Beautiful Sweden: Stendörrens nature reserve with dogs
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It's been a few years since Michael and I visited Stockholm. But I still remember how much we liked the Stockholm archipelago, which we visited on a boat trip. But this time we traveled with our dog Frieda. Trips by boat or ferries are therefore always directly associated with a little more effort and also some stress for Frieda. All the better that there is an archipelago very close to Stockholm that is really dog-friendly and can be visited without a boat: Stendörrens Naturreservat.
Southern Sweden insider tip: The Stendörrens nature reserve - what makes it special and where you can find it
Stendörrens Naturreservat is one of the most popular nature reserves in the Stockholm area. You will find it in the middle of the picturesque archipelago between Nyköping and Trosa on the coast of the municipality of Nyköping, about an hour and a half south of Stockholm. The nature reserve is well connected, so you will find spacious parking spaces here (partly paved, partly on grass), which, however, also reveal how busy it can be here, especially on the weekends. By the way, camping is strictly forbidden in the parking lots.
I have already told you what is special about Stendörrens Naturreservat: the picturesque archipelago islands are (with a few exceptions) accessible without a boat and easy to explore. The islands are connected with cute suspension bridges and footbridges. In the nature reserve you can go hiking, swim in the Baltic Sea or lie in the sun on the warm stones. You can even rent SUPs here. Thanks to numerous fire pits and barbecue areas, the park is also suitable for long and sociable days in a dreamy Swedish setting.
You should know before your visit that there are two parking lots and that you can hike on two different groups of islands depending on the parking lot. We chose the first parking lot, viewed from the access road, and were very happy with our choice. The archipelago was an absolute dream. Unfortunately we didn't have time to visit the second group.
The best time to visit Stendörrens Naturreservat is midweek and early morning. It can get very crowded at lunchtime. Incidentally, we had the reserve to ourselves between eight and nine in the morning in July. If you plan to stay late, you can also secure a spot by the water or one of the fire pits in the morning, as most families and groups do by the way. You will find toilets in the parking lots.
Can I take my dog to the Stendörrens nature reserve?
Of course you can take your dog with you to the Stendörrens nature reserve. There is a leash requirement throughout Sweden anyway, including here. I even found the park particularly good for dogs, as there is good access to the water and the pine forests provide plenty of shade. Just remember to bring enough water with you, keyword salty Baltic Sea. Incidentally, the bridges had a wooden floor and are secured at the sides, but they sway a bit when walking over them. Our dog didn't mind at all.
On foot across the archipelago - Hiking with a dog in Stendörrens nature reserve
In fact, hiking in Stendörrens Naturreservat is more than uncomplicated, getting lost is practically impossible. Right at the entrance to the park there are information boards where you can find out more about nature and the hiking trails. Each hiking trail has its own color marking that you can easily follow. This way you know in advance exactly how long your hike will be. While the longest hike is almost 10 kilometers long, the shortest is just 1.3 kilometers. But already on this short distance you can experience the full beauty of the reserve, including a view of the Baltic Sea and an island feeling. You walk through pristine nature and pine forests over soft ground. Climb over rocks and reach new islands over and over via suspension bridges. It's just gorgeous.
By the way, you can also observe many animals. Admittedly, the hares, foxes, badgers, deer and moose that live in the more densely wooded parts of the nature reserve are rarely seen by visitors. On the other hand, you can almost always find the numerous waterfowl. Arctic terns, for example, eider ducks, common gulls, oystercatchers and goosanders. With a bit of luck you will spot a white-tailed eagle in the sky.
Insider tip for camping near the Stendörrens nature reserve: nature reserve and free mobile home parking space
We went with the roof tent on our trip. So that we could start exploring the Stendörrens nature reserve as early as possible in the morning, we looked for a parking space very close by. We finally found a great official and free parking space (via P4N) at the nearby Nynäs nature reserve. Here there were not only toilets and an outdoor kitchen, but you could also hike through an enchanting fairytale forest. A little surprise for us, because sometimes the most beautiful places are the ones you find by accident and didn't even look for.
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