In August 2013, an area of 56 hectares, located southwest of the civil parish of Kuusamo, was transferred to the Finnish Natural Heritage Foundation from Metsähallitus, the Finnish enterprise in charge of state-owned land and water areas. Aarnivalkea became the second largest individual area acquired by the foundation, the second one in Kuusamo.
Aarnivalkea is located less than ten kilometres southwest of the church of Kuusamo, by the southern edge of the wide Kivisuo region.
The area is part of an unusually intact wilderness. It is made up of quite large forest-covered islets separated from each other by a quagmire. There have probably been light selection cuttings conducted there in the 1970s, but some of the grand old forest has also remained intact. The forested sections have fallen trees covered with moss and turf lying on the ground.
The quagmire that flourishes between the forest-covered islets gives more diversity to the landscape with its curly pine trees and pools.
The beautiful view to the north of the wilds of Aarnivalkea reaches over the quagmires and the forest strips toward the blue hills of Kuusamo.
Aarnivalkea is the 41st conservation area of the foundation and the third one in Northern Ostrobothnia.