Welcome to Åsnen National Park – Sweden’s youngest national park. When it comes to natural environments, there is no greater mark of quality than the national park designation, and here you will find valuable and unique types of nature really close up. Åsnen National Park has something for everyone.
Åsnen is wilderness, water, islands and silence. An untouched nature paradise with an inland lake archipelago with more than 1000 islands and a 700km shoreline. Åsnen National Park, which was formed in 2018 and so became Sweden’s 30th national park, is approx. 19sq.km large and about 75% thereof is water. The national park has a flat terrain with many large stone and boulder fields. Read more about the national park’s geology here.
Åsnen National Park has two entrances: Trollberget in the western part, and the main entrance Sunnabron in the north. The entrances are like gateways to the national park and have wind shelters, fire pits and lakeside wooden decks in a harmonious design. By the entrances you also find a car park, information signs, waste separation bins and toilets.
The mosaic of various types of environments offers a majestic mingling of northern and southern. Old broadleaf forests with rare mosses, lichens and fungi, are interspersed with taiga conifer forests, lingonberry brush and marshland. Many of the environments host birds, plants and insects that are rare or absent elsewhere because of how the landscape has changed. Maybe you’ll see a majestic white-tailed eagle or osprey, or perhaps hear the black-throated diver call out over the lake. Moose, otters and lynx can also be spotted here. In Åsnen National Park you are offered powerful experiences, whether you are a true outdoor enthusiast, a family with children, or just want to go out and spend time in nature.
One of the best ways to discover nature in the Åsnen area is on foot. Several of the environments in the national park have been made available, and there are a number of colour-marked footpaths to choose from to experience the diversity in the area. Here you can find an overview of the paths in the national park.
By the national park entrances are nice picnic areas with lakeside wooden decks and firepits where you can cook your lunch after a hike. You are only allowed to make fires at designated campfire sites, with your own, or provided, firewood. Outdoor stoves can be used in the entire area, but be aware of fire hazards, prevailing fire bans, and take care not to damage the ground or environment.
By the Trollberget national park entrance you find the Trollsvansen trail (0.3 km), marked yellow, that is accessible for e.g. wheelchairs and prams. Just after the car park comes the rock crevice Trollbergets klyfta, said to be where the trolls celebrated Christmas. Here the children can unleash their imagination and see if they can find the entrance to the troll’s treasure chambers, which is said to be located somewhere in the rock… By Trollberget the slightly hilly Utsiktsslingan trail, and the Skogsslingan trail (2.2 km), marked orange, begin.
The national park’s main entrance is found in Sunnabron, by the strait of Åsnen’s largest island, Sirkön. Here, the broadleaf forest forms a shimmering leafy canopy, and you can choose to walk the trail Östra Torparslingan (0.3 km) or Västra Torparslingan (0.9, km), both marked yellow. It is also possible to combine them, and add the trail in nature reserve Hunshult, for a longer hike. The Västra Torparslingan trail leads you to Bjurkärr, which is one of Sweden’s most valuable broadleaf forests, and where the accessible Bokslingan trail (1.7 km) and the narrower, slightly more challenging trail Strandslingan (2.6 km) begin. By Famntaget, where a beech embraces a pine, a nice wooden platform invites you to rest for a while with a view of Åsnen’s water and islands.
If you want to spend the night in the national park, there is a nice, small campsite called Utsikten just next to Åsnen’s beach by Trollberget. Other than that, overnight options are very limited within the national park.
The campsite lies along the Banvallsleden cycling route, a 5-10-minute walk from the park entrance. Here you will find a wind shelter and toilet as well as a tent pitch. Space is limited and intended for individuals visiting the national park or travelling along the Banvallsleden cycle trail, or the Värendsleden canoe route, and you may only stay one night.
In the national park’s vicinity are several well-arranged campsites that offer camping in beautiful nature.
Take the bike to Åsnen National Park! The flat landscape in Åsnen is ideal for cycling and offers majestic nature experiences. The bike trail, which runs through the western part of the national park, runs along the old abandoned railway and is part of the Åsnen Runt bike trail and the Banvallsleden trail, which are largely car-free.
You pass small villages along the western side of the lake and get many beautiful views of Åsnen. There are bicycle racks by the picnic areas in the national park for those who want to park their bicycles and walk along the footpaths. For smooth and accessible bike rental and bike packages in the Åsnen area, visit www.rentbike.se.
The kayak glides silently through the water in West Åsnen’s lake archipelago. Suddenly, you reach a different world that in many ways is hidden from the mainland. Here, nature has been left to its own devices. The sound of human activity is rare, and light pollution is non-existent.
Reaching the national park archipelago can be quite an arduous task. Here you will find wilderness and uninhabited islands with no comforts, which contributes to the fantastic nature experiences you will have. Keep in mind that the lake often quite quickly can change in character. It is recommended to always carry the “Map of the Åsnen area” that is sold at various places in Åsnen. Also note that the archipelago’s bird life is very sensitive. During the period April 1 to July 31, access is prohibited on the northern parts of the island Bergön to protect nesting birds. The same goes for the northern part of the island Södra Aspö, as well as several other islands in Åsnen. Bird protection areas are clearly marked with buoys and signs, as well as on the “Map of the Åsnen area”.