Tiveden National Park
Have you been to Tiveden national park? Or do you plan to visit? I've worked at the main entrance for four summers and in this post I've gathered all my answers to the most common questions from visitors. From what you might expect by each entrance, to the best time to visit and where you're allowed to pitch your tent.
To begin, Tiveden is a wide woodland area between Laxå, Karlsborg and Askersund. It's a landscape formed by ancient seismic forces, polished by the inland ice sheet which has also sprinkled boulders around in the area. Tiveden national park is a small, vital part of Tiveden - like the heart in your body. The surrounding area is a perfect example of a live and prosperous countryside, with comitted locals and entrepreneurs. The local grocery store is open all year round, Gretas oldies do climate strike every Friday and there's queue to the kinder garden. You can find out more about the area, like lodging and more activities at Tiveden.se
Paddling at dawn, Lilla Trehörningen
Paddling at dawn, Lilla Trehörningen
View from the campsite at Mellannäsudden
Fika by Metesjön
Climbing boulders is fun!
Evening walk by lake Stora Trehörningen
Time to visit and parking
When visiting the nationalpark, time is key. In July and August between 11 am and 2 pm the parking lots byt the 3 entrances are full. It's slightly dependent on weather, but hardly ever fails. Once in the forest one might meet only a few people, but if you're on a journey of inner peace all the way through I'd recommend going there early morning or later in the afternoon. And please, don't fall for the temptation to park along the gravel roads in the national park. One - it's forbidden, two - incorrectly parked cars make the roads an obstacle course for rescue services and you don't want that on your conscience. No matter if ten others have parked along the road. Still not okay. If you do have the possibility to take the bike to the park, please do! This summer (2021) there will also be a bus from Karlsborg to the main entrance, while blogging this the schedule isn't set yet.
Personally, I've had some of my best nature experiences in the park at dawn or late summer evenings. In the canoe photos above me and my dog is out paddling at Lilla Trehörningen 06.45 am a misty morning in september.
The weeks around midsummer is also the midgets-weeks. Last year they were less though, due to the heat.
The main entrance
The main entrance
by the main entrance & Entré Vitsand there are audio boxes. Spin the handle and it will read information about the park to you. By end of summer I know the Swedish parts by heart.
The answer to the most common question by the main entrance: "There are the toilettes ...
... and the trash bins."
Entré Ösjönäs, not to be mixed up with Ösjönäs gård
The parking lot by Entré Ösjönäs
fire place, Entré Ösjönäs
The three entrances
Of course it's possible to cross the border of the national park anywhere, but most choose to start their hike by one of the three entrances. The main entrance, Entré Vitsand and Entré Ösjönäs (the latter not to be mixed up with Ösjönäs gård although they are next to each other). By all entrances there are parking lots, dry toilettes, trash bins, fireplaces, information and maps.
By Entré Vitsand there are also changing rooms, since it's by the beach. This summer (2021) there will be staff at Vitsand all days except Mondays and Wednesdays, between 10-15 to answer your questions and to arrange the popular family activity Naturkul.
By the main entrance you'll find the only fresh water pump and here you'll meet staff during summer and weekends during spring and autumn.
The main entrance and Entré Vitsand also have "horse parking" with corrals.
Behind the reception by the main entrance, there's a charming old fresh water pump. Some enrichment with iron, but cold and tasty! The main entrance is the only entrance with fresh water. It may be about 80% safe to drink from the small lakes or Stora Trehörningen, but avoid the popular beaches and boil/purify the water if you've the slightest concern.
Read the rules at the website of Tiveden national park.
In the nationalpark the public right to roam is limited. Pets have to be on leash all year round, you mustn't fly your drone without a special permit from the trustee and there are special rules on where you can go by bike, ride your horse, make fire (including Trangia and similar) and camp etc. On the other hand you're free to pick berries and edible mushrooms. It's your responsibility as a visitor to check up the rules, but please ask the staff by the main entrance if you're uncertain. We love to help answering questions about the park, Tiveden and the small cities around.
As employed nature guide in the park I've heard all arguments for making exceptions from the rules for individual visitors. Mostly from Swedish middle aged men who get offended/aggressive by a young woman telling them what they mustn't do.
