Published 1.9.2021

Finland and Estonia to create the first international network of hiking areas in Europe

Metsähallitus and the corresponding organisation in Estonia, the State Forest Management Center (Riigimetsa Majandamise Keskus, RMK), have established the first network of hiking areas in Europe. The purpose of the network is to promote Finnish-Estonian hiking, outdoor activities, and tourism based on hiking areas.

In this early stage, the new network, published on our website, includes eight areas. From Estonia, the network includes: Aegviidu-Korvemaa, Kiidjärve-Kooraste, Nõva, and Räpinä-Värska hiking areas. From Finland, the network comprises hiking areas in Ruunaa, Kylmäluoma, Oulujärvi, and Evo.

Hiking areas in Finland and Estonia are very similar. They can be utilised for outdoor activities, excursions, and trips in a versatile manner, as well as for forestry, hunting, and fishing. All sites have extensive hiking services with marked routes, campfire sites, and dry toilets. All sites selected for the network are nature tourism destinations which appeal to visitors in their own charming way.

In Finland, Lake Oulujärvi, for example, has great sandy beaches and beautiful dry pine forests for easy outdoor activities. In Estonia, the Nõva hiking area presents enormous and spectacular dunes and magnificent sandy beaches by the sea on the Gulf of Finland bay.

“Nature tourism has been an increasing trend during the coronavirus pandemic, and after the pandemic, local tourism will be an interesting option alongside long-distance tourism,” believes Juha S. Niemelä, Director General of Metsähallitus. “Finnish hiking areas are already attractive for Estonians, who value our fishing and hunting opportunities in particular,” Niemelä continues.

“In our cooperation with Estonians, the aim is to increase sustainable local tourism in a controlled manner also through digital means, improve the awareness on hiking areas, and thus improve the operating conditions of entrepreneurs responsible for the services in our hiking areas, as well as the positive economic impacts of these areas”, Niemelä summarises.

“The possibilities offered by the RMK for nature activities are highly appreciated among Estonians. Our hiking and nature conservation areas have as many as 2.9 million visitors a year. The current cooperation project with Finnish colleagues gives Estonians an excellent opportunity to explore Finnish hiking areas, and we believe that our extensive network of hiking areas offers our Finnish visitors exciting new hiking destinations in Estonian nature”, says Aigar Kallas, Director General of the RMK.

The new websites can be found at and

Further information:
Director General Juha S. Niemelä, GSM. +358 50 500 3681.
Development Manager Jere Rauhala, GSM. +358 400 825 983,

State Forest Management Center (RMK)
Director General Aigar Kallas, GSM. +372 528 1299,
Director Marge Rammo, GSM. +372 513 7035,