I am looking forward to a really special canoe trip. We will spend 3 weeks this summer, paddling 3 rivers in Lapland. Starting in Norway, we will cross into Finland for a few days on the Poroeno watershed www.canoeguide.net/en/finland/fin-01-lappland/404-fin-01-006-poroeno .
We’ll work our way across to the Kautokeino River in Norway and run that river to the town of Kautokeino. After a day of resupply and sightseeing we get car transportation to the headwaters lake of the Reisa River
. We follow the Reisa through a challenging gorge and continue all the way to the sea.
On each river we will start as high as a canoe will float and we’ll work our way down shallow, rocky rapids. We start at 69 degrees north and descend a total of 1000 meters (3300 ft) before we arrive at the coast. By far the best way to canoe this route is with light and maneuverable solo canoes (I know this from past experience with both larger canoes and solo canoes on the same route). Picking your way down a steep and rocky stream in a solo canoe is simply a lot of fun!
Towards the end, the Reisa becomes easy, and that is a good thing because the scenery is truly spectacular. One of the highlights (on a tributary) will be the Mollis Falls – at 269 meters (883 ft) the highest waterfall above the Arctic Circle.
For now, our main challenge will be to get all our canoe gear from New Hampshire to North Norway without spending a fortune on transportation. Fortunately, Icelandair still allows passengers to check two 50 pound bags in addition to our carry-on allowance. We will get it done one way or another, and it will all be worth it. I will post an update when we get closer to our departure, and there will be a lot more when we get back!
A note about the canoeguide.net river descriptions: The descriptions were based on experience with inflatable double canoes that would be a better fit on larger rivers, and any route description is influenced by the writer’s perception of the river. We will have an easier time with lighter and more maneuverable solo canoes.