I really thought I had already written something about mountainbiking in Rovaniemi. Especially after the great winter ride last winter (see the pic below). But no, I hadn’t. And so here you go, finally, a little story about biking in Rovaniemi, Finnish Lapland.
In Rovaniemi, the easiest way to the MTB trails, summer and (!) winter is in Ounasvaara, the hill right next to the city centre.
The past years local cyclists and entrepreneurs (with some help from the town) have done a great job opening, mapping and signposting the trail network. Currently, the biking trails might even be the best signed and groomed of all the trails there is (thing of which I am sometimes a bit sad when on my nordic skiing or running mode).
Basically, you can just hopping on your (own or rented) bike and go. Alternatively, you can book a guided tour from any activity firm in town (below my favourite). Extra nice is that the mellow hills makes the trails very suitable for beginners and casual riders, as long as you know how to ride a bike.
Mountainbiking in Lapland
Also note that in Finland, including Lapland, you are allowed to bike on almost every trail and public road. Exception the trails in national parks and other restricted areas, and no biking on the nordic skiing trails either. Nevertheless, national parks with their magnificent nature and sceneries have started to open and prepare some of their trails for biking too. Both in summer and winter.
While mountainbiking in Rovaniemi is good enough, there’s nowadays many other good places for biking both south and especially north from Arctic Circle. Rovaniemi working as kind of a gate for the real wilderness and outdoor possibilities in whole Lapland.
When traveling a bit north from Rovaniemi, Pyhä-Luosto National Park or all the way to Urho Kekkonen National Park (UKK) in Saariselkä, or north-west to Ylläs, you will find excellent network for both summer and winter biking. In addition, some ski resorts like Levi and Ruka offer a bike park for downhills etc.
Special treat: Go in winter and rent a fat bike and maybe a guiding too (RollOutdoors is a good company for that – non paid advertisement this is ) and have fun in the winter wonderland.
And if going in summer (too), go biking at night. The midnight sun’s something you don’t want to miss.