“If you go down to the woods today, you’re sure of a big surprise!” This reporter found herself humming the famous children’s song during a brisk day outdoors in January. Snow-laden trees reach up to the heavens along either side of the winter trail. It’s no wonder that our foreign visitors are enchanted by Lapland’s beauty, as we who live here are enchanted by it time and again.
If you do go down to the woods, remember to check that the trail is suitable for you. Weather conditions on the winter trails can change rapidly, as on all the trails. Even though the sun is shining when you set off, a snowstorm might still surprise you.
Snow conditions affect the trail’s degree of difficulty, expected time of arrival and the visibility of trail signs. Even if it is not snowing, the wind can amass drifts across the trail.
At times, the trails are very icy and slippery, yet during a thaw may become soft and waterlogged.
If the trail is shown on the map as a dotted blue line, it is maintained by snowmobiles. Blue trails are suitable for walkers and cyclists on fatbikes. There may be some hills en route.
If the trail is marked with a dotted red line, that means it is not maintained. There may be some steep hills and snow drifts. Although we recommend snowshoes for red trails, in good snow conditions you can also cycle along them with the right technique. Novices should not cycle along red trails.
However carefully you plan your trek, be prepared for the unexpected. Always take some food and drink with you to avoid any sudden energy loss.
Along with your mobile, it’s also worth taking an Ylläs area map as well. In a hard frost, mobile phones sometimes lose energy before their owners do. Maps are on sale at the Kellokas Visitor Centre and in many local shops. Proceeds from map sales are used to maintain the trail network.
Rescue and location signs for your safety
Along the trails, you will sometimes see a sign marked ‘SOS’ in large letters. This is a rescue and location sign. It is useful in case of emergency outdoors and displays the Finnish Emergency Services’ phone number 112, together with the relevant place name, district name and location in three languages. The location coordinates are compatible with Emergency Services’ networks.
Help us to keep the ski trails in good condition by only walking or cycling along the winter trails. The ski trails may only be used by skiers. Local shops sell maps, and accommodation staff will be happy to suggest trails to you.