Syöte, Finland – mountain biking route
Altitude difference, m
Total Ascent, m
Longest decent, m
Route descriptionThere are only a few places in Finland that are on the wish list of every slightly more experienced mountain biker. In order to get to this wish list, the place should offer challenging and versatile trails, stunning scenery, well maintained routes and comfortable resting areas. One of such places is definitely Syöte. The region has actively invested in the development of mountain biking in the recent years. As an example of this are constantly improving mountain biking trails and an MTB-competition, which sells out in just a few hours.
Syöte is located on Lapland’s border, one hundred kilometers from Kuusamo. From southern Finland, the distance is much longer – about a day of car ride (750 km). You should visit Syöte Nature Centre upon arrival. Here you can buy maps of the area (hiking and mountain biking) and get some useful tips for your mountain biking adventure. All the mountain biking trails in the area start from the Syöte Nature Centre. The address is Erätie 1, 93280, Syöte (Pudasjärvi).
In the summer of 2017 Syöte had 3 official marked routes. These are: Syotteen kierros (19 km), Toraslammen Taival (54 km) and Pitämävaaran lenkki (40 km).
Syötteen kierros is technically easiest one and especially suitable for beginners. Pitämävaaran lenkki is of medium difficulty and contains a lot of altitude differences, some technical sections and duck-boards. Also, Syöte MTB competition mainly follows this route. Toraslammen taival is technically the most challenging one. It is also a one-way route (26 km per direction).
The route in the video (GPS-track) mainly follows Pitämävaaran lenkki loop and some sections from Syöte MTB competition. The total distance of the route is 59 km, of which about 85% is a versatile singletrack. Also, there are more than enough climbs and descents here. Everything is crowned by the magnificent ridge and forest landscapes, and the exemplary route markings!
Nature Centre – Small Syöte (0-7 km)
The route starts from the Nature Centre, where you can find a car parking. The first kilometers of the route mainly follow along the skiing paths. A small challenge at the start of the route is a few short duck-board sections. At six kilometers, the route turns right towards the top of Small Syöte. This is not an official section of Pitämävaaran lenkki, but a part of Syöte MTB competition. If you are looking for a little more climbing meters and, apart of great scenery, you would like to enjoy a fast, technical singletrack descent – I can warmly recommend you this section.
Small-Syöte – Mylly (7-11 km)
This section starts with a fast technical descent along the singletrack called Peikkopolku. After this, the route is reconnected with the official Pitämävaaran lenkki loop and descents even further following the skiing path. This is the longest descent on the route (over 1km). After the descent, the route continues along the skiing path towards Mylly (translated as Mill).
Mylly – Portinoja (11-21 km)
Mylly has the first shelter on the route. During your break, you can explore an old Water Mill building and fill up drinking water from the nearby stream. A short distance from Mylly the first singletrack of the route begins (at around 13 km mark). From now on, the route follows only singletrack, with only a few transition sections. Singletrack is medium difficulty and well ridable. In some places there are some rooty sections, which can be challenging in rainy weather. Singletrack includes lots of short climbs, descents and twisty turns. Some of the route goes within Syöte National Park area, where biking is forbidden outside of marked mountain biking trails. Please take this into consideration if you wish to explore some other trail sections in the area as well. Outside of Syöte National Park the route follows Syöte MTB competition trails, which are slightly different from the marked Pitämävaaran lenkki. This will add some additional fun trails to your trip!
Portinoja – Kellarilampi (21 – 37 km)
The section starts from the Portinoja shelter, where you can stop for a break and fill up some fresh drinking water. From here on, the route continues with a fun singletrack, that runs in a very versatile terrain. Along this section you will find plenty of small climbs and descents, fast, flowy and twisty trails, few technical rooty and rocky sections, small forest hills and lake landscapes. At the end of the section, you will ride along the Pytkynharju ridge with a wonderful scenery.
Along this section you will find plenty of small climbs and descents, fast, flowy and twisty trails, few technical rooty and rocky sections, small forest hills and lake landscapes.
The section starts from the Kellarilampi Lake, where you can find a very well equipped resting area and a shelter. This is a must-stop place on the route. From this point on, the route will follow Syöte MTB competition route, except for the last long climb. This means that you will be able to enjoy the ridge scenery twice, as the route will rise on top of it again after a small loop. If at this stage you will only have little energy left – the route can be shortcut by following the official Syötteen Kierros loop towards the Nature Centre (clockwise). This way you will shorten the distance by more than ten kilometers.
In addition to the magnificent scenery, the ridges offer plenty of challenge for both fitness and technical skills. This is the best leg of the route, so you should definitely take your time to enjoy it!
After the ridges the route continues on a well-maintained path, where all wet and challenging sections are covered with gravel. Thus, even beginners will be able to fully enjoy these sections (Syötteen Kierros). A few short parts of the route are also completely new sections of Syöte MTB competition (introduced in 2017). At 53 km mark, the route runs over a small stream, where you can refill your water reservoirs. The end of the route flows up a gentle uphill for a few kilometers.
In general, Syöte mountain biking route can definitely be considered as one of the best riding experiences in Finland. Due to versatility and riding experience, every mountain biking enthusiast will surely enjoy every kilometer of Syöte!