7 of the most beautiful protected forests in the world

Trees still rule in these protected natural areas.

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The pine trees of Oulanka National Park in Finnish Lapland The pine trees of Oulanka National Park in Finnish Lapland (Photo: Popova Valeriya / Shutterstock)

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Oulanka National Park, Finland

Oulanka National Park is situated in the remote Northern Ostrobothnia and Lapland regions of Finland. Another protected area, Paanajärvi National Park, sits across the border in Russia. A traditional home of the indigenous Sami people, the forests of Oulanka have been their hunting grounds for centuries. Today, tourism is the main industry. 

Old wooden cabins have been renovated all around the park. Hikers can actually stay in these shelters free of charge. While they are inside Oulanka, visitors may encounter bears, moose, elk and lynx. The park is very close to the Arctic Circle, so it is very cold and dark during the winter.  

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