Monday, 8 October 2018

Central Sweden: Conclusion

Typical forest in Central Sweden
When I started this hike I had really been looking forward to this section in Central Sweden because I do like to walk in forest: it gives me protection against wind, rain and sun! But I have to admit that all the forest got a bit boring in the end. The terrain is flat, the forest consists of thin spruce trees and the trail is often overgrown and/or difficult to walk. Large-scale logging activities complicated hiking as well because of missig markers and trail damage caused by vehicles. There are very few view points along the trail and because Sweden is sparsely populated there is not much in the way of cultural sights like wayside crosses or chapels.

One of the many nice lakes along the trail
But there were two highlights, too: Every day I came across at least one lake. In summer this is perfect for swimming and I was a very clean hiker on this section! This has been an unusually hot summer but I had few water problems because of all these lakes. I guess fishing would be an option, too. To make things even better there are free shelters beside many of these lakes! And typical for Sweden there are fire places and even free fire wood is provided! I encountered very few other hikers and mostly had the shelters for myself. Because of the shelters it is very feasible to hike here year round. Bring a free standing tent so that you can set it up inside the shelter for bug protection!

A very happy hiker in one of the shelters
My two favourite trails were the Bergslagsleden and the Vasaloppsleden - mainly because these two trails have the best shelter system. I can happily recommend these trails for stressed out hikers who are looking for a relaxing one- or two-week long trip in relative wilderness. Compared to the more popular trails like the Kungsleden you will hardly met any other hikers here but you feel still far away from civilisation. And because of all the forest you can still have a relatively good time even if the weather turns bad. For the long-distance hiker this is still a nice section but it gets a bit dull after a while.

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