Hamra National Park – 2 days in Hamra

Ormtjärn at Hamra

Hamra national park is one of Swedens smallest, and quite possibly, most anonymous parks in Sweden. The original park was founded 1909 together with 8 other parks. These were the first national parks ever founded in Europe. The original national park is tiny and can be seen in just a matter of hours. But 2011 the park was extended and became almost 50 times bigger even though it still one of Swedens smallest national parks. The park consists mainly of old forrest and wetlands.

Don’t want to read the full text? Just watch the video instead.

This trip started at the main entrance of the park. One thing that instantly stood out was how few visitors there was and how few cars where at the parking lot. A good start for any wilderness trip. Compared with other national parks like Fulufjället where one could expect a minor traffic chaos in the year of 2020 this was a refreshing turn to the better.

Hamra is part of one of the bear densest areas in Sweden but it is still quite rear to actually see a bear. But when hiking in the area the knowledge that a bear could be around next corner is ever present.

When leaving the main entrance one quickly got the feeling of being in the wild rather at a tourist attraction. Appart from a well marked trail there weren’t really any other signs of human impact. Since it mainly goes through wetlands it is nice to have the trail supported with boards to walk on. The mosquito situation was not great but nothing out of the ordinary. The little buggers where there, as one could expect in the wetlands, but not in a way that made the trip unpleasant.

After about 30 minutes down the Hamra trail you find yourself in an area affected by bushfires. I later found out that this area had deliberately been put on fire to attract new animals and growth. After the fire many new insects arrive and the woodpeckers comes after.

At Ormtjärn there is a shelter that can be used with a fireplace provided. It is only at these designated fireplaces one is allowed to start a fire and firewood is provided. One thing that surprised me about Hamra is the amount of cloudberries. These berries are very popular for picking and good spots are hard to find. But here in Hamra there where cloudberries everywhere but they weren’t quite ripe yet for another week or two. Cloudberries, along with most other berries too, can be a bit seasonal and can shift from year to year but guessing 2020 was a particularly good year.

It seemed as i had Hamra national park all by my self and i continued deeper into the park. Nice wether, views and lots of birds made the whole hike very enjoyable. And still surprised about the absence of other people. In fact i didn’t meet another person on the two days apart from where i started and finished. Instead it was mainly the little birds that kept me company.

I went to check the other shelter that exist in the park near one of the other entrance to the park. Since it was empty and i felt that i most likely would be there by myself i decided to set up camp there. This is the second spot in the park, apart from Ormtjärn, where you are allowed to start a fire which can be nice. Again firewood is provided.

When done setting up camp it was time for some dinner and relax. But when it got towards dusk it was time to get out on an evening hike which followed the loop trail “långa myrslingan”. This part was for me the most enjoyable on the trip where you got the best views over the wetlands. Continuously looking to see if you can get a glimpse of a bear but without luck.

Along the trail “stora myrslingan” there is a lookout tower. A perfect place to get the full overview and enjoying the sunset.

After the evening hike it was time to get back to camp and see the last rays of sun disappear. This was during July and the days are long with short nights. I wasn’t expecting it to be as cold as it became during the night. I wasn’t expecting the temperature to go down as much as to 4 degrees and i got a bit colder than i expected during the night. But since the nights are short i knew that the sun was on its way to help out soon again.

The next morning i woke up warm and to nice weather again. Put down the camp and started to hike back to where i started. It was almost the same way as walked the previously day. Hamra continued to show up it self from its best side and enjoyed all the little birds that one saw along the wetlands.

When i got back to the main entrance where i had started the day before i took a tour into the original national park from 1909. Now there were some other visitors around visiting the parks for a day trip. The original part of the park is made up of forrest and it was protected to save a part of forrest that had not been affected by humans.

On this trip i had seen about half of the Hamra national park. The part that i had missed out on is the eastern part which follows the small river of Svartån. So next visit in the park it will be from the eastern part and follow the stream towards the wetlands.

Canoeing Malingsbo Kloten

Malingsbo Kloten is a nature reserve just two hours from Stockholm. It is being called Swedens southernmost wilderness and it doesn’t take long until you get that wild feeling when entering the area. Join on a two day canoeing adventure.

To much text? Just watch the video.

This trip started in Kloten which just consist more or less of a canoe rental accommodation. It doesn’t take long until you have paddled past the last house and signs of civilization is no longer present. There are plenty of islands and spots were one can stop for a break and make a coffee. The wildlife is plenty here and many birds dwell here. One of the more iconic is the great loon which echoes its call in the dusk. Perfect for that wilderness feeling.

