One of the great attractions of Sweden is its natural beauty and the chance to get out and explore nature. Even in the cities nature is never very far away. The Tavelsjöleden trail is a great example, starting in Umeå it winds its way through forests, across mountains, beside lakes and past villages to Vännfors, 39 kilometres north-west of Umeå. Whilst the full trail is 39 kilometres there are numerous options to explore different parts of the trail, so whether you want a leisurely stroll or a strenuous hike, a short walk or a long trek, it’s all here. This is one of the things we love about Sweden – adventure and getting out into nature doesn’t have to involve difficulties or challenges. Of course it can should you wish, but the key is that there is something for everyone and for all abilities.
We explored the final section of the trail near Tavelsjön and were rewarded with fantastic views, caves, forests and more. We picked up the trail at the parking for Torrberget and Tavelsjöberget on the 363 road. There is a clearly marked trail that goes up to the peak, Tavelsjöberget, through pretty forests. It is the highest point in the region with beautiful views over lake Tavelsjön. If you continue on to the next hill, Vallberget, there is a specially constructed viewing platform strategically placed to give a 360 degree view over the lakes, forests and villages that surround the area.
Another lovely walk is the Tavelsjön Runt, this is the 23.5 km trail around Tavelsjön lake. The Tavelsjöleden trail passes by a small section of the lake but does not include the lake trail. The Tavelsjön Runt hugs the side of the lake and is ideal for walking, cycling and riding. There are 8 different parking points around the lake where you can leave the car and join the trail and each point offers a selection of shorter walks if you don’t want to take on the full 23.5 km circuit.
The Tavelsjöleden and Tavelsjön Runt are all year round destinations. In the summer it is a fantastic place for walking, mountain biking, cycling and riding. There are numerous swimming places and picnic spots and as the sun never disappears for very long in summer you can go at any time day (or night). In the winter there are clearly marked trails for skiing and skidoos. It is a focus point for outdoor events too; there is an annual half marathon, orienteering events and a Skidoo club.
Umeå is in the north of Sweden and is often referred to as “the gate way to the north” as it is the last city of any significant size before you hit the Arctic Circle. There are regular flights from Stockholm and other major cities. The best way to explore the area is by car but there is also a regular bus service to key access points along the trail. Information and timetables can be found at: www.tabussen.nu
More information on Umeå and the Tavelsjöleden trail can be found at: www.umea.se. Search the site for Tavelsjöleden and you will find downloadable pdfs in different languages.
For general information about Umeå see: www.visitumea.se