Midnight Sun Canoeing Route
1. Route Name
Midnight Sun Canoeing Route
2. Route Length and Suitability
The total length of this route is around 160 kilometers. The route is a good fit both for beginners and experienced paddling enthusiasts. The route starts at Lake Aalisjärvi in Kolari (coordinates: WGS48 N 67° 0.68′ ja E 24° 30.53′), passes through Lake Miekojärvi, and continues all the way to River Tornionjoki.
3. Level of Difficulty
This route has something for everyone: a more extreme experience on a river surrounded by wilderness, smooth paddling on lakes and stream pools, and splashing and fast-paced action when cruising down rapids.
4. Route Usability (Recommended Season)
Springtime once ice has melted, summer, and autumn.
5. Services Along the Route
There are several campfire sites and break areas on this route.
6. Estimated Time of Completion
Several days. From Lake Aalisjärvi to Lake Konttajärvi, you will glide on a beautiful wilderness river. Moving forward, you will see small lakes, Lappish countryside, and maybe even some beavers. Lake Miekojärvi is the perfect location for canoeing or kayaking on a lake. The route on River Tengeliönjoki, from Pessalompolo to Lake Portimojärvi, is a good fit for beginners. Along the route, there are lakes, stream pools, small rapids, and a few bigger rapids where you might get some spray in your canoe. The rest of the way from River Tengeliönjoki to River Tornionjoki provides a perfect setting for a one-day trip. The route goes around the Aavasaksa hill, where you can find a lean-to and other services. This part of the route is great if you just want to relax on water. The trip around Aavasaksa takes around 3–4 hours if you stop to roast some sausages on a campfire.
7. The Route Serves These Recreational Activities
Paddling (canoe, kayak)
8. Conditions, Possible Risks, and Recommended Equipment
The route has been marked with blue paddler symbols, but it is best to bring a map and a compass.
9. Description of the Nature and Cultural Environment
Enjoy memorable experiences in nature and gaze at gorgeous natural sights. Along the route, you will see small lakes, Lappish countryside, and maybe even some beavers. There is a possibility of seeing swans and other animals along the route. Lake Miekojärvi is the perfect location for canoeing or kayaking on a lake. The route on River Tengeliönjoki, from Pessalompolo to Lake Portimojärvi, is a good fit for beginners. The rest of the way (from River Tengeliönjoki to River Tornionjoki) provides a perfect setting for a one-day trip. This route also goes around the grand Aavasaksa hill.
You don’t need to paddle all the way down on one go because there are several good spots for going ashore (e.g. Lakes Aalisjärvi–Konttajärvi, Lake Konttajärvi–Sirkkakoski Rapids, Lake Miekojärvi, Pessalompolo–Lake Portimojärvi, River Tengeliönjoki–Niuro, Ylitornio). You can also take an alternative route instead of heading down rapids.
11. Maintenance By
Rest locations and firewood for campfire sites, outhouses, and trash bins are maintained by each municipality’s designated units. In Ylitornio, it is the municipality of Ylitornio / Tekninen toimi as well as Metsähallitus, and other associations. Burn suitable trash in your campfire and bring other waste to trash bins.
The route itself is maintained by its users, i.e. the paddlers. If there are large fallen trees or other potentially dangerous obstacles on the route, please contact the Tekninen toimi of the appropriate municipality.
12. Other Matters to Consider
Coordinates for the Lake Aalisjärvi starting location: WGS48 N 67° 0.68′ and E 24° 30.53′
Rental cabin on Lake Miekojärvi, at Vaarasaari
Printed maps are available at Ylitornio Tourist Information and at local businesses.
Printable route map available here: https://aavasaksa.fi/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/A4_final.pdf