nature for real
Sweden’s 30th national park
Åsnen, a lake with a unique archipelago, a 700 km shoreline and more than a thousand islands. This is also where you find Sweden’s 30th national park.
Discover the National Park
Åsnen National Park has a distinctive and atmospheric lake archipelago, where silence encloses uninhabited islands and islets which have not had any human impact for a very long time. The mosaic of different natural habitats is amazing and characteristic for the area. Old deciduous forests with rare mosses, lichen and fungi are interspersed with coniferous forests, lingonberry plants and marshland. The environments are home to birds, plants and insects that have become rare or even disappeared elsewhere when the landscape has changed.
In the national park, many of the special environments have been made accessible and therefore the possibilities for nature experiences are endless! Paddle through Åsnen’s waters. Wander through lush deciduous forests. Or stand by the shore of the lake at dusk in spring and listen and look for birds. Maybe you’ll be able to hear the whizzing wings of the common goldeneye or the exclusive sound of the black-throated diver calling out on the lake.
The main entrance to the national park is Sunnabron, along the strait to Åsnen’s largest island, Sirkön. Walking paths lead to the nearby Bjurkärr which belongs to Sweden’s most valuable deciduous forest with rich birdlife and the presence of rare insects, mosses and lichens which are of international calibre.
In the western part of the national park you find the second entrance, Trollberget. This is commonly called “Åsnen in a miniature version”, because you’ll find everything from deciduous forest to pine trees, fir trees, lake beaches and marshy forest on a very small surface. The gap in the boulders where the trolls celebrated Christmas, as well as the walking path “The forest path in the five-forest kingdom”, is appreciated by children and families with children.
At the entrances to the national park you find resting places, toilets and fireplaces. There are also marked walking paths and waterfront wooden decks that are perfect for enjoying packed picnic baskets!
In order to reach the islands of the national park either a boat or a kayak is required, as well as being prepared for some hardships. This is the wilderness, with uninhabited islands without any facilities. Please note that the birdlife of the archipelago is very sensitive. During the period 1 April – 31 July, it is not allowed to access the northern parts of the island Bergön in order to protect breeding birds. The same goes for the northern parts of the island Södra Aspö as well as several of the other islands in Åsnen.
Become one with nature in a kayak
An excellent way to experience Åsnen and the national park is to glide between the islands in a kayak. Scout for ospreys and sea eagles. It’s difficult to get any closer to nature than this. Kayaks kan be rented for example at Getnö Lake Åsnen Resort, where they also arrange fishing school for children. At Getnö you also find a nature camping and cottages, and you can take part in an array of activities such as fishing, canoeing, hiking and horseback riding on Icelandic horses.
Biking around Åsnen
Another way to come close to Åsnen’s inland archipelago is by hopping on a bike. The cycle trail around Åsnen, “Åsnen Runt”, is 140 kilometres long and can be divided into as many segments as you like. Make shorter stops along the road or stay the night in a B&B or at a camping place if you want to take it at a quieter pace. The cycle trail goes on disused railway embankments and small gravel roads and also through the national park.
Osprey and sea eagles
Åsnen is a paradise for those interested in nature and birds. The lake is an important breeding site for ospreys and you can also see the majestic sea eagles sail in the sky. Besides the national park, there are also 12 nature reserves in the area. Many areas are protected at certain times, for example during the birds’ breeding season, but with binoculars you will still be able to watch the birds from a distance.
Read about Åsnen Big 5 and all the activities offered in and around Åsnen at Visit Åsnen.
Åsnen Must See
–The magnificent view of Åsnen’s islands from the Lunnabacken nature reserve.
–The main entrance to the national park, Sunnabron, and the Bjurkärr nature reserve with its unique deciduous forest.
–The second national park entrance, the mythical 'Trollberget' (troll mountain).
–The wild meadow orchards in the southeastern parts of Åsnen.
–Huseby Bruk, an old ironworks that has been restored and is full of life.
Find information on the national park and everything that there is to see and do on Åsnen's website