Activity Berry and Mushroom picking

The nature of Lapland, with its midnight sun, produces particularly delicious berries, mushrooms and wild herbs.

Pick the vitamins of the midnight sun

The boundless nature of Sodankylä offers bursts of vitamins ripened by the midnight sun. In the town centre of Sodankylä you’re just a few steps away from berry picking: just follow the bank of the River Kitinen downstream to Pappilanniemi.

The everyone’s rights mean you can pick berries and mushrooms almost everywhere, as long as you are not in anybody’s yard or in the Sompio Stricts Nature Reserve. Beware of getting lost – when you eat the bulging berries you can lose your sense of direction surprisingly quickly! Please tell someone about your departure, which way you are going and how long you plan to stay. One good trick is to pick berries close to the road, so that the sounds of cars help to maintain a sense of direction. It’s a good idea to charge and take your phone with you, as a GPS tracker brings safety when heading to new berry picking spots. However, it is also good to have a map and compass in the berry picker’s pocket just in case. In case of getting lost, it is also a good idea to have the 112 Suomi application on your phone, which locates your location if you need to call the emergency number. Dressing colorfully will help finding you! Remember to also bring snacks and drinks, because when picking berries, time passes like wings and you also need energy to return from the trip and carry heavy buckets of berries! Remember that trash does not belong in nature – so take your trash with you!

Cloudberries usually ripen in July or in late July-early August. There are two types of cloudberry: the orange cloudberry that grows on bogs and the forest cloudberry. The ripe forest cloudberry can be red, whereas for the bog cloudberry redness is a sign of under-ripeness. You can recognise a ripe cloudberry by trying it gently with your fingers: an edible cloudberry is juicily soft. Unripe cloudberries, on the other hand, are hard – do not pick unripe cloudberries.

After the cloudberries the blueberries, lingonberries and black crowberries ripen. Cranberries, which are particularly rich in vitamins, become even juicier after night frosts. In the nature of Lapland, the delightfully brown mountain bearberry and bunchberry also ripen. They are also edible but do not really taste of anything.

Pssst! If you don’t have the energy or opportunity to pick cloud berries yourself, have some cloudberry jam crepes. You can order delicious cloudberry jam crepes at Camping Orakoski, Zippi & Suhaus and Café Harianna.

Mushroom picking in the Sodankylä forests

The boreal forest floors of Sodankylä groan under the weight of milk-caps, brittlegill, boletes, and even matsutakes, so prized by the Japanese. On the other hand, the edible mushrooms more familiar to southern Finns, such as chanterelles and funnel chanterelle mushrooms, are only rarely found in these latitudes. Remember only to pick mushrooms that you are certain are edible.

Mushrooms are also food for reindeer and the mushroom crop is very important to them. If the mushroom crop is poor in a certain year, their calves can be small.

Did you know? When picking mushrooms or berries, you might sometimes come across a gate in a reindeer fence in nature or on a forest motor road. You can go through the fence, but remember to close it after you!

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