Accessibility of Finnish Nature – Everyman’s Right in Finland

Finnish Nature- Everyman's right and wilderness
Baby reindeer- Photo by Kristin L. Braend

Did you know that in Finland as a visitor you have the same rights as the inhabitants to enjoy nature without a permit regardless of the who owns the land? This is part of Finland’s heritage, where everybody carries the right to experience and access the nature.

Upon arrival you may notice that the Finns have a lot of maintained nature paths. This is free of use, and are part of the Everyman’s right. Even though people have the right to roam in the nature for free, there are some ground rules to be followed. Here is a list of some general rules to follow before heading out into the wild.



The freedom to roam in the nature is one of Finland’s goods. With this freedom comes responsibilities.

Do not cause harm

One should not harm or disturb the nature, or other people. The land you’re walking on is someone else’s land, and you are not to harm the landowners property. Therefore one is required to be careful not to disturb the ecosystems, plant, and animals. One need to be extra careful in the breeding season. People with different kind of activities or intentions are using the same area. You need to be respectful for all kinds of people, they have the same rights to use the nature.

Finnish nature and the accessibility
Photo by Kristin L. Braend

Signs and roads

While you’re walking, you will encounter different signs. Pay attention to what they are saying and follow their guidelines. For example, nature conservation areas and other areas may have signs that restrict everyman’s right. Private Roads or forest roads are open for walkers, cyclists, and horse-riders. Be aware that some private roads are closed for motor vehicles. Structures that are in the nature such as piers, cooking shelters and buoys are free to use if there is no a sign of restriction.

Photos by Kristin L. Braend


The everyman’s rights also apply to the water, frozen or not. Noise is seen as a form for disturbance. Therefore may noise from motorizes boats may cause disturbance. If one wants to fish, they should do this from a distance of people.

Finnish Nature and wilderness in Lapland. Picture by Kristin Braend
Photo by Kristin L. Braend

Free to take

Some of nature’s goods are free to take. You are allowed to take, dry twigs, branches and cones that are found on the forest floor. You are also allowed to pick wild berries, mushrooms, and flowers, as long as they are not protected. Moss and lichen are not allowed to pick. Remember not to cause harm to the nature, for example by breaking trees or pull off twigs.

Be aware of areas where public peace is protected.


Berry picking in the Finnish wilderness- Finnish Lapland Picture by Kristin Braend
Photos by: Kristin L. Brænd


Private Yards

One do not have a right to intrude or disturb private properties. This includes places such as private yards, homes, holiday homes, mobile homes, houseboats, and tents. This rule is also applied to walking through fields and cultivated areas, but are annulled in the winter. Make sure not cause disturbing noise in these areas.

Photo by Kristin L. Braend



One are allowed to stay overnight outside in a tent, vehicle or boat. When camping don’t cause disturbing noise or damage to the landowner’s land. Campers that want to stay over a longer period of time, should consult with the landowner. Don’t camp on public beaches. Public recreation areas often have camping site.

Finland has a lot of lean to shelters called a laavu. These shelter can be used over night for free. Often they will provide a fire pit.

Photos by: Kristin L. Braend



No open fires are allowed unless landowner permit it. When it’s dry outside, and risk of forest fire, one may not use open fires, regardless of landowner’s permit.

One are allowed to use public fire pits. These are presented in different locations. Recreation areas often have campsites, and fire pits, free of use. Some places may offer wood, this is free to take. Do not light up fires outside of these areas.  You are responsible if the fire gets out of control.

Camping in Finnish Lapland pic by Silja Jaakkola
Camping in Finnish Lapland. Picture by Silja Jaakkola


Everyone must bring their litter back home. Do not empty your liquid waste into the wild. When preparing for a hike, you should bring something to put your garbage in. This makes it easier to bring back home.

If you relax at an lavuu, check that you have collected all your litter. These places often don’t have garbage cans.


Picking up trash on the streets
Trash on the street.



One is allowed to use public roads. Do not drive off-road without landowners permission. Parking a vehicle on the side of the road is allowed, if other vehicles can pass. Snowmobiles are allowed on frozen waters and along designated routes. You needs permission by the landowner to go off road. Snowmobiles makes noise at may cause disturbance.

Photo by Kristin L. Braend


Most important of all, enjoy your days in the Finnish Nature!

If you want to learn more such as rules for domestic animals, fishing, hunting, organised activities or learn more in depth of the rules please click here!

Read more blog, articles from our Lapland blog 

Written By Kristin L. Braend

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