You can also buy a paper map from Zero Point and there are some good maps along the trails.
1. South point to Lapinkylä – easy blue for beginners and flat for novice skaters
Catch the bus from Zero point to South point. From here cross the road to the xc tracks. You will notice a little wooden tee-pee called Loimulohi just as you join the loipe and this is a good place to come back to. Proceed on the track to your left to crossing 119. Here you can take the right hand fork 4K if you don’t mind a few hills, or the left hand fork 2.7K to stay on the flat. When you reach crossing 124 take the 1.5K track to Lapinnkylä. Here you will find the Reindeer enclosure where the organised trips go from and perhaps try out if you’ve pre-booked. You can get refreshments in Lapinkylä, but if there is a big pre-booked party it might only be sandwiches/hot drink. Return via the 1.7K track if you can find it to crossing 123 (or do this on the way there depending on your energy levels) and then retrace your route back to South Point. As you only had a snack before now visit Loimulohi which we nicknamed the Salmon Hut without actually realising that Loimulohi means blazed salmon. Here you will find deliciously cooked fresh salmon over a wood fire and you can eat little or large. A freshly cooked hot salmon bap is about €5 and one of the best en-track eats you will find with a lovely chap there who is very hospitable. From here you can either catch the bus back, or carry on skiing along the the blue which will bring you back to where you started. There is a little red at the end of this, so if you aren’t very confident, just take care.
2. Start A to Kätkänlaavu – another easy blue
Start on this track and ski to the right. Soon after you will need to take the left hand turning which takes you across the lake where you can often see ice fishing. It can be quite a 2.5K slog into wind as it is very exposed but once across keep bearing right on the trail and you will come to a lean to in another 4.3K. Here you will find one of the best pancakes around with jam and cream and berry juice from a small hut. There are also toilets and a welcome fire with rugs and fleeces to keep warm.
From here you can either return the way you came or continue to the left for another 5.4K to a hut stop at Kätkarjarvi before returning northward for 3,7K on a dog walking trail to join back up at the lake. This makes a round of 18.8K altogether.
3. Start A to Kätkänlaavu – via the red and black route
Start skiing on the track to the right and when you get to the junction with a map board, continue straight ahead on Kätkän Kierros Fell Circle. This is the brown square on the map. The track climbs steadily for a kilometre and the rest of the route is more of a continual steeper climb until you reach the top. Then you are rewarded with a long sweeping downhill for several kilometres which can pick up quite a speed.
If you choose to have a break, at crossing 140 you should continue down to Merkkinen for a warm fire, refreshments and toilet, but it will be a gentle blue back up to junction 140 again when you need to ascend the black route. This is a good 2K very steep herringbone ascent, but it has several plateaus along the way where you can catch your breath. You then have a gentle descent back to Kätkänlaavu where you can have more refreshments.
The return is back along the blue and across the lake, unless you are feeling more adventurous in which case you can do the return from the easy blue above.
4. Start A to past Kätkä and Pyhä Fells
For those with more stamina you can continue from Crossing 140 above, tased the Merkkinen hut and join the red route at junction 145 to do a complete circuit of the two fells. This will be following the green square route.
If you want to venture much further there is an option to stay overnight in a hut like Aakenuspirtti. This is in the very bottom right hand corner on the map below in bold.
There is an un-supervised hut at Hirvikämppä that has a log store adjacent, and a platform inside enough to sleep 2 if you want shelter or to break your journey.
The other grey tracks on the map above show the extended ski tracks in the area which extend down to Ylläs. If you missed the chance of taking part in the Ylläs to Levi ski marathon, this shows you the extent of where the route would go it you want to recreate it. I think it is 60K.
5. Start B around the red routes
If you prefer to keep close to home then the red routes near to the centre of town are a good playground to get your ski legs working, Whilst the distances aren’t great, they are fairly undulating with some longish ups and downs. Good practice for your skate legs too! Some of the track is lit for a quick tour if you arrive late in the day and want to get an hour in, but note that they are also mostly one way, so you might be committed once you start off to do the whole circuit.
6. Start B to Luvattumaa (Ice Hotel)
Follow the red route signs past 95, and 92 until you reach cross 93 where there is a very small black run which joins the red to the blue track. It is downhill and fairly narrow with lots of lovely twists and turns, but it is not particularly technical and great fun! Just bear in mind that you need to do the opposite side uphill on the return … When you get to crossing 91 at Levijarvi, take the right hand turning. This will take you over the lake and is a little tedious especially in a headwind.
You are rewarded at Luattumaa with a nice cafe with deck chairs outside if the sun is shining. It obviously wasn’t the day this photo was taken. Here is the ice hotel and its well worth a visit to see the fantastic ice sculptures.
After a warming coffee, continue on to Marja-Leena, but as this is only 1.5K from your last stop perhaps you will leave this hut for today. Continue straight for the next 3.5K turning at point 83 for your return journey and in less than 1K you will reach Restaurant Tonttula. This makes for a lovely lunchtime, stop and when we were there, there was a selection of food and a buffet. We opted for the Salmon Soup and bread which you helped yourself to and was about €10.
The track then continues on past junction 89, 91 and back to 93 – and if you remember the rather steep uphill. This is quite a long day, so you don’t be grateful for this hill right now. I f you prefer you can cut the route shorter at point 88 and eat at Marja-Leena instead.
7. Bus to Levijarvi
As option to get up to the higher reaches of these tracks to the north is to catch the bus. I think it might be the ski bus, but it goes from across the road from the Crazy Reindeer Hotel if you want westwards and stay on the right hand right of the road. Tell the driver you want to get off at the cross country skiing dog walking track and there is a little walk down from the road. you will see this on the map just above point 91 just to the left of where the dog is on the map. From here take the left hand track at point 91. It gently winds through some pretty scenery and you can go towards Marja-Leena for your break. This could be via any of the track going north and then over to Rautuskyla to the east at 86 and back to Marja-Leena, or just straight back down. Deliciously cooked pancakes and a warm hut – what more could you want!
8. Point B to Sammun Tupa with optional trip over the Fell via Lomakuru
Take the start at Point B along the red route to junction 99. Here it looks like there is no track to join up but there is one that goes past Restaurant Draivi where you can have an early coffee or pitstop. Continue another half a kilometre and you will see a turning to the right going straight uphill. This is the black route, up and over the fell. It is a 2K climb which is very steep but may take you into Narnia if the snow is good, which is a sight to be seen.
Once you reach the top you might be greated by some downhillers looking incredulous that you have appeared out of the depth not using a ski lift. There is a small toilet here is you need one. Also should you refer to take the red route down you can do this back to South point, and continue skiing along the blue back to the start.
If you continue on the black be aware that is is pretty steep in places and quite narrow and windy. Well worth it, even if you take your skis of a some point. Once down, continue on to Sammun Tupa. Here you will find a reindeer farm and warm cafe, although the food is limited. The route back from here takes the blue tracks past junction 123 and then up towards south point, where you can either continue skiing back as above from the red route, or catch the bus at South Point.
If you opt not to do the black route, simply take the blue track at junction 103. This has some nice wide open spance, but a lovely undulating red at the end and you can meet anyone coming over the black at Sammun Tupa.