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Bulletin: New mountain route in Utsjoki lets hikers experience the evolution of the Universe



The new Arctic Time Trek route to be built on the mountains of Utsjoki

A new hiking route called the “Arctic Time Trek” is being built into the picturesque mountains of Utsjoki. The 14 km route will open in the summer 2020 and will serve hikers and trekkers interested in natural sciences, local schools, and even university level education. The route takes you from the town centre all the way to the Paistunturi wilderness area. The project includes renovating run-down infrastructure along the route.

As you walk on the Time Trek you travel in time. Each metre you walk takes you one million years into the past“, says the person behind the Time Trek idea, Kirsi Lehto, astrobiologist from the University of Turku.

The Arctic Time Trek informs the traveller about the evolution of the world in an exciting and empirical way. The large information plaques show how the universe, Earth, life, and even our own species has developed and affected its surroundings. The route features relevant Sami mythology and history.

In order to protect the vulnerable mountain environment the route winds along pre-existing paths. The route begins from the present day at the Utsjoki high school, and ends at the time of the Big Bang, occurring near the hut and fireplace at Nammajavrrit. On the way the route passes over the Vuolleseavttetvarri mountain and past the Utsjoki church.

The new route helps local schools. It illustrates how intimately the natural sciences interact. Astronomy, physics, chemistry, geology, biology, etc. The first summer high school that utilizes the route will be organized in late July“, illuminates retired high school science teacher Juhani Harjunharja. He is the chair of the Ohcejoga Utsjoen Ursa astronomical association, the organization responsible for the new route.

Time Trek is a teaching method developed at the University of Turku to help with complex astrobiology studies. It supports interdisciplinary studies, and helps perceiving long time periods as well as natural changes and causal connections. The Arctic Time Trek is the first Time Trek route to be built outside the greater Turku area.

Reitin toteuttavat yhteistyössä Ohcejoga Utsjoen Ursa, Aikavaellus, Metsähallituksen Lapin luontopalvelut, Turun yliopiston Kevon tutkimuslaitos, sekä Utsjoen koulut. Hankkeen rahoittaa Leader Pohjoisin Lappi.

The route is produced as a cooperation between the Ohcejoga Utsjoen Ursa astronomical association, Aikavaellus (Time Trek), Parks and Wildlife Lapland of Metsähallitus aka Finnish Forestry Administration, Kevo Subarctic Research Institute of the University of Turku, and the schools of Utsjoki. Project funding is provided by Leader Northernmost Lapland.

Additional information:

Juhani Harjunharja
Ochejoga Utsjoen Ursa, puheenjohtaja
Puh. 040 – 189 4910

Jarmo Korteniemi, publicist, Time Trek
Email: jarmo.korteniemi(miukmauku)
Telephone: 045 – 636 2264

Kirsi Lehto, Chair, Time Trek
Email: klehto(miukmauku)
Telephone: 050 – 338 2824

Photos and maps:

Route map of the Arctic Time Trek. (Aikavaellus association)

Ford, Badjeseavttet. (Samuli Kotiranta)

Heargevarri campfire site. (Jarmo Korteniemi)

Lapland bumblebee. (Samuli Kotiranta)

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