Tyresta nationalpark och naturreservat: Tyresta National Park & Nature Reserve (or backpacking by bus)

Tyresta nationalpark och naturreservat: Tyresta National Park & Nature Reserve
(or backpacking by bus)

We woke up Saturday to a beautiful day and a promise of good weather during the day on Saturday & Sunday (90% chance of rain overnight). Some quick research revealed a lot of nearby campgrounds for RVs in Stockholm-- not what we were looking for. A bit more research turned up Tyresta National Park-  about 1.5 hours away using public transport. We realized we'd never taken both kids backpacking and before the weather turned, this might be a good time to do so.

After cleaning the house (kudos to the kids for cleaning bathrooms!) and a quick stop at our nearby grocery store (such visits no longer take an hour), we headed via bus to a nearby outdoor store for stove fuel and then figured our way onto a train. Small mishap later where Chris ended up on a train after running an errand and me and the kids missed it while waiting elsewhere for him, we reconnected in Stockholm's Central Station and found another train south. [Side note: the subways and commuter trains seem to run with utter efficiency- if they are supposed to leave at 9:43, they do. People have warned us that there are slow downs in the fall with leaves on tracks and winter with ice and snow, but for now, we only see the efficiency.]

Backpacking via bus:

Our travels took us to the small town of Haninge, which was having a "kultur" festival- crowds, food booths, music on the stage, etc. Quite something to stumble into. We watched for a while then navigated to a bus-- finally seeing others with hiking backpacks (which up until then seemed odd to be carrying around). 20 minutes on a bus led us to the entrance of the national park.

Tyresta is a relatively new national park: created in 1993 after the federal government purchased private land slated to be logged. There was a sizable fire in 1999 that burned a big tract down, but the area is breathtaking and sees a lot of use. The small ancient village of Tyresta hosted a coffee shop and small concession stand, along with horses and sheep in a pasture.

The trails then headed off into the woods. Kids, grandparents, family groups, strollers, groups of students: there were all kinds of people doing all kinds of things. We can't tell you how many people we saw on the trails with baskets of chanterelle mushrooms and huckleberries. Having talked with a ranger at the start, we took a less well traveled trail to head to a more distant lake- about 9 km away. It took us about 2.5 hours to get there- and we were ready to arrive when we did!

Through the woods, up onto a hill (into the former burn area), down towards the lake

Apparently one is only supposed to camp near designated fire rings. We reluctantly passed a few gorgeous spots to go to the designated area.

However, the designated camping area included a merry fire lit by a group of about 5 twenty year old guys with a boom box, none too happy to see a family. We searched around and found a spot over a hill but near enough to perhaps count in the vicinity of the fire ring. A while later, another young Swedish couple camped nearby. We had a visit from a park host late in the evening- he wanted to make sure we knew the rules (and he had already spoken with the guys about their boombox... nice to have quiet in the woods!)

A quick dip, dinner near the lake and an early dive towards bed as the mosquitoes came out and the temps dropped. Card games and reading, then sleep. The promised rain came in hard and lasted a good 10 hours- winds, rain, but eventually plenty of sleep given the 12 hours in the tent.

The rain let up on Sunday morning- we packed up and hiked out, stopping to pick a water bottle full of huckleberries!

Chris teaching Elizabeth how to do the "flip the pack over your head move"

Some cool close up scenes from our hike

We picked a lot of huckleberries as we hiked. Lunch in the "village" of Tyresta, where it was "Tyresta Dagen"- Tyresta Days with a few stalls selling baked goods, jewelry, apple juice, honey, etc. Very much a fall festival.

Our return trip was much more straightforward- wait for the bus, catch a train, catch a bus, walk home. Nice to be off our feet and enjoy a dinner of risotto & huckleberry pie, along with a movie!