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UEF Ruunaa Hiking Area Project Course with Metsähallitus

The University of Eastern Finland's Ruunaa Hiking Area Project Course is a being offered in Fall 2024 in partnership between the UEF Master's Degree Programme in Tourism Marketing and Management and Metsähallitus, or Parks & Wildlife Finland, the Finnish state-owned enterprise that manages and protects state-owned land and water areas

in Finland sustainably while reconciling the different goals of owners, customers and other stakeholders under the auspices of

the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry. 

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Project Summary

The Project Work in Tourism - Metsähallitus: Ruunaa Hiking Area Course will run from October to December 2024 and will be delivered using a combination of on-site learning, field trips, and remote instruction via MS Teams. The course will provide students with an opportunity to work in small peer groups to explore the strategies and considerations involved in enhancing the attractiveness of the Ruunaa Hiking Area, a small nature-based tourism destination, for potential investors.

 

By examining the unique challenges and opportunities faced by such destinations, students will gain insights into the factors that contribute to successful investment in the context of sustainable nature-based tourism.Upon successful completion of the course, students will be able to:

 

  • Understand and explain the procedures of a project, from planning to final reporting,

  • Utilize basic project management tools, plan, schedule, implement, report, and monitor a business-related project,

  • Adjust to challenges of strict schedules while engaging in collaborative problem solving with peers, and

  • Take and share responsibilities.

The Project Work in Tourism - Metsähallitus: Ruunaa Hiking Area Course will be comprised of three main content areas:

 

  1. Planning and organizing a the poject work to achieve specific project goals,

  2. Communicating within the project group as well as to the external stakeholders (Metsähallitus), and

  3. Contributing to the end reporting of the project in a profession manner (producing a high-quality final report, and final presentations to external stakeholders.

The Project Work in Tourism - Metsähallitus: Ruunaa Hiking Area Course will be executed using the following methods: active participation in a real-life research or development project, in which the student has a defined role with defined responsibilities, project documentation, and evalutions pass / fail based on the course plan.

Students will be supported in completing the Project Work in Tourism - Metsähallitus: Ruunaa Hiking Area Course with a collection of literature on project management, case project specific academic and industry literature, a course Moodle website, and course MS Teams Platform for peer collaboration.

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Ruunaa Hiking Area

The Ruunaa Hiking Area is located east of the Joensuu-Lieksa-Nurmes highway (National road 73). It is 30 km from Lieksa, 84 km from Nurmes and 120 km from Joensuu to Ruunaa.

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Ruunaa Hiking Area Trails

There are about 50 km of marked trails in Ruunaa Hiking Area, ranging from 3 to 31 kilometers in length, and from accessible (easy and demanding) to easy, intermediate and demanding (non-accessible) trails. For hikers looking for a long-distance through hike, the Karhunpolku Trail (133 km), which runs from Kuhmo to Patvinsuo National Park through Ruunaa Hiking Area, is ideal. 

There is also the accessible Neitikoski trail (600 m) starts from the Neitikoski parking area and runs on a stone ash covered trail for the first 200 m and then on a plank trail. The first section of the trail is rated as difficult and the plank trail is easy. Along the trail, there are rest stops, two campfire sites and two scenic lookout platforms next to the Neitikoski rapids. An accessible dry toilet is located at the starting point of the trail in the Neitikoski parking area.

Additional hiking structures and services are provided on non-accessible trails, including 5 lean-to shelters and campfire sites. Their locations are marked on the map below. There are also recycling points and dry toilets provided at parking sites, and close to all lean-to-shelters and campfire sites. 

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Ruunaa Hiking Area Trails

There are about 50 km of marked trails in Ruunaa Hiking Area, ranging from 3 ro 31 kilometers in length, and from accessible (easy and demanding) to easy, intermediate and demanding (non-accessible) trails. 

The accessible Neitikoski trail (600 m) starts from the Neitikoski parking area and runs on a stone ash covered trail for the first 200 m and then on a plank trail. The first section of the trail is rated as difficult and the plank trail is easy. Along the trail, there are rest stops, two campfire sites and two scenic lookout platforms next to the Neitikoski rapids. An accessible dry toilet is located at the starting point of the trail in the Neitikoski parking area.

Additional hiking structures and services are provided on non-accessible trails, including 5 lean-to shelters and campfire sites. Their locations are marked on the map below. There are also recycling points and dry toilets provided at parking sites, and close to all lean-to-shelters and campfire sites. 

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