Kalevalsky national park

Kalevalsky national park was founded in 2006. It was the first national park founded in Russia in the XXI century. The area of the park created within the borders of the City of Kostomuksha urban district is more than 74 thousand hectares.

Kalevalsky national park was  founded for the preservation of a large natural forestland  that remained in the territory of the Republic of Karelia, as well as for the protection of the natural and cultural landscape which became the basis of the world-famous Karelian epos Kalevala. It protects many types of wood ecosystems, mainly dry pine woods on rocks and fluvio-glacial sediments, Kalevalsky park is unique and has no analogues in Fennoscandia. Except for unique woods, Kalevalsky park includes many rare marsh and lake ecosystems requiring special protection.

Modes of special protection of the land have been introduced in the territory of the park , excluding any activity which may cause damage to natural complexes, flora and fauna objects, cultural and historical objects and which conflict with the national park purposes and tasks is introduced in territory of the park.

The local landscapes is a mosaic of forests, bogs and lakes. A rather a huge lake, Lower Lapukka is located in the bordering zone. For centries this was the place of wild fowl and fish prey. The traces of those times remained till our days. There are are ingrown fish smoking-sheds, trees with incisions, marking the borders of hunting grounds, and bait holes. A lot of paths are formed elk, deer and bears. Old roads, connecting villages, are now hardly seen.

Kalevalsky forests are unique - there is nothing like them anywhere in Europe. They are valued  for their  thousands of years habitat, in which the most fastidious species of animals and plants are kept safe.

In the western part of the park predominate old-aged fir-trees, in the eatsern - pine-trees. Here travelers can see a pinery in all its variety. This may be a young,  light forest with  trees of the same height or a ripe forest, composed of  huge trees and young underwood. The noise of streams in deep ravines breakes the silence.

Here live bears (Ursus arctos) and in the  summer one can see a deer (Rangifer tarandus fennicus) walking along the shore with a cub.

In spring the king of the primeval forest, the golden eagle (Aguila chrysaetos), goes around protecting his nest and fish-hawks (Pandion haliaetus) are hunting in the lakes. Sometimes erne (Haliaeetus albicilla), black kite (Milvus migrans), lapland owl (Strix nebulosa), crane (Cygnus cygnus) and geese can be seen here.

How to get:

You can get to Kalevalsky national park by a road from Kostomuksha to Vuokkiniemi village (55 kms, regular bus) or by a road going to Vuokkijeki. From Voknavolok you go to the north until  Voinitsa (39 kms) and Sudnozero (25 kms) or to the west along Latvajarvi road (25 kms till the border). There is a regular train Petrozavodsk - Kostomuksha. Foreigners may get there through Vartius-Ljuttja check-point, which is not far from Kuhmo.

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