Visiting a national park is one of the best ways to enjoy Finnish nature. You get to enjoy it’s beauty, silence, purity. It’s close to perfect out there. National parks are protected areas, so nature is almost untouched. And by following a simple national park etiquette, we all can help to preserve these wonders of nature.
The biggest threat to these nature reserves are the visitors. We are all nature lovers. That’s why we want to enjoy it. So how we can help to preserve the nature and keep it as it is? Well, there is a one easy thumb rule to follow: Respect nature!
National Park Etiquette – Just 6 Simple Rules
1. Respect Nature
National parks are created to preserve nature. But to make visits possible, there are usually marked trails to follow. These trails will lead you to the most beautiful places. To avoid any unnecessary wear and tear, stay on these trails. Don’t take shortcuts.
You may pick berries and mushrooms, but don’t collect plants or cut tree branches. Don’t build rock piles either. Even if you have seen that others have done it. Rock piles can be harmful to nature and disrespectful of cultural values.
2. Respect Wildlife
National parks are excellent for wildlife watching. But remember that this is their home. We are just visiting. Observe wildlife from distance. Don’t try to approach or feed animals. And don’t enter restricted areas. Dogs are usually welcomed to national parks but must be kept on a leash.
3. Respect Other Visitors
How cool it would be if you were the only visitor in that forest. Unfortunately, there are usually others who want to enjoy of the same nature experience as you do. So let’s make it great for everyone. Nature trails aren’t usually very crowded, but sometimes there are more people on the same trail. Let others pass you easily. And when you stop for a view, move off the trail. People usually greet each other on the forest trail. It’s not a must, but a nice habit if the trail isn’t very crowded.
4. Camp Only Where Allowed
Camping is usually allowed only in designated camping areas. Check if camping is allowed in your destination.
5. Be Careful with Fire
If you want to light a fire, there are designated campfire sites for that. Check first if the forest or grass fire warning is in effect. And always be careful with fire.
6. Keep Nature Clean
The easiest way to keep nature clean and beautiful is to avoid littering. Leave nothing behind! Instead you can have a little bag with you for your trash. And if you see someone else have accidentally dropped something, you can pick that up and take it away with you.
So here you go. Just a few things. A simple national park etiquette for visiting a nature reserve in Finland, or in any country. But always check the destination’s own guidelines and rules before you go.