Rokua UNESCO Global Geopark?
Rokua Geopark offers unique nature experiences and multiple services around the year! River Oulujoki valley, Rokua esker and dune area and Lake Oulujärvi comprise the beautiful landscape areas of Rokua Geopark, where the geological, natural and human history form a fascinating story spanning thousands of years.
Rokua Geopark is the first tourist destination in Finland to have UNESCO Global Geopark status. UNESCO, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation, is a specialised agency of the United Nations system. Global Geopark status is a UNESCO designation earned by unique regions worldwide. The status is awarded to special regions with outstanding geology and local culture – regions that support sustainable development, research, education and cultural heritage by working closely with local communities and agencies.Besides being a UNESCO Global Geopark, Rokua Geopark also belongs to the Global Geoparks Network and the European Geoparks Network.
The theme of Rokua Geopark is the Ice Age, it’s story is embedded in the history of the unique bedrock of the geopark that spans millennia. Geology has influenced the development of the area’s biodiversity, history, archaeology, culture and human settlement in many ways. Rokua Geopark is one of the northernmost UNESCO Global Geoparks in the world. There are 161 UNESCO Global Geoparks in 44 countries around the world, each with its own distinctive theme.
Rokua Geopark comprises three different landscape areas: the Oulujoki River Valley, Lake Oulujärvi and the Rokua Eskers and Dune area. Together they form an unbroken area covering over 1,300 m2. The Geopark begins in the town of Muhos, about 20 km from the city of Oulu, continuing for over 90 km to the southeast to the northern part of Lake Oulujärvi. The legacy of the Ice Age and the history of the area’s development can be seen in the natural phenomena of Rokua Geopark, with its high dunes and deep kettle holes hidden deep within its boundless forests, spectacular sandy shorelines along its glistening lakes and rivers, and boreal forests carpeted with white lichen, mushrooms and berries.
The geological story of the birth of the Rokua Geopark area has also shaped the soil and climate of the region, making it ideal for the production of locally grown food. Today the geopark produces unique local food, “Geofood”, which is closely linked to the regions geological heritage. The geological heritage and agricultural heritage of the geopark region are thus seamlessly combined in Geofood products.
Rokuanvaara is the Finnish Outdoor Destination of the Year 2018! Rokuanvaara won the public vote among ten incredible finalists.