On his sixth trip, Lönnrot had already begun surveying the extent of poetry-singing. At that time, in 1835, he hoped to undertake, with support from the university, a far more extensive trip than any of his previous ones, but the plan fell through. In autumn of 1836, hereceived one year's leave of absence, which was extended to 14 months, in order to undertake an extensive field trip. He even had a grant from the Finnish Literary Society for the purpose. The research plan stipulated that "first he was to visit the Finns living close to the national border from Kajaani to the north, and from there the trip was to proceed to the southeast, partly on the Russian, partly on the Finnish side."

In practice, the field trip was completed in two stages, as Lönnrot returned to Kajaani for a while after the trip north. This trip is always regarded as a single journey, however, because certain objectives were set for it and he had received a grant to finance it.

Lönnrot was joined for the beginning of the first phase by J.F.Cajan, a university student. We have details of the route they took from a letter Lönnrot sent from Uhtua to C.E. Gosman, the postmaster in Kajaani.

Lönnrot writes of his return home at the beginning of May 1837, at the end of his account of the journey:

I should still tell you how I went from Näytämö to the home of my friend Ekdahl, from there to the church in Inari, then on to Sodankylä, Kemijärvi, Kuusamo, Kianta, Hyrynslmi, Paltamo and, finally, Kajaani. But I have already written plenty to you about my trip, so I think it best to end my account there.