Finland is definitely a perfect destination for those that are interested in waymarking. That is mainly because we have The Finnish Every man’s right. This allows the hiker to explore Finnish nature sensibly, including the land that is privately owned. However, there are some things you have to be aware of before you go waymarking in Finland.
The Marking System
You need to be aware of the marking system used for waymarking in Finland. With this in mind, here is what you have to know:
- Footpath marking – Metsahallitus stands out as the biggest water and land owner, especially in Northern Finland. This organization uses a specific trail marking system. Other organizations did start trail marking but there is no uniform marking system used at the moment.
- Marked Paths Classification – The Finnish trails have various purposes and are of different lengths. Also, various difficulty levels are present. In most cases we have winter and summer trails available. Long tracks are more demanding for the hikers and will always offer fewer marks. In this case, good navigation skills are necessary.
The trails are currently classified in 3 difficulty levels: demanding, intermediate and easy. The problem is that just some of the trails are actually classified with an official difficulty level.
The easy trails are almost always marked with the use of a blue circle. Little elevation changes will be present and getting lost is highly difficult. The intermediate trails are marked with the use of a red square. Such at trail does have elevation changes but there is no risk of ending up lost when you walk them. The demanding trails will be marked with the use of a black triangle. With these trails we do have difficult hikes and steep trail parts. Marking can be scarce so the hiker needs really good navigation skills. That is especially true when the trail will merge with a nature path.
Signs And Fingerposts Showing Local Destinations
The bigger roads usually showcase road signs that highlight the local trail’s name. Also, there is a blue traffic sign that will be added in order to lead you towards local places of interest. The minor roads will show a brown sign and informative picture symbols. Actual walking trails include signs that will tell you how far you are from the destination. The distance is written in kilometers.
The really common sign used is the picture symbol of 2 hikers. This means you are on a hiking trail. You can also find similar indications for shelters, campfire locations and swimming places. Signs can be attached to trees that are painted and located along the trail.
When you go on a hiking trail that is offered in areas with various financial resources available (for instance, national parks), you will gain access to orientation boards that give you the information you need. In distinct regions, the informative boards can call attention to various special nature sights you may encounter along the trail you are on. For instance, you may learn about birds, plants and special flowers.