First coffee break on Malingsbo Kloten canoe trip.

There are different routes one can take in the lake system but the area is not huge. This trip included one lift with the canoe which was really simple when equipped with a canoe wagon. Even without one it wouldn’t be to hard. At the end of the page a map is provided over the route.

Canoeing towards the first lift for the trip.

Even though the area is popular amongst both hikers and for canoeing there isn’t a crowd. Finding a neat camping spot is easy and there are spots with shelters provided. We found a perfect spot on a small island. With a 360 view of the water we were more than happy. Quickly got the camp up and get some snacks before we went fishing.

Relaxing in the sunset on the island where we made camp

Even though we already tried our luck every now and then with the rod we wanted to give it a more designated chance to get some fish. But as it often turns out we ended up without any catch this time. Nevertheless it was a nice evening time canoe time.

On the fishing trip we stopped and gathered some firewood. The rest of the evening was spent at the camp fire, watching the sunset and just enjoying to be out and feel the calm.

Sunset from our camp
Some last minute fishing

Next morning after a good night sleep we got the camp down and started to paddle back the same way we came from. If we would have one more day we could have done a more cirqular route but with just one overnight it made most sense to go back and forth.

Heading back towards Kloten

Malingsbo Kloten is a great wilderness and canoeing destination. Since it is only about 2 hours away from Stockholm it is also quite accessible. For a shorter wilderness get-away the area is great.

Map over the route

Map over Malingsbo Kloten canoe trip

Långviksträsk & Björnö Nature Reserve

At Ingarö east of Stockholm you find two very different nature reserves only a few minutes apart from each other.

Långviksträsk is quite anonymus which quickly get reflected on the parking entrence to the nature reserve. Few spaces and no other cars. Usually a good sign. The trail start through the forrest but after about 1 km you start to get some hints what Långviksträsk is all about. Here you find one of Stockholms largest marshland which gives you a sense of wilderness. Here you can feel the silence and watch the osprey pray for fish in the lake. In the late summer one can pick ripe cloudberries.

If Långviksträsk isn’t enough for you there is only a short ride to another nature reserve, Björnö.

Björnö is in many way opposite of Långviksträsk. The parking lot is huge and often packed with cars. In summer Björnö is popular for swimming in the ocean but it is well visited all year around. Björnö is popular since you get out to the archipelago without have to take the boat.

Working Remote In The Wild

During the Corona pandemic working remote became standard for, more or less, anyone who had the chance. In the beginning no one knew for how long but now, many weeks later, we know that it will probably be for quite some time. This sudden change in work life has both its pro’s and con’s. But how well does it work to grab your computer and head out in the nature for the day?

Four main findings were identified after been working in the wild.

1. Connectivity
In most cases you need to have access to internet. Make sure you have network access were you plan to camp for the day.

2. Battery
You will most likely use a laptop and then you are fully dependent on the battery life. So make sure you have good (and fully charged) batteries.

3. Ergonomics
When working in the wild you need to be somewhat creative when finding a good working position. Have to try to make the best of the situation when lacking office chairs and proper desktops.

4. Temperature
When sitting in front of a computer you don’t move around at all and quickly get cold if the weather is chilly or if there is a slight breeze. Dress accordingly.

Paradiset Nature Reserve – Wilderness Near Stockholm

Stockholm is Scandinavians largest city but that doesn’t mean that you can’t find some wilderness adventures. Paradiset nature reserve is one of those places where one can find beautiful nature and feel the silence, only 20 km from Stockholm city center.

There are many walking trails in Paradiset so it is easy to explore. Or why not just go off the beaten path and you will be all by yourself. Because Paradiset is quite well visited, especially during the day. The lakes are natural spots both for daytrippers as well as for overnighters.

Lake Trehörningen

At lake Trehörningen or Långsjön there are shelters that are free to use to spend the night in. There are also fireplaces here , normally firewood is provided, but can’t be guaranteed. At lake Trehörningen there is also a small cabin, Ugglekojan, which is free for everyone to use. The cabin is small and only two bunks where you can sleep. There is also a small fire stove so the potential cold nights wont be a problem. Note that the cabin can’t be booked so it is a first come, first serve basis. So don’t rely that the cabin will be empty.

Ugglekojan

In the bordering nature reserve Tornberget you find Stockholm highest point. This stand at just 111 meters above the sea so it’s a quite modest peak. However, a lookout tower has been built to provide a nice view. There are trails leading from Paradisets main parking to reach the tower.

