Oulanka National Park is a national park in Finland, covering 270 square kilometres. It borders the Paanajärvi National Park in Russia. The first inhabitants in the area were Sami people from Lapland who lived there until the end of the 17th century. Rugged riverbanks shaped by the ice age, meadow barns, rapids and waterfalls, hanging bridges, rare species can be seen in Oulanka National Park.

Photo by @julia_kivela via Instagram


5 days in Oulanka National Park

This past week (February 23 - February 28) my Winter Ecology and Physiology class stayed the the research station in Oulanka National Park! This is the same place I went (and wrote about in this post) last semester. 

It’s in the Northeastern part of Finland, near to the Russian border, and is one of the snowiest places in the country. It was absolutely unbelievably beautiful during our stay there. We spent each day cross-country skiing (we fell SO MUCH) and doing field work like drive counts, bird censuses, counting animal tracks in the snow, measuring snow quality and effects of snow on ice and trees, etc. and each evening we had sauna and ice-hole swimming! 

The entire trip was definitely one of the coolest (haha, puns) things I have ever done in my entire life. One of the best parts was on Wednesday we did a day trip to Riisitunuri and skiied up to the top to compare snow quality from the bottom and the top and near the top we stopped at a cabin to make makkara over the fire and drink hot coffee/tea. The scenery there was stunning. Photos of that up soon!