Man has lived at Martimoaapa already in prehistoric times, as is proved by prehistoric artefacts found in the area's western parts on the Penikat Fells. There are dozens of man-made pits in the scree rocks along the slopes of the area's hills. These pits were most likely used for storing of meat from prehistoric up into historic times.
The age of ancient artefacts at Martimoaapa can not be known precisely. Based on the altitude that they were found at, many of the items could date back to the Old Stone Age.
Saunasaari cabin is located at Rakkamaa on the trail that leads through the area. It is a loggers' sauna from the 1950s. At the same location as the sauna there were originally other structures as well, a loggers' cabin and a stable.
During summer stacked wood was produced in the near-by forests while in winter it was larger logs. Loggers spent their evenings resting, sharpening cross-cut saws and frame saws, carving new axe handles or playing cards.
"The Pirtu Route"
During Prohibition in Finland in 1919-1932 an alcohol smuggling route run through the area where the mire reserve is today. Pirtu, a home-made spirit much like Moonshine, was smuggled from Sweden across the rocky waters of the Bothnian Bay. Hired hands carried Pirtu in 10 litre canisters strapped to their backs. They followed a secret route; Maksniemi - Sompujärvi - Tervola - Arppee - Kauhanen - Rovaniemi. The route led along the boundary between Simo and Tervola and is still clearly visible in the terrain.