New national park to the Barents Region in 2017

Photo: Jyri Mikkola

Finland will establish a new national park to Hossa situating in Suomussalmi municipality in Kainuu region. The new Hossa National Park in Kainuu, Finland will be established to celebrate Finland’s 100 years of independence.

The nature in Hossa is very diverse. In the area there are three main waterways meeting and over 100 of clear-watered lakes and ponds. Also considerable amount of mires situate in Hossa. The forests are mainly pine dominated. However, in the western part of the area also spruce-dominated forests occur. The area is well-known for the chain of esker ridges and other signs from the last Ice Age as well as for the canyon lake Julma Ölkky.

The Hossa area has had a colorful history of man and nature for thousands of years. It is an old Sami hunting area and its waterways have been used for travelling between Lake Ladoga and Arctic Ocean as well as between Gulf of Bothnia and White Sea. The 3,500 years old Värikallio rock paintings are the oldest prehistoric rock paintings in Finland. One of the main criteria of Hossa being appointed for a new national park was the role it has had in the history of independent Finland.

Photo: Jyri Mikkola

Hossa is already now very popular among the hikers and other visitors and it won the award of the best nature destination in Finland in 2014. At the moment Hossa has a status of National Hiking Area and there is a good infrastructure for nature tourism already in place as well as a Visitor Centre. The total area of the new national park is roughly 11,000 hectares and it belongs to the Natura 2000 network. A new national park will include some additional high conservation value areas that were earlier threatened by human impact. National Park status is a stricter protection regime, which will increase the level of protection of Hossa area.

The new Hossa National Park will also be a significant addition to the network national parks in the Green Belt Fennoscandia.