In August 2013, the Finnish Natural Heritage Foundation came into possession of Aarnivalkea, a 56-hectare area of forest and swamp in Kuusamo.
The area is located less than ten kilometres southwest of the church of Kuusamo, by the southern edge of the Kivisuo region.
The Aarnivalkea area belongs to an unusually intact wilderness close to the civil parish of Kuusamo. The forest has remained intact for a long time. In a few parts of the area, there were cuttings imposed on the largest trees decades ago; yet, some of the old forest was left intact. The forested sections have fallen trees covered with moss and turf lying on the ground. Between the forest-covered islets, there is a beautiful quagmire with curly pine trees and pools.
The view to the north of Aarnivalkea reaches over the quagmires and the forest strips toward the blue hills of Kuusamo. There is an unusual atmosphere of peace and integrity in the area.
Coming into possession of the Aarnivalkea region will increase the total area protected by the Finnish Natural Heritage Foundation up to over 700 hectares. It is the 41st conservation area of our foundation and the third one in Northern Ostrobothnia.
Photo: Anneli Jussila.