Explore experimental forests! Several experimental forests of different types can be found near the village of Vanttauskoski in Rovaniemi, which can be explored on site. The area includes old-growth, elevated Hylocomium-Myrtillus type spruce forests, man-made forests, mire woodlands, cultivated areas with foreign tree species and forest damaged areas, and both new and old research sites.
The Kivalo experimental forest is an old research area used by the Finnish Forest Research Institute (Metla), where forest research began in 1918 after Metla was established.
The largest part of the experimental forest is located in the Yläkemijoki region, near the village of Vanttauskoski, approximately 50 kilometres from Rovaniemi towards Kuusamo. The experimental forest is named after the hill range of Kivalo on the south side of the Kemijoki river. Most of the Kivalo area lies up to 200–300 metres above the sea level. Nevertheless, the nature of the area is still varied: Hietaperänkangas is a model example of a northern Finnish pine stand, while Kaihuavaara has some of the most beautiful birch groves in the Rovaniemi region. The total area of the experimental forest is approximately 83 km2, and it includes a varied selection of different biotopes and research sites of varying ages.
The area can be accessed from various points on the road between Rovaniemi and Kuusamo, it has an extensive network of forest roads, and the sites are within a short walking distance from each other.
Recommended time for visiting
When the ground is unfrozen.
Warm waterproof clothing, a hat, and gloves. Waterproof hiking boots or rubber boots.
Senior Scientist Kari Mäkitalo, [email protected]