Koli Ice Road is one of the longest ice roads in Finland, with a length of 7 km (4.3 mi). The road crosses the Lake Pielinen, from Koli to Lieksa in Eastern Finland, in North Karelia, a region that borders to the regions of Kainuu, Northern Savonia, Southern Savonia, South Karelia and to Russia. Since 1980, the Koli ice road has been Finland’s longest public ice road.
Pielinen hosts an ice road, during most winters, between the villages of Koli and Vuonislahti. The ice road is 7 kilometres (4.3 mi) long and shortens the road distance between the two villages by 60 kilometres (37 mi). The minimum thickness of fast ice is 5 cm for a person walking alone, while a snowmobile requires an ice thickness of at least 15 cm along the entire route. This last point can be the downfall of snowmobile riders, who hit patches of thin ice owing to lake or river currents, often with fatal consequences. Moreover, the minimum thickness for a passenger car is about 20 cm of fast ice. On official ice roads the minimum ice thickness has to be 40 cm. Ice must be at least 40 cm (16 in) thick before the road may be opened. Ice roads are equipped with the necessary warning and other road signs. After use, ice roads are normally closed in order to prevent access by cars as the bearing capacity of the ice is reduced.
The following limits apply to ice roads:
-Weight limit 3 t (3.0 long tons; 3.3 short tons) (may be raised if ice is thick enough)
-Speed limit 50 km/h (31 mph)
-Minimum space of 50 m (164 ft) between cars traveling in the same direction
-Overtaking is prohibited.
-Stopping is prohibited.