If you want to spend a little more time interacting with the dogs one-on-one, then we can offer a variety of short (or even multi-day) hikes on the 'off-the-beaten-track' trails around Hetta. Hiking with the huskies can be just as rewarding as mushing with them. You get a lot of time interacting directly with your dog and they always show their appreciation of being able to do something out of the ordinary.
Whilst most of the hikes described here are best attempted in the 'non-snow' months, some are also possible in winter if you also hire snowshoes. In either case, the dogs are attached to you with a skijoring line clipped to a waistbelt, so there is no fear that you will accidentally let them go.
One trail which can be explored in both summer and winter leads out straight from the centre of the village on the illuminated ski track. It soon breaks off along the 'reindeer' boardwalks and then returns to the main paths via a seldom visited ridge between the large marshes. This is a really pretty trail that normally takes c. 2 hours to complete. It is slightly less physical than the ridge option described below, but there are not as many 'turn-around' places on it for young children if they decide that they do not want to go any further.
All of these trails are described in more detail, in our Hidden Hetta Hiking section.
Duration: c. 2 hours
Price: Adults €60, Children €35, Families €175 (<5, inc. up to 2 adults)
A particular favourite with the guides is a beautiful ridge walk c. 4km from the far end of Hetta which is seldom discovered by visitors to the area. The ridge trails crisscross each other many times, giving multiple vantage points to a river on one side and a wilderness lake on the other. It is a particularly fun trail for children since they can make decisions as to which path to take at every junction and you needn't worry about becoming lost since all paths come back together in the end. This is normally offered either as a 2-hour product in summer or a half-day hike out to the far end of the ridge, returning along the shore-line of the lake.
Duration: c. 2.5 hours
Price: Adults €70, Children €45, Families €200 (<5, inc. up to 2 adults)
A slightly longer hiking path that is a favourite of ours on our days off is the 18km Pahtajarvi loop which follows a skyline trail to the North of Hetta and returns beside a spectacular gorge. The trail is marked with blue signs and the hike generally takes between 5 and 6 hours to complete, including a stop for lunch break in a wilderness cabin.
On this trail, your dog will carry its own water and snacks on its back in a 'doggy rucksack' so you will have no extra weight to carry for them. The trail can be reached either from the school or nature centre from the lit jogging track that goes in the direction of the Paljasselkä Fell.
At Sissanginselkä the Pahtajärvi Trail turns west and the trail to Näkkälä continues to the north. After the Närpistönjoki lean-to shelter, the Pahtajärvi Trail turns south towards Pahtajärvi.
The most rugged landscape along the trail is at Lake Pahtajärvi, where the lake is down in a canyon and the trail leads along the upper slopes on its east side. There are beautiful wetlands along the trail, where an abundance of Globe Flowers (Trollius europaeus) and the Wood Crane's-bills (Geranium sylvaticum) grow. Just before the village of Hetta, the Pahtajärvi Trail joins the lit jogging track along which you may return to Skierri. The last kilometre of the trail goes along the Peurapolku Trail. There are information boards or signposts in the branches of the Pahtajärvi trail. There are duckboards on the trail but despite that you will need waterproof hiking boots.
Lake Pahtajärvi is a long and narrow lake which flows through a steep gorge on the north side of Hetta. Although getting there involves either a 5km hike or a longer round-trip by skis, it is worth the effort to see the steep cliff walls on both side of the lake. During winter a skiing trail leads across the lake and during summer hikers can admire the area from Pahtajärvi Trail.
Services: The Sissanki rentable hut (Sissangin kota) is located between Sissanginselkä and Paljässelkä and normally kept locked, but can be rented for overnight stays. The Närpistö lean-to shelter is located at the trail’s halfway point.
On this trail, your dog will carry its own water and snacks on its back in a 'doggy rucksack' so you will have no extra weight to carry for them.
Duration: 5 - 6 hours including a stop for a lunch break eaten around an open fire in a wilderness kota.
