The trail to Ruija is an old passage way from the Bothnian Bay to the Arctic Ocean. The trail was in use from the 1500 century to the beginning of the 1900 century and nowadays 35 km of the trail has been marked again on the terrain in Urho Kekkonen national park between Lake Sompio and Laanila.
The beginning of the trail is situated inside Sompio strict nature reserve and then in the Urho Kekkonen national park. In the strict nature reserve area it is only allowed to move on the marked trail.
The trail begins from the camping area by the lake Sompio. The first six kilometers to the fire place of the fell Terävä-Nattanen is to gentle uphill. The snowy trees and rocks rise on both sides of the trail. At the fire place there is a crossing from where a short trail goes to the top of the fell Terävä-Nattanen.
If you want to ski to the top of the fell you can leave your extra equipment to the fire place so that the climbing would be easier. The way up is pretty steep but the views from the top will be worth the effort. From the top you can see the fell areas of Urho Kekkonen national park and the big lakes and moors in the south.
The way back to the fire place should be skied on the same marked trail.
From Terävä-Nattanen the trail continues towards north between the high spruce trees. After approximately 15 km of skiing you will come to the hut in Kaptukaislampi. There it is possible to have a break and even overnight. After Kaptukaislampi the forests becomes more open and the spruces turn into pine trees. You continue towards the north so that you cal all the time see the fell tops of Urho Kekkonen national park on your right hand side. Five kilometers after Kaptukaislampi you will pass the gravel road to Kopsusjärvi. 600 meters along the road west from the Ruija trail there is a hut where it is possible to overnight.
After the gravel road the trail continues towards Kiilopää in open pine tree forests between low-pitched hill slopes. Directly after the road there is a rocky canyon named Orposenkuru on the westerns side of the trail. Approximately 10 kilometers after the gravel road you will cross the tarmac road to Kiilopää. The fell center of Kiilopää is situated approximately 1 kilometer to the east from the trail. In the fell center it is possible to overnight in a hotel and eating a proper dinner.
The last six kilometers from Kiilopää to Laanila goes through the open pine tree and mountain birch forests and the views towards the fells Kiilopää and Ahopää are spectacular. Six kilometers after the tarmac road the trail reaches the canyon Latvakuru. The canyon is situated on the eastern side of the trail. The rest of the trail to Laanila goes in a gentle downhill and the marked trail ends up in Laanila. If you want to continue skiing to Saariselkä, you can use the maintained track.
Map: Trail of Ruija