If mountain biking with a bit of an adventure fascinates you look no further than Lapland in Finland. The land of extremes will reward you with a single track paradise remote enough to make your trip feel like an adventure. Clearly marked routes and a comprehensive network of huts and shelters will make your days of exploring a joy.
North shore skinnies in Finnish style? Usually the swamps and wet sections of the trails are covered with wooden planks so it is easy to get over them. Here Antte is riding on a XC style trail in Äkäskero near the village of Äkäslompolo in North Finland.
The tree line here in North Finland is at a quite low altitude and one just has to pedal couple hundred meters up to get to these round and plain areas.
Lapland is located around and above the Arctic Circle that runs trough the city of Rovaniemi in Finland. The city of Rovaniemi is located around 900 kilometers north from Helsinki and the nature and wildlife in Lapland are very similar to the nature of Alaska and Canada. The true Lapland starts around 150 kilometers North from Rovaniemi where small mountains called fells start to rise. The shape of fells are rounded and they are isolated from the nearby forests. In clear weather you’ll be able to enjoy a view you’re probably not use to - the vast forests continue as long as you can see and there are no signs of settlement around.
Although the downhill sections on the trails might not be that long they sure can be fun.
While we were riding in Äkäskero couple weeks back the autumn colours were really in full splendour.
In Lapland you don’t need to be bear aware or worry about other wildlife causing a threat to you. You’ll be quite sure to see reindeers however and you’ll need to take care of staying on a marked path. In the backcountry you’re off the grid most of the time so be sure to take care about the usual precautions when pointing your bicycle into the wild.
Antte is actually a Telemark skier but he enjoys mountain biking on the offseason
It doesn´t feel like an adventure if your feet ain't wet.
The village of Äkäslompolo is good place to start your adventure. Easiest way to get there is to book flights to Kittilä in Finland and take a rental car.The national forestry of Finland "Metsähallitus" is taking care of the state owned land. They are slowly understanding the value of mountain biking and adding new mountain biking routes all around. For more information check out their website at metsa.fi
and recreation maps for Finnish Lapland at excursionmap.fi
Words by Antte Lauhamaa
Photos and captions by Jaakko Posti