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Autumn forest in northern Lapland | by Gregor  Samsa
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Autumn forest in northern Lapland

Urho Kekkonen National Park (Finnish: Urho Kekkosen kansallispuisto) is a national park in Lapland, Finland. Established in 1983 and covering 2,550 square kilometres (985 sq mi), it is one of Finland's largest protected areas. It is named after Urho Kekkonen, former President and Prime Minister of Finland.


The Suomujoki river flows through the northern parts of the diverse park. The marked paths in its western part are an easy destination even for the inexperienced backpacker, whereas the wilderness is good for long and demanding trips.


Most trips to Urho Kekkonen National Park are started from the Kiilopää fell center, the Aittajärvi lake along the Suomujoki river, or Raja-Jooseppi, and backpackers usually end up nearby the Saariselkä fell line, for instance on the top of its highest fell, Sokosti.


Reindeer keeping is still a common livelihood in the area.






It just somehow happened that I visited Urho Kekkonen national park twice within a single year; this time, famous "ruska" autumn period and a week-long hike to the north-east part of the park was our ultimate goal.


We traveled on foot for eight days and enjoyed all those lovely aspects of deep-north wilderness: grey sky, cold river crossing, moody terrain, losing direction, and heavy backpacks. However, the autumn colors were truly exceptional - the timing was absolutely perfect.


Here the picture is taken during our way to Hammaskuru wilderness hut that we reached on the 5th day of our week-long adventurous hike.

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Taken on September 14, 2011