Price: Adults €95, Children €55, Families €250 (<5, inc. up to 2 adults)
The Jyppyrä Trail (1.6 km)
In earlier times Jyppyrä was considered a place of worship and small sacrifices used to be made at the site of an ancient seita rock (a holy rock) situated near the top of the hill. According to local legend, this rock was rolled into Lake Ounasjärvi in the 1800s in an attempt by local missionaries to put a stop to pagan worship.
Today, various nature trails which set out from the Fell Lapland Nature Centre not only highlight such historical insights but also provide information on the local flora and fauna.
The shortest trail through the Jyppyrä Nature Reserve is a circular route trail, which climbs through the Jyppyrä Nature Reserve ascends from the yard of the Skierri Fell Lapland Nature Centre to the summit of Jyppyrävaara Hill on a small forest trail and then descends via a well-maintained wooden staircase. The trail has been marked with red-painted sun symbols, and there are steps, information boards and a rest spot along the trail. The information boards tell you about the area's history: the customs of the Midsummer celebration and the seida rocks.
Jyppyrävaara Hill itself is covered by pine dominated forest, dotted with birches as well as aspen and mountain ash. There are only a few lone spruce trees in the area, as the northern growth line of spruce is 20 km south of the area. At the summit, a campfire shelter provides the perfect vantage point for the surrounding area. The surrounding fell landscape astounds visitors with its beauty time after time.
In the autumn allow yourself plenty of time since you will no doubt be distracted by all of the abundant varieties of Lappish berries that can be found along the sides of the trail.
Services: A look-out campfire shelter at the top of Jyppyrä Hill.
SLearn more about the history, trails and hunting pits in the Jyppyrä Nature Reserve, here.
FYI: There is also a permanent orienteering course and a frisbee golf course in the Jyppyrä Nature Reserve, and you can rent maps and equipment for both from the Nature Centre.
Peurapolku Nature Trail (2 km)
This marked (with a hoof print) trail has its starting point at Fell Lapland Nature Centre Skierri and is the most accessible trail. Whilst it has negligible ascent, it is still interesting as a classic example of a Scandinavian board-walk trail, with illustrated information boards (in Finnish) about the history of the wild forest reindeer hunting that was prolific in that area, historically. The trail leads along level easy to cross terrain on the south side of Jyppyrä Hill. The following trails go via the Peurapolku Trail: Kuntopolku Trail and the Palosenjärvi and Pahtajärvi Trails.
There are several old hole traps, game running fences and boards with information on hunting along the trail. The trail is marked with poles that have hoof prints. The path eventually forms a ring at the end of the one-kilometre trail. You can return to Skierri along the same trail. There are also information boards along the trail describing old reindeer hunting methods and wild reindeer that were hunted to extinction. There are several remains of hunting pits along the Peurapolku Trail. They are protected by the Antiquities Act, which is why hikers must keep to the path.
Juhannuspolku Trail & Postipolku Trail, 1-2 km
You still see these trails advertised but actually, they have been superseded by a new trail network that has grown up following the development of the downhill ski resort in the Jyppyra area. Hence, check out the latest trail maps for the most recent information.
The Kuntopolku Trail (4 km)
This also starts from the Skierri yard between the two buildings. The trail has been marked with green marks. The first part of the trail goes along the same route as the path that leads to the top of Jyppyrä Hill. The trail goes around the hilltop from the eastern side, and at the midway point it joins with the lit jogging track. The trail returns to Skierri along the same route as the Peurapolku Trail.
The Palosenjärvi Trail (9.5 km)
Again, this starts from the Skierri yard between the two buildings. The trail has been marked with brown marks. It circles around the Jyppyrävaara hilltop from the eastern side and goes across the upper circle of the lit jogging track and continues across Jyppyränselkä. On the slope of the Paljasselkä Fell, the trail branches off from the Pahtajärvi Trail and turns south towards the centre of Hetta. Lake Palosenjärvi remains on the eastern side of the trail. At the point where the trail meets the lit jogging track, it turns to the northeast. You can return to Skierri along the Peurapolku Trail. The entire trail has been marked with brown marks.