Natural Scenery

Popularity of Finland’s national parks continues to rise | Yle News

Visitors are also spending more money and boosting the economies of communities around the parks.

Nuotiokatos Nuuksiossa.

A grilling shelter at Nuuksio National Park in Espoo offers visitors a chance to heat up picnic lunches as well as themselves. The park is only about a 40 minute drive from Helsinki and is also served by public transportation. Image: Matti Myller / Yle

People continue to take advantage of Finland’s national parks in large numbers, according to the state natural resource management firm Metsähallitus.

Last year 3.6 million people visited Finnish national parks, reflecting a one percent increase from 2022. At the same time, visitors boosted the economies of communities near the parks by four percent — roughly an additional 10 million euros, the company explained in a press release on Friday.

Interest in the parks has grown since the year 2000, according to Metsähallitus’ parks and wildlife executive director, Henrik Jansson. While many people explored national parks during the coronavirus pandemic, the parks’ popularity was not just a temporary phenomenon.

National park visits increased by 12 percent since 2019. Those visitors spent around 285 million euros in areas around the parks last year.

“It is worth remembering that national parks are an attraction, especially in Eastern and Northern Finland, and important drivers for the local economy. Even though Finns are moving to live in cities, many want to spend their free time in Finland’s most magnificent nature in more remote areas,” Jansson said in the release.

However, the state-funded Metsähallitus also noted that its funding will decrease by 11 million euros this year, compared to 2023.

To deal with that, the firm has cut jobs and made other efforts to increase efficiency and save money.

The country’s most popular of the country’s 41 national parks last year included:

1. Pallas–Yllästunturi National Park – 584,000 visits

2. Urho Kekkonen National Park – 417,600 visits

3. Nuuksio National Park – 274,400 visits

4. Koli National Park – 249,100 visits

5. Pyhä–Luosto National Park – 217,400 visits

6. Oulanka National Park – 175,800 visits

7. Sipoonkorpi National Park – 172,500 visits

8. Repovesi National Park – 132,400 visits

9. Syöte National Park – 106,100 visits

10.Teijo National Park – 93,000 visits

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