Why Sweden is a paradise for forest lovers, the freedom to roam, safety when hiking in the Swedish forests, some of my forest photography
Kopparberg - Pine tree forest
Hey my friends! Hope you had a good week and that you are enjoying your well deserved weekend!
This is the last summary post of my photographic 2021 in Sweden and it is dedicated to the forests and to all forest freaks!
After this post, I'll publish my hiking and photographic tours as they happen. You can also follow me on Instagram, although on this blog you'll find more details and more pictures!
Forests cover over half of Sweden that ranks as the second largest woodland after Russia. That's why if you are a forest lover you should definitely come and visit.
There are thousands of nature reserves protecting old forests and their flora and fauna. You can easily encounter deer, squirrels, moose, birds and many other wild animals.
The most common trees in Sweden forests are pine, spruce and birch trees.
In the north you'll mostly find pine trees forests, while spruce and birch trees are more common in the center/south of Sweden where you can also find broad leaf trees like oak, birch, aspen and beech.
Almost half of the forest in Sweden are privately owned by families, while the other half is the property of the state and of forestry companies. Sweden is in fact a leader in the industry of wood processing.
Notwithstanding half of the forests is privately owned, you won't find any fence or "no entry" signs here and you are able to hike everywhere without limitations.
This is because in Sweden there is a right of public access regulated by the law, allowing everyone to roam freely in whatever natural area, public and /or privately owned.
This freedom to roam provides you with the right to walk, paddle, ski and also to camp wherever with the only exclusion of private gardens or lands that are being used for cultivation.
This is one of the main reasons I love Sweden. I have traveled and hiked in other countries where you don't have this right and many of the forests or natural areas are fenced due to being private property. Fenced forests are really sad, also it is very frustrating having to change your route due to fences or entry restrictions. I believe that nature is and should always remain in the public domain.
The right of public access is Sweden allows you to :
put up and stay in your tent or in the available shelters you find in the forests one night or more depending on location
make a fire, although in some area there might be a fire ban
pick fire wood on the ground, provided that you do not cut or break any living tree or bush
fish in biggest lakes and also along the coastline (in smaller lakes you might need to get a licence)
swim in any lake,
collect flowers, berries, mushrooms and berries.
Isn't it fantastic?!!
"Freedom to roam" comes with the responsibility to respect nature and the wildlife.
The main rule is "don't disturb and don't destroy". Respecting this basic rule is not only decent but it is the main reason why a right of public access can exist.
Therefore, if you love being outdoors, hiking in endless forest, sleeping under a starred sky, taking a bath in gorgeous wild lakes well .... this is definitely your place!
Forests in Sweden are magic places full of life, charm and mystery.
I love them more than anything else. The moment you enter the forests your thoughts disappear and you start being at one with nature. Their healing power is endless.
You can find fairy tale forests with soft mossy mounds and magic stones.
Trees whose bark is so covered with lichens that it looks like it has snowed
And very old dancing trees with gnarly branches
As always when hiking you need to ensure your safety.
Swedish forests can be endless, wild, and very dark especially during the short days of the winter season.
Therefore, I strongly recommend that you plan your hiking tour carefully, making sure that you always have a digital or paper map with you as there are good chances to get lost especially outside the nature reserves.
Prepare yourself for a good exercise when walking into a Swedish forests, many of them are extremely dense and sloping, the ground may be mossy which means soft but also bumpy making you lose your balance, there can be berry bushes and fissures among the rocks that will put a strain on your ankles. Wear good hiking boots and always have hiking poles with you.
Bring a head light with you, water and something to eat and wear proper clothing according to the season. You can never know what you might need.
In short, always be prepared and equipped even when you plan to go for a short hike, because in the Swedish forests is never going to be just a walk.
I promise that if you follow these simple rules you'll have the most beautiful hiking experiences!
Finally, a little note for my fellow landscape photographers .... Swedish forests are often so dense that it can be really challenging to isolate a subject and find a good composition, it is definitely going to be a good exercise!
Thank you for reading, I hope you have enjoyed!
You can find the pictures of this post and more of my forest photography following the links to my websites in the home page.
Maps of the places I've visited are available here just click on the "i" icon next to each image.
Till next time ... Take good care of you and keep exploring!