Published 18.3.2020

Reservable and rental huts at hiking destinations will be closed

In order to slow down the spread of the coronavirus, bookings for reservable and rental huts handled by Metsähallitus Parks & Wildlife Finland will be cancelled as of 21 March 2020.

In particular, such huts are found in national parks, other protected areas and wilderness areas. Some of those who made bookings have already set off with the key to the hut, however, and for safety reasons they will use the hut for the duration of their reservation.

Metsähallitus Parks & Wildlife Finland will cancel all bookings for reservable and rental huts, reservable Lapp and turf huts handled by it at its hiking destinations until the end of May, and no new bookings will be taken. For the time being, the saunas at the destinations must not be used.

The cancellations concern all reservable and rental hut types in national parks, other protected areas and wilderness areas. These buildings are small and contain several beds very close to each other. The huts are often fully booked in the spring season, especially in Lapland. In wilderness conditions, maintaining adequate hygiene during the coronavirus epidemic is difficult.

Customers who have made reservation will be contacted as soon as possible. The booking fees paid by the customers will be refunded, or the reservations can be postponed to a later date.

The open wilderness huts will not be closed as their users cannot be contacted, and the huts may be needed if bad weather conditions take hikers by surprise. Metsähallitus reminds visitors that dozens of people may call at the busiest huts every day, which is why all hikers should make their own decisions about whether to visit a hut or not.

Some time ago, Metsähallitus already urged hikers to avoid remote destinations with no road infrastructure. In such areas as Lapland, reservable, rental and open wilderness huts for hikers may be located dozens of kilometres from the nearest roads. At huts with no transport connections and other remote destinations, getting help in an emergency may take hours. In bad weather conditions, this time may be as long as days.

While maintaining a good level of hygiene is always vital when hiking, it is now more important than ever.

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