Snowmobiling in: Finland

by Kirsten Armleder

Snowmobiling on trails in Finland.
In Finland, snowmobiles are only permitted on designated trails and riders must get permission from landowners before they ride on private land. photo courtesy

Vast, pristine and untouched; these are words that have all been used to describe the landscape in Finland—which, for six full months of the year, is covered in a thick blanket of snow. It’s no wonder, then, that snowmobiling is a popular activity in this country, especially in the northernmost region of Lapland.

Winter in this region usually begins in December and it lasts until May. There is also the existence in Lapland of what the Finns call “kaamos” or polar night. It is a time when the sun doesn’t rise. It doesn’t cause complete darkness, but in some places, the kaamos lasts up to two months. Can you say cabin fever? Perhaps that’s why the Finns enjoy snowmobiling. It’s a way to get out and escape some of the darkness. They do get a full reprieve in March and April, though, when the other Finnish phenomenon occurs: 70 days of 16-hour sunlight.

Although Finland doesn’t appear to have any official snowmobile clubs, there are several snowmobile guiding companies in this country. Most are based in Lapland and many of them include such things as viewing the northern lights or a visit to the Santa Claus Village in Rovaniemi. This city, which is the capital of Lapland, is also home to BRP’s manufacturing plant for Lynx snowmobiles.

So why are we even talking about Finland? Because it’s one of the countries being represented at the World Snowmobile Invasion (WSI). Like us, your knowledge of this country might be limited to what can be found on a Google search, but if you are intrigued enough to want to learn more about snowmobiling in Finland, then you’ll want to be at the WSI in Whitecourt, Alberta, in February 2015. 

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