Where to Stay Close to Malla Natural Reserve
We rented out a cottage from Kilpisjärvi Retkeilykeskus and we weren't disappointed. The cottage had 2 beds (one of them for 2 people), a kitchen with a stove, microwave, dishes and a coffee maker and a bathroom with warm water. The cottage doesn't come by default with bed linen, nor towels. You would need to order those separately. You can book a cottage from booking.com.
About Malla Natural Reserve
Malla was already protected since 1916, but in 1938 it became a strict nature reserve. Malla fells is a special region that has special types of plants and it is to be admired only from a marked hiking path during the summer. During the winter the area can be used for cross-country skiing.
The whole trail from Kilpisjärvi parking spot to the Three-Country Cairn is 10 km. If you like to go through the whole trail you can take a boat from Kilpisjärvi, which takes 30 minutes to get to the other side of the lake, which is quite close to the hiking trail. The boat goes 3 times a day and you can find more information about it on their website. I would reserve at least half a day for this hike.
Unfortunately for us we missed the boat and the next one would have left very late in the evening so we decided to just start directly from the parking place. We stopped half way the hiking path, when we arrived to Kitsiputous (Kitsi waterfall) and then turned back.
At least the part that we hiked on was quite easy, except for a small portion of the hike at the beginning of the trail and when we got close to Kitsiputous. At the beginning of the trail it's a bit steeper and a lot of sand, so proper hiking shoes are recommended.
Soon after you start the trail you will cross a bridge over Siilaskoski and you'll get some great views of Sillasjärvi.
When you get to the top of the hill the path starts to become almost like a walking path. on top of the hills of Kilpisjärvi. If you turn to left you can hike for 1 km to Pikku Malla peak, 738 m. There is a mark for the beginning of this hike.
After a bit you'll pass by Mallajärvi, whch you can see in the picture above, and then there is a bit of an uphill. After this hill the trail gets a bit rocky, so you'll need to watch your step.
You can see and hear Kitsiputous already. Kitsi waterfall is at the end of this rocky path.
Kitsi waterfall is formed of 3 different small waterfalls and it's about 100 m in total. The waterfall was first measured properly with a drone in 2018. The first part of the waterfall is 29 meters and then the second part is 25 meters.
From here you can admire Malla Natural Reserve and you can continue towards the Three Nations' Border Point. Unfortunately I had some knee problems during this trip and going down the trail was very painful for me, so I had to abandon. I am not used to hiking, so every time I take a hiking trip, the first 2 - 3 days are very painful for me. After these days my knees are fine again, but I guess they need time to adjust. This is an easy trail and anyone that doesn't have these kind of knee problems should be fine.