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Winter Roads
Funded by Euregio Karelia Neighbourhood Programme 2001-2006

Objective of the project

The main goal of the project was to increase winter tourism both in North Karelia and in the Republic of Karelia by improving the technical level of the snowmobile tracks and by increasing the connections from North Karelia to the neighbouring regions. The project was linked to the development work completed on snowmobile routes in Russian Karelia during the period 1997–1999 in connection with the Tacis programme.

Main activities

• Improvement of the technical level of the snowmobile route network (75km), • Construction of a new 270km-long route, • Improvement of the route signage in North Karelia (Warning, notification and route signs created and installed) • Construction of rest areas and Lappish huts along the snowmobile route, • Completion of extensive environmental impact assessments, extensive nature mapping by a biologist from the Environment Centre.


The technical level of the snowmobile route network was improved using an excavator to improve approximately 75 kilometres of the main routes that were lacking a machine-built foundation. Drums and bridges were also installed on the routes. In addition to improving the old route, a new 270-kilometre-long route was constructed in order to eliminate the lack of transregional connections and north–south structured route connections within the region. In addition to constructing the routes, the route network signage in North Karelia was improved considerably: various types of warning, notification and route signs were created and installed in different parts of the region. In addition, 70 informational signs were created as a result of the project; these were installed at the route network’s various starting and connecting points. In addition, a few rest areas with Lappish hut structures were built along the snowmobile route to serve snowmobile riders. Right from the initial planning phase, environmental and social effects were well considered in all project construction work. Extensive environmental impact assessments were completed in the area affected by the route foundation work and extensive nature mapping was completed by a biologist from the Environment Centre at some locations. Expanding the snowmobile route network to cover the entire region and enabling route connections outside of the region and through Niirala to Russia considerably increased winter tourism in North Karelia and Russian Karelia. The contributing factors to the increase in winter-season tourism in North Karelia included a sufficiently extensive and networked snowmobile route structure that enabled various snowmobiling events and organised snowmobile races. The safari activity from Finland to Russian Karelia showed a slight upward trend at the conclusion of the project. The marketing of the North Karelia snowmobile routes was further intensified during the autumn of 2003 when the new website and region-specific snowmobile route maps were completed.

Basic information


Winter Roads


2001-10-01 - 2004-01-31

Total Budget / Programme funding

465 000 € / 315 900 €

Lead partner

Pohjois-Karjalan virkistysreittiyhdistys ry
Lead partner web-site


Town of Sortavala
Kontiolahti Municipality
Town of Nurmes
Town of Outokumpu
Kiihtelysvaara Municipality