Hiking in Skuleskogen National Park in Sweden (Höga Kusten)
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Dense coastal forests, gray rock plateaus that offer spectacular views of the sea dotted with islands - that's what you'll find in Skuleskogen National Park on Sweden's High Coast (Höga Kusten). We visited the national park on our big Scandinavia road trip and were thrilled. But from the beginning.
You can find the Höga Kusten on the east coast of Sweden in the province of Västernorrland, actually between the towns of Härnösand and Örnsköldsvik. From Stockholm it is around 500 kilometers to the north, the next largest cities are Umeå in the south and Sundsvall in the north. Docksta is very close by and a good starting point.
The High Coast has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2000. The coast rises 300 meters, making it the highest land elevation in the world. And in fact, it still grows by a further 8 millimeters every year. The best place to experience the High Coast is at Skuleskogen National Park. Here you will find a great hiking network, as well as small shelters where you can sleep, water points and fireplaces. Perfect for extensively exploring the jungle-like forests, mountain peaks and islands. A highlight of the park is the seven meter wide Slåttdalskrevan gorge.
Our hike with the dog through the Skuleskogen National Park
You can explore Skuleskogen National Park from three trail parks - South, West and North. We started our hike with the dog through the Skuleskogen National Park at the north entrance - by the way, the south entrance was closed at that time.
As in every national park in Sweden, you will find toilets and hiking maps at the parking lot.
We followed the yellow trail to the gorge and walked back on the blue trail. First we went through a dense coniferous forest. The path runs close to the sea, so you always have the opportunity to take small breaks on natural beaches. However, since the weather was not on our side and there were quite a few mosquitoes around, we decided not to take a break. If you follow the path, it will eventually fork. If you want to go up the mountain, follow the path that turns right and soon leads steeply up a mountain.
The first highlight is the Skravelsbäckens Vatterfall, which falls like a staircase. Really wonderful! Keep going and after about 200 meters you will reach the plateau. Here you don't have a view of the coast yet, but the plateau is reminiscent of a Norwegian rocky landscape. Several lakes are dramatically embedded here. Passing a rest area, you now walk directly towards the slopes, from where you have the dream view of the sea and the small islands par excellence. But beware: Here you can already descend again. But if you also want to see the gorge, you have to keep to the right at the Rastplast. There are signs you can follow. The view of the gorge soon opens up. Descend the stairs and explore them before continuing your trek. We turned around and descended from the high plateau that we passed earlier. The path is a bit of a climb, but we found it manageable with our athletic dog. It was actually quite a lot of fun. Alternatively, you can walk back from the gorge in a large arc. The way is longer, but easier. At the end of the hike you walk along the water again. So you have another opportunity to have a picnic on the beach.
Our hike on the High Coast in Sweden with a dog at a glance
- Starting point at the north entrance
- Combination of the yellow trail to the gorge and the blue trail back
- Length: 9 kilometers at 300 meters in altitude
- Sights: Skravelbäckens Vattenfall, viewpoint over the Baltic Sea, Trolls Door and Slättdalskrevan gorge
Interesting facts about hiking in Skuleskogen National Park
- If you want to see the gorge, then you should plan around two hours, as it is quite far away from the entrances.
- The paths are well marked, maps are available at the parking lots.
- You have to climb meters if you want to enjoy the best views.
- You have the option of staying overnight in the park with a tent or in shelters. You may only light a fire in the marked places.
- Two days of hiking are ideal to see all the highlights of the park, it is best to start hiking once from the south entrance and once from the north entrance. The best way to explore the gorge is from the south entrance. From the north entrance you reach a breathtaking high plateau via the beautiful waterfall Skravelbäckens.
- You are in Sweden - there are many mosquitoes in the park, but also other insects.
- The park is easy to explore with a dog. As in all national parks, there is a leash requirement to protect the wildlife. There are plenty of drinking spots, so take some water with you. Some passages (e.g. the descent into the valley on the blue hiking trail) can only be overcome with sporty dogs.
Long-distance hiking on the High Coast: On the Höga Kustenleden
At the end of this article I would like to give you a tip if you don't just want to visit the High Coast briefly, as we did, but want to hike extensively. While you have explored everything in Skuleskogen National Park after one or two days, you can hike 128 kilometers through the entire Höga Kusten area on the Höga Kustenleden long-distance hiking trail. You also pass through the national park, but also the Balesuddens nature reserve and the Skulebergets. By the way: some of the 13 stages are short, so you can adapt them to your level of fitness as you wish. As a rule, this hike is completed with a tent.
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