Malla nature reserve
Malla’s nature reserve is Finland’s oldest protected nature reserve. The Malla fells were first protected in 1916 when Finland was still under Russian rule. The nature reserve was recognised as a National Park in an independent Finland in 1938. Thanks to its calcareous soils, the highlands of the Little Malla and Great Malla fells are home to some rare species of alpine plants and butterflies. Some of these plants are not found anywhere else in Finland.
The 30km2 (12 sq mi) nature reserve is just as untouched and natural as when it was established. There are almost 300 species of vascular plant growing in the area, of which the Lapland rosebay, moss campion and Alpine gentian are unique to the fells. The Lapland lousewort, moss campion, and white dryad also grow on the moors. Picking any flowers, berries or mushrooms is strictly forbidden.
Recreational use of nature reserves is restricted for preservation purposes, but it is possible to get acquainted with the Malla fells and their nature in summer along the marked trails. The 11km (7-mile) hiking trail from Siilaskoski to the Three-Country Cairn cuts through the park via the Kitsijoki waterfall. It is possible to reach the Kolttalahti port by boat from Kilpisjärvi village. From the port it is a 3km (2-mile) hike to the Three-Country Cairn. The Malla fells are right next to the shore of Kilpisjärvi lake.