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Ecotrail 2.0 operates in Paanajärvi National Park

21 october 2022
WWF-Russia supported the construction of an ecological trail in the Paanajärvi National Park (Republic of Karelia). This is the second joint project for the development of trails in a specially protected area.
The Paanajärvi National Park is located in the north of Karelia, on the border with the Murmansk region and Finland. Part of the natural area is a network of tourist routes with a total length of 190 km. The arrangement of trails will make it possible to exclude the deviation of park guests from the route, which will significantly reduce the likelihood of trampling mosses and lichens that make up the diet of wild reindeer.
(c) Tatiana Yulusova/WWF-Russia
“The creation of ecological trails is a very necessary work. It allows to reduce the anthropogenic load on the ground cover, which is important in the Arctic. On the one hand, we contribute to the preservation of the fragile ecosystems of the northern taiga forest and tundra. On the other hand, we get the opportunity to show and tell our visitors about this fragility, vulnerability, uniqueness and beauty,” comments Anastasia Protasova, Head of the Paanajärvi National Park Research and Environmental Education Department.
Preparations for the construction of the trail began in March of this year. Inspectors of the security department on snowmobiles delivered lumber to pre-marked areas. This work continued until the beginning of April. Since mid-June, the construction of wooden decks has begun at the places where the Astervajärva ecological trail passes through damp and swampy areas. During the summer months, 500 meters of decking were built.
Ecotrail construction
(c) Paanajärvi National Park
“We have been cooperating with Paanajärvi National Park for more than 10 years. During this time, many projects have been implemented thanks to the support of the Foundation's supporters. I also want to thank the park staff, who made efforts to create ecological trails, for the difficult work they have done. I am sure that we will still do a lot for the benefit of nature and for the conservation of wild reindeer in Karelia,” Oleg Sutkaitis, Director of the Barents Office of WWF-Russia.
About 7 thousand tourists visit the park every year. Two-thirds of the guests walk along the trails in the summer. The most accessible route is the eco-trail to the Kivakkakoski waterfall, it is visited by 90% of the park's visitors, and the load on this trail is high. Last year, with the support of supporters of WWF-Russia, 1 kilometer of the popular route was updated. Thanks to the work done, park visitors can now, with minimal impact on natural complexes, get more information about the natural and cultural heritage of the region, and contribute to its conservation.

Building an eco-trail from above

Result of work

For additional information please contact
Head of Barents Ecoregional Office
Press officer of Barents ecoregional programme