The start of the trail is located in Mäntyvaara, or Mänty Hill, 5.4 km west of the city centre of Rovaniemi. There is a residential area on the city side of the hill. The surroundings of the hill are different types of bogs, dry pine forests, and other forest patches. Mäntyvaara also offers tracks for harness racing, go-karting, motocross, and folk racing.
The hiking trail is a good whole-day trip when hiked one way. It is accessible when the ground is free of snow from May to October. It is easy when hiked in sections, but difficult all at once due to its length (27 km). The trail can be roughly divided into three sections:
1. Mäntyvaara – Mellavaara lean-to
The trail is in good shape and partially covered with duckboards. It is marked with posts with orange tops. The area features open bogs and streams cutting through coniferous mires. There are both old and young mixed forests. It is a popular berry-picking area. The difficulty level is easy.
There is a lean-to, campfire site and woodshed in Mellavaara.
2. Mellavaara lean-to – Kulkkusenvaara lean-to
This stretch is easy to walk and partially duckboarded. The trail is marked with orange-top posts. Open bog stretches are crossed on duckboards. The terrain of Mellavaara, or Mella Hill, is mostly made up of dry, mixed coniferous forests. Before Pissinperä, the trail passes through a coniferous mire.
After Pissinperä, the trail is well-marked and easy to walk. There is no apparent wear on the path. There are spruce mires along the ditches, but otherwise the forest is a pine-heavy mixed forest. You can cross the Arctic Circle by walking about 400 m from Pissinperä. The difficulty level of the trail is easy.
The Kulkkusenvaara lean-to is located on the shore of Lake Sinettäjärvi. There is a campfire at the lean-to, and a woodshed and an outhouse nearby.
3. Kulkkusenvaara Lean-to – Pohtimolampi
The trail is easy to walk and slightly worn all the way to Sonkajoki, or the Sonka River. The trail passes sandy forests along the edge of Sonkakivalo. Before Sonkajoki, the forest turns younger, then into a massive pine forest. The trail comes to Sinettäharjuntie, which you follow to the right. At the intersection, you turn left on the bridge over Sonkajoki, then right on Pellontie. From Pellontie you turn left on Näkkivaarantie and immediately right on Karhulammentie for about 2 km. Turn right from the road and follow the signposts for 700 m until you come to a road. Walk to Pohtimolampi along the road, or starting on the road and then taking the final stretch of the trail across the bog as indicated by the signposts. The difficulty level is easy.
There are no conveniences between Kulkkusenvaara and Pohtimolampi.
Directions: drive 4.3 km out of the city centre of Rovaniemi along Ratakatu, which turns into Korkalovaarantie; turn right on Mäntyvaarantie; drive 1.7 km to the parking area. The trail can also be accessed from the Korkalovaarantie parking area near the Mäntyvaarantie intersection, or via the Korkalovaara Hiking Trail.