusiasts. It serves as a haven for fishing, berry picking, hunting, and various recreational activities. Additionally, the area plays a pivotal role in the preservation of reindeer husbandry, serving as the primary winter grazing grounds for the Kolari reindeer herding cooperative.

An encounter with diverse nature

Aalistunturi region offers a rich variety of forest and wetland habitats, showcasing diverse ecosystems such as sun-exposed slopes, naturally evolved pine forests, and lush fern-filled marshes. The landscape we see today took shape approximately 10,000 years ago, molded by the powerful forces of the Ice Age that swept across the Finnish terrain.

The remnants of the Ice Age have left their mark on Aalistunturi. Thanks to the southern slope of the fell and geological movements in Roukoselkä, the area boasts an exceptionally vibrant and flourishing vegetation, which can be admired not only on the ground but also through captivating aerial photographs and thermal maps.

Abundant in the area are indicator species of ancient forests, as well as remarkable nature-value species that thrive in the presence of ample decaying wood and fallen trees.

Geological treasure trove

The Aalistunturi region is a geological treasure trove. Its diverse geology is not only evident in its colorful array of species and varied habitats but also in the unique composition of soils, rocky formations, and ever-changing landforms. 

Exploring the area is a captivating and enriching experience, thanks to its remarkable geodiversity. The prominent features of the Aalistunturi region are its majestic peaks and extensive ridges, spanning an impressive length of up to 22 kilometers. 

Additionally, the presence of enchanting fen-like areas adds an authentic mountain ambiance to the already lush and diverse landscape. As you walk along these ancient formations, you’ll be immersed in their grandeur and gain a deeper appreciation for the intricate processes that have shaped the land.

A haven for wildlife

The area proposed for Aalistunturi National Park has never undergone a comprehensive species inventory. However, it is known to be home to a variety of animal species. The vegetation in the area is also noteworthy. 

Among the animals inhabiting the Aalistunturi region are the wolverine, perch, grayling, pike, Ural owl, lynx, black-throated diver, brown bear, raven, Eurasian curlew, crane, Siberian jay, Arctic tern, whooper swan, golden eagle, beaver, capercaillie, Eurasian minnow weasel, black woodpecker, northern bat, three-toed woodpecker, reindeer, ptarmigan, whitefish, brown trout, black grouse, and northern hawk-owl.

Additionally, two unspecified species of clams and one unidentified snail species can be found there.