The nearest point of the Ounasvaara Winter Trail is 1.6 km east of the Rovaniemi city centre. Ounasvaara, or Ounas Hill, is an ideal day-trip destination because of its easy accessibility. It is not only a famous sports centre but also a year-round recreation area near the city centre of Rovaniemi with marked and maintained trails and several great vantage points. At Ounasvaara, you can practise almost 50 different sports, and the selection keeps growing. In the winter, it is a great place for downhill and cross-country skiing, experiencing the thrill of speed on the toboggan track, or snowshoeing, among other things. In the summer, it is a great setting for hiking, speeding down the hill on the summer bobsleigh track or playing golf. Santasport – Lapland Sports Academy is also a true centre of sports and well-being on the slopes of Ounasvaara.
In the beginning of the winter season, the Ounasvaara Winter Trail is groomed by snowmobile for hikers. On the trail, you can admire the beauty of the wintery spruce forests and the rocky landscape on top of Ounasvaara.
The trail is marked and equipped with information boards, and it follows the Ounasvaara Nature Trail part of the way. Please note the different trail markings of the two trails. The one-way length of the circular trail and the connecting trails are around 6 km in total.
There is an observation tower along the winter trail on the rocky western hillside of Ounasvaara, amidst a pine forest at an altitude of around 160 m above sea level. The tower offers magnificent views over the city centre and the Kemi River. There is a log-built lean-to next to the observation tower, as well as a campfire site and woodshed.
There is another log-built lean-to, campfire site and woodshed along the Ounasvaara Nature Trail below some massive outcrops. There is a clear, bubbling spring 100 m down to the left from the lean-to.
The Ounasvaara Winter Trail can be accessed at several points: the starting point nearest the city centre is after crossing the Jätkänkynttilä Bridge and Jäämerentie, to the left from the cycle path and up to Ounasvaara. Another starting point is at the parking area of the Ounasvaara Cabin. Directions: drive 1.1 km from the city centre along Kajaanintie; turn left on Ounasrinteentie; drive 350 m; turn left on Hiihtomajantie; drive 1.5 km to the Ounasvaara Cabin parking area. The third starting point is Lapland Hotel Sky Ounasvaara, which is close to the Ounasvaara Cabin.
The fourth starting point is a little over 500 m from Santasport – Lapland Sports Academy. Directions: drive 1.1 km out of the city centre along Kajaanintie; turn left on Ounasrinteentie; drive 350 m; turn left on Hiihtomajantie; drive 850 m; turn right and drive 100 m to the parking area. The fifth starting point is on Ounasrinne near the intersection of Matkajängäntie and Ounasrinteentie. Depending on the snow cover, the service period of the winter trail is from November to April.