Forest in Paradiset

Koppången Nature Reserve

Koppången nature reserve

A short drive north of Orsa lies Koppången nature reserve which is famous for its mires and old forest. The nature reserve is in the highlands so it gets more snow compared to Orsa just 30 minutes away. This makes it a popular winter destination and the snow is usually still present in May. Dogsled is a popular activity here as well as exploring the area with cross country skis.

In the heart of the reserve you find the cabin of Blomtäkt. It is open for everyone and a perfect place to rest and warm up at the fire place. Firewood is provided but you should chop your own firewood. It is also possible to stay for the night in the cabin and it is free of charge. It is not possible to book in advance so it’s a first come first served basis.

Koppången is probably most famous for its winter activities could be visited any part of the year. This area holds one of Scandinavias largest bear population and bear is frequently spotted in the area.

Sörmlandsleden Stage 10

Stage 10 starts in Tvetaberg and ends in Järna. The route is 12 km long and on this tour we ended a bit short of Järna, at Kallfors to be more precise. The first km of the stage is not too interesting. The route is along a road and there is quite much houses along the way. But eventully you reach the forrest and get both views and lakes.

We made camp at Vaskasjöarna at a really nice spot. The rest of the day we relaxed and took care of the fire which needed much attention since it had been raining for a couple of days. The hunting season had started and we heard rifle shoots going of a couple of times.

More info about the trip is best seen on Youtube:

Canoeing from Rimforsa towards Vimmerby

Some adventures are planned for a long time while others happens just because an opportunity arise. This is one of those unplanned trips that happen just because you got some unexpected time over and access to a canoe in Rimforsa.

So we knew that we would start in Rimforsa but wasn’t sure where we would end. We found info that there is a canoe trail that passes Rimforsa but in the opposite direction that we were planing. Couldn’t find any good info about how strong the current is in the parts that consist of rivers but from the look of it from google map it looked like it should be ok. If not then we just had to change the plan., no problems.

We got a late start the first day and just paddled on to cover as much distance as possible the first day. In late September the sun sets around 19.00 and it is dark around 30 minutes later so you really notice the shorter days now compared to the summer. Got ourself a nice camp on a small island in the rather big lake of Åsunden where we spent most of this trip on.

When we woke up the next morning we woke up to more or less summer weather. The sun was warming and, at the beginning, almost no wind. Conditions couldn’t become much better especially at this time of year when the autumn really starts to take its grip over Scandinavia. When we started paddling the wind started to pick up but we had the wind in our back so it just made our day even easier. We realized that the lake Åsunden was larger than we had anticipated and it took us quite some time before reaching the small city of Horn were we had to do our first lift. On the other hand we didn’t stress and had some nice breaks and even a swim.

At Horn there was a local store so one could fill up supplies and water here if needed. With a canoe wagon the lift would be extremely easy since it was a gravel road but we had to carry the canoe. From here the paddling is mainly on the river of Stångån and a few connecting lakes. I feel that paddling on rivers have a tendency to be more rewarding than the big lakes since there is more to rest your eyes on and you get the feeling that you are moving forward faster. And it is more exiting since you don’t know what is going to be around the next corner.

It was harder to find a campsite than expected and suddenly we found our self still in the canoe after sunset and nowhere to camp. We picked up the pace and just when we needed it at most we wound an island that worked. When the tent was up it was almost pitch black so it was really in the last minute.

In the morning we woke up to another beautiful day with some light fog over the water. This was our last day and we needed to get an early pick up since normal life was calling so we got ourself an early start and started paddling. The weather shifted to the worse just to shift back again to become really nice.

We didn’t made it all the way to Vimmerby which was sort of the plan but it wouldn’t been any problem if we have had the full day paddling. We ere very happy with this trip were everything had worked in our favor. It shows that having a piece of the Scandinavian wilderness doesn’t need to be hard or well planned. Sometimes all you need is some time over and a canoe.

Sörmlandsleden Stage 11 & 12

Sörmlandsleden is one of Swedens longest walking trail. The trail starts at the subway station in Björkhagen, Stockholm, and then make a loop in the Swedish county of Södermanland. The main loop is around 620 km long but with alternative and connecting routes the entire trail is around 1000 km.
Sörmlandsleden is a popular choice for day trips or shorter overnight trips. It is an easy way to explore the nature around Stockholm. The trail is usually easy accessible and it is well marked so walking and camping along the trail is quite easy.

This tour was starting at stage 12 and walking towards stage 11. More information about the trip is provided in the video below.