The Kitka WILDRiver spans over a length of 16 kilometres and is embedded in the Oulanka Wilderness and in Oulanka National Park, Finland. The Kitka WILDRiver is characterized by extraordinary scenery, being home to features such as spruced flood-lands, pine stands growing on sandy soil and past hills covered by dwarfed tundra vegetation.
The Kitka WILDRiver (together with Oulanka WILDRiver) since the beginning of conservation effort in this area is the key element and driving force behind establishment of the Oulanka National Park and later on the transboundary protected area Paanajärvi National Park in Russia. Both rivers are flowing through the Oulanka Wilderness and Oulanka National Park down to the Paanajärvi National Park and Lake Paanajärvi in Russia.
The Kitka WILDRiver and Oulanka WILDRiver (Finland) together with the Olanga WILDRiver (Russia) create an international WILDRiver of great value.
European Wilderness Quality Standard Audit System
The 26 km Kitka WILDRiver (together with Oulanka WILDRiver) was audited and monitored in 2002, 2003, 2004, 2007, 2010 and 2012 and meets the Bronze Wilderness Quality Standard. A European Wilderness Quality Standard Renewal-Audit is scheduled for 2022.
- Protected area: Oulanka National Park
- WILDRiver: Kitka WILDRiver
- Wilderness Quality Standard: Bronze
- Country: Finland
- Size of the protected area: 29,000 ha
- Size of the WILDRiver: 16 km
- European Wilderness Quality Standard Audit: 2012
- WILDRiver Uniqueness: Well-protected river, surrounded by old-growth northern boreal pine forest, mires and swamps
- Number of visitors per year to the protected area: approx. 175,000
- Number of visitors per year to the WILDRiver: approx. 15,000
The surrounding of Kitka WILDRiver is full of versatile plant species and partly due to calcium-rich bedrock there are many rare species. Along the Kitka WILDRiver there are habitats for uncommon butterflies. Rare birds like the Siberian jay and the capercaillie also take refuge along the Kitka WILDRiver.
Wilderness Tourism Experience
The Kitka WILDRiver is offering a unique experience in unspoiled region. In the last years, more and more visitors are heading to this area, particularly from nearby Russia, to learn and experience the sister of the Olanga WILDRiver and the boreal forest in Finland. Visitors can come across the semi-domestic reindeer, great grey owl, and many other nordic species. But first of all, they can enjoy the Kitka WILDRiver.