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.
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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.