In 2017, Finland celebrates 100 years of independence. The anniversary is attracting international attention and Finland has been listed as one of the most interesting travel destinations of the year by all sorts of media and travel guides. Finland is known for its clean and peaceful environment, active cultural life and, most of all our wild and beautiful natural surroundings.
As trail runners, we know our country’s natural landscape particularly well and we’d love to share it with you! Join us in celebrating our centenary by exploring the wonderful trails that run throughout the entire the country. Here are some of the unique benefits that Finland has to offer for trail runners:
First of all, we Finns love the outdoors. Accordingly, there are countless trails in and around the cities, in designated wilderness areas and national parks. And, with 72% covered with forest, Finland is the most forested country in Europe, which means there are plenty of opportunities to discover new trails to run.
Second, Finland has one of the widest public rights of access in the world. That means, you don’t need to ask anyone’s permission to run on most trails – or even outside of the (as long as you don’t run through someone’s garden, or in a nature reserve that has restrictions).
Third, the nature in Finland is ideal for running. We don’t have high mountains, so the vertical differences are moderate, and that means that you can actually run, not just climb up or walk down the slopes. We have around 300 000 lakes, many of them with a trail winding around the shoreline, and in Lapland, fells as far as as the eye can see, making for a truly unique running experience.
Fourth, the air in Finland is cleanest in Europe. Many trail races in Finland take place amongst rugged forests and fells, with routes that travel amongst some of the most pristine wilderness in the Europe and the world. This 3-minute film that won the first Finnish trail running short film contest in 2016 tells more about breathing on trails in Finland.
Fifth, Finland hosts many extremely well organised trail running events taking place in every corner of the country. These authentic running experiences are well worth a visit even from another side of the world. Some of the best ones are presented in the film below.
The active, rapidly growing Finnish trail running community warmly welcomes you to join us running in Finland. Most Finns speak very good English and trail runners, unlike the common reputation of Finns, are highly social and easy going people, so getting along will be easy.
Few useful resources for planning a trail running trip to Finland:
Event Calendar 2017 (updated frequently, with new events are being born all the time)
Finnish trail running clubs (If you decide to come, it certainly pays off to contact local runners. They will be happy to take you running on their favourite trails and can help you out with local arrangements. The FB site of Helsinki Trail Running Club is a good place to start)
Run in Finland (website that promotes running in Finland for foreigners)
If you think any of your friends could be interested in running on some trails in Finland, don’t hesitate to share the article or the video that is also posted to trailrunning.fi Facebook page.