Metsjön, along Trollkyrkorundan and Oxögabergsrundan
The most beautiful trail
One of the most common questions I get is "which is the most beautiful trail?" the answer is always the same. All trails are beautiful, in their own way.
For those who want to go with a stroller or rock a wheel chair - there are wooden decks and wide footbridges by Entré Vitsand, one with a view over the lake and one heading out into the woods (part of the Vitsandsrundan and Junker Jägare rundan). If you continue the gravel road at the end of the forest footbridge, you'll end up at Junker Jägare boulder, which is the biggest boulder in Tiveden. Some who use a wheel chair might need some help on the gravel road though.
First hike with your five year old? Take Stenkällerundan or Tärnekullerundan, these are short rails but it happens a lot and there are caves to climb in along the way.
Trollkyrkorundan suits anyone who wants some ruff terrain and like to enjoy the view over the treetops.
Stigmansrundan or Oxögabergsrundan for anyone who wants to be embraced by the forest where there ain't as many people around.
The trail around Stora Trehörningen is a nice day project with lots of opportunities for baths.
Mellannäsrundan differs from the rest of the trails. The soft trail takes you along a sandy hill with spruce forest and larch trees. Perfect for those with aching joints, who doesn't want to walk that far or simply are fed up with mighty boulders and stumbling over roots next to steep rift valleys.
Bike- and riding trails, there are a few. For practical reasons, you're not allowed to go by bike or horseback at the hiking trails. The gravel roads are cool on the other hand, and of course the trails marked as bike-/riding trails. You'll find one of them by Junker Jägares sten, the other along Trollvägen leading you east towards Tivedsdalsvägen, Bergslagsleden and Fagertärn (a nature reserv with red water lilies about 20 km drive fromt he park).
Please note. Bergslagsleden, stage 17, that runs through the park is NOT making a loop. There's a few poor tourists ending up at Tivedstorp or Stigmansgården every year.
Each trail har it's own color (and number marked with dots) and are well marked around the trees and with signs in the forest. By the crossroads there are signs towards different sites/campsites/entrances along the trails, these are marked with the color you need to follow and how far it is to the site - not how long the entire trail is. Often the trails go together for a while, and these parts are marked with both colors.
Vitsand is a shallow, nice sandy beach. Very popular among families with kids. In July-August you can also join Naturkul, a family activity in nature from 12 am all days except Mondays and Wednesdays.
In general Stora Trehörningen is a very nice lake for swimming, where you get in depends mostly on how sensitive you are when it comes to the bottom.
Trollkyrkosjön and Metesjön is also nice for swimming. A couple of teens did jump into the little woodland lake named "Röven" ("The asshole" - That's the name - I'm not kidding! XD) only to be able to claim they had bathed there. It was, like you might guess from the name, dirty ...
In Tiveden national park there are three campsites where you may pitch your tent, tarp, treetent or hammock. Supposedly within the are marked with rope.
Käringaudden - The biggest campsite, a few hundred meters west of Vitsand. There's also a dry toilette, fireplace and fire wood is delievered on regular basis. Don't count to much on it during high season though. This campsite works for tents, treetents, hammocks and tarps.
Mellannäsudden - The next biggest campsite, south of Entré Ösjönäs. Here's a fireplace and firewood is provided on regular basis, though it might lack during high season. If you need to do nr1 or 2, take a walk to Entré Ösjönäs. This campsite works for tents, tree tents, hammocks and tarps.
Metesjön - The smallest campsite is by Metesjön, close to the main entrance and is accessible with stroller or wheel chair from the gravel road. Here's a roomy dry toilette, wind shelter (with concrete floor), fireplace and fire wood provided regularly. But just as in the other campsites, it might be lacking fire wood some times during high season. This campsite works for tents, the trees at the campsite area is to small for hammock or similar.
Local Swedish Fika and food
There are no cafes in the national park, but there are some Tiveden.
A few kilometers north, you have Tivedstorp and few kilometers south there's Dagas café at Stigmansgården, heading towards rv 49 you'll find Stenkällegården with camping and restaurant. In the village Tived (Sannerud) by lake Unden you'll find Tiveds Kafferosteri with Tivedens' best coffee, and the unique and cosy restaurant Luripompa.
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Hike in peace!