Long and narrow, Lake Paanajärvi is situated amongst the fells in the north-western part of the Republic of Karelia, not far from the Russian-Finnish border.
Rivers Oulankajoki and Kuusinkijoki that originate in the Kuusamo Commune, Finland, feed the Lake. The Olanga River connects Lake Paanajärvi with the region's largest Lake, Pyaozero.
Every summer, Brown Trout, the greatest asset of Park's Salmonidae, force their way upstream through foaming rapids to reach the calm back-waters in the upper part of the River,
where in autumn the fish spawn on the rocky bottom. The river route of the Brown Trout takes it through spruced flood-lands, pine stands growing on sandy soil,
and past fells covered by dwarfed tundra vegetation.
Brown Bear, Reindeer, Otter and other taiga animals inhabit these forests.
In this area, you can find the remnants of abandoned Finnish and Karelian settlements.
At the moment, all this is located in the Paanajärvi National Park, area 104371 hectares.
NP “Paanajarvi” became a member of European organization - PAN Parks
Members of PAN parks foundation, which was created within a framework of
WWF project, are European protected areas which are most unique from the
point of undisturbed nature, efficient management and participation of local
communities in the management practices. Certificate which proves that NP
“Paanajarvi” corresponds to PAN Parks criteria was awarded in October 2005.
For detailed information please see http://www.panparks.org
In August 2006 a new TACIS joint project “Oulanka- Paanajarvi: wilderness, experiences and well-being” was launched on the transboundary nature protected territory Oulanka-Paanajarvi in the framework of Russian-Finnish project EUREGIO KARELIA.
Today the two national parks – Finnish “Oulanka” and Russian “Paanajarvi” play an important social and economic role in the region. Their priorities for the nearest future will be optimization of use and maintaining ecological and social-and-economic sustainability of recreational and nature tourism. The new project would assist in achieving the set goals. The main purpose of the project is to secure and strengthen the status of Oulanka-Paanajarvi twin park as the most important national and international tourist attraction and resource in the region.