Midsummer at the Bear Ring

 (This post is going to be quite long).

I know, Midsummer was 2 weeks ago. But I did not have time until today to upload the pictures, taken during a 40/50 kilometers hike along the Karhunkierros, the Bear Ring, which goes through the Oulanka National Park.

Karhunkierros Trail is Finland’s most popular hiking trail. It leads through the unique hill landscape and nature of Oulanka National Park to the most beautiful scenic spots in the municipalities of Kuusamo and Salla.

 

We were three and we chose three of the most peculiar areas of the trail for a 72 hours excursion. We started with the Little Bear Ring, the Pieni Karhunkierros, which I had already visited in 2011, with the characteristic suspended bridges. During the hike we had an unexpected "detour", when, looking for a not too crowded fireplace we ended up climbing outside the official paths. 

After completing the ring, we moved north, to the Nature Center entrance of the trail. Here we admired the impressing rapids and we walked to the Ansakämppä night shelter. This was also the official Juhannus night, the longest of the year. Having not been able to sleep much on the first night, I admit this was the toughest part. 

Then it came the third part. The one I loved the most. This time we moved south, to Ruka, the southern entrance of the trail and, even if it was shorter, we hiked up and down the hills of that wonderful area. The destination was Valtavaara, the highest hill in the area, with its fantastic  view on the lakes around it. In the night we even decided to continue to walk for another couple of kilometers, to enjoy some sausages in front of the fireplace.

That's it. It was my first time hiking for so many days, but I am sure it will not be the last one. The Bear Ring is a great trail, definitely worth every step.

Of course I also took some black and white pictures. I am appending the end of this post.