The new trail leads along well established local trails for great distances. So one could use the existing cabins. Six cabins have been newly built. Hikers can do a long-distance hike in parts or as a total. The overall requirements , however, are significantly higher than, for instance, on the popular trails in Sweden. There are several smaller and bigger problems that you have to deal with.
The norwegian cabins are locked. You can rent a key for a small fee. It is easy for members of the STF, we just deposited 70 Skr in Abisko and got a key. The swedish huts have a hutkeeper during season, and out of season one room is accessible. The finnish cabins are open, but can be smaller than the others and can be filled.
Some cabins have not yet been built, for instance Koie in Norway, so you need a tent on these sections.
The pre-existing trails are usually well-marked. The sign of Nordkalottleden is not used very frequently as a marking, and sometimes you just find it at the cabin.
On some sections there are no possibilities to buy provisions, and the are no help-telephones as in Sweden, so you are on your own, and in some parts you will rarely meet other hikers.
As in some parts there are no cabins and as you have to ford some rivers, one can say that some of the requirements that I described in the Sarek chapter can be applied to Nordkalottleden, too.
For an overview I made a sketch of the trail. For a better understanding please compare this sketch with an appropriate map
The trail starts in Sulitjelma in Norway respectively in Kvikkjokk in Sweden. In Staloluokta at the Padjelantaleden the two trails join. The trail then follows Padjelantaleden to Vaisaluokta and turns left to Norway. Near Hukejaure it comes back to Sweden and joins the Kungsleden. It leads back to Norway via Abisko. It passes Treriksröset and along Halti, the highest mountain in Finland. The end of the trail is in Kautokeino / Norway.
We have not hiked longer parts of the trail except for the swedish trails, so we cannot give a description from the beginning to the end, but we try to give an overview on some parts of the trail.