Into the Wild by Bike
Pudasjärvi, on the border between Lapland and the Finnish Lakeland, is where you will find Finland’s southernmost fells, Iso-Syöte and Pikku-Syöte.
From here it is still another 150 kilometres to the Arctic Circle, where Lapland “officially” begins. Syöte, which means ”blessed” in the ancient Sami language, is mainly known as the ski resort in Finland with the highest snowfall. It is also the destination attracting an increasing amount of summer tourists every year, partly thanks to its excellent mountain biking terrain.
Syöte’s mountain biking trails are suitable for everyone – as long as you are prepared to carry your bike across streams and up the steepest hills. You’ll get the most out of the trails, however, if you’ve already got the mountain biking bug. There are plenty of gradients and the terrain varies from bare rock and undulating sandy ground to ancient spruce forests with tree roots and gravel ridges – perfect for taking it to the max. And, of course, in the fells there’s always the chance to freewheel downhill, so long as your bike’s suspension can take it and you’ve got the nerve.
Marshland is one characteristic of the Syöte area. A quarter of the national park’s surface area is marsh, swamp or bog of various types, even on hills over 300 metres above sea level. Crossing the swamps on duckboards adds an extra touch of excitement to cycling through this spectacular scenery. You won’t find anything on the same scale anywhere else in Finland.
80 km by pedal power
The rugged landscape of the Syöte National Park contains almost 80 kilometres of mountain bike routes. There are three main trails: 17 km, 25 km and 36 km in length. They are easy to follow as the route is marked on trees in pink paint and there are several places to take a break along the way. All three are interlinked so route plans can remain flexible, so just go with